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PMMA proud to learn and teach dementia care method now helping the family of actor Bruce Willis.

PMMA proud to learn and teach dementia care method now helping the family of actor Bruce Willis.

When actor Bruce Willis was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in February, his family recognized they’ll need help navigating the changes in their lives. They turned to an internationally renowned expert that PMMA (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America®) is familiar with.

Teepa Snow is the founder and C.E.O of Positive Approach to Care(PAC), a method that teaches common sense and practical skills meant to enhance the “life and relationships of those living with brain changes.”

Snow’s method provides caregivers, family members and friends, and healthcare professionals with new tools that set a positive tone when living or working with someone with dementia. PMMA has committed to training everyone in all of our communities, as well as our corporate office in this method.

“It’s important that all our employees know how to care for those who are living with dementia, in a manner that’s positive and productive,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, senior vice president of health and wellness. “We want our staff members to create a meaningful connection with our residents first, before checking off a task on their list. When someone’s brain is changing due to dementia, interactions can become difficult, unless you have the right skills to stay positive and patient.”

Snow praised Bruce Willis’ wife for the hard work and dedication she and her family are showing. When Emma Heming Willis posted her gratitude for Snow on her Instagram page, Snow responded by saying “@emmahemingwillis has done an absolutely remarkable job of providing the right support for Bruce as his abilities have changed and created a place space and life that continues to provide him with what he needs to live well.”

As senior living and health care professionals, PMMA employees want to provide the same level of support for their residents.

Many of our communities offer dedicated memory care neighborhoods, providing specially-designed programs to meet the ever-changing needs of seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia. PMMA has been a leader in memory care in the senior living industry for a long time, staying on the forefront of advances in care. Now it’s making an investment in providing employees another skillset to help put both residents and their families at ease.

 “We are in the process of traveling to all 15 PMMA communities to teach this Positive Approach to Care to leadership team members, direct care staff, and even families of residents living with dementia,” said Cathy Morris, one of PMMA’s PAC Certified Independent Trainers. Morris and co-trainer Alyssa Johnson are excited to see the skills in action. “After training is complete, our staff members should be able to set a positive tone, helping cut down on additional distress for the patient.”

PMMA employees at the corporate office practice PAC techniques during training

PMMA employees at the corporate office practice PAC techniques during training

Skills taught in PAC training include how to approach residents in a manner that puts them at ease, how to make a physical connection that allows you to assist them with a task instead of doing it to them, and learning how to give someone a choice by asking questions instead of making demands. It’s all meant to help a person living with dementia to live a better life with dignity.

PAC Certified Trainers Alyssa Johnson (left) and Cathy Morris training PMMA corporate employees

 “Take a step back and figure out what still gives the person a sense of purpose, value, joy and what fills that space for us as well,” Snow told News Nation in an interview. “Because we’re all in this.”

Learn more about the work of Teepa Snow and her Positive Approach to Care® methods and education by visiting https://teepasnow.com/.

Learn more about our memory care services at https://www.presbyterianmanors.org/memory-care-wichita.





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