Alzheimer’s: A Positive Approach™

Alzheimer’s is NOT a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases.  Over 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, including 180,000 in the state of Michigan alone. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016).


Alzheimer’s disease and dementia affect not only the person with the disease, but those around them as well.  “During 2015, more than half a million Michiganders provided care to adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia,” says UMRC President and CEO, John Thorhauer.  “As a leader in the field of aging since 1906, UMRC is committed to providing tools and education to support caregivers on our campus and in the local communities we serve.”


Earlier this week, UMRC took pride in hosting dementia expert Teepa Snow for Alzheimer’s: A Positive Approach™, a two-day training event in Chelsea, MI.  This training was made possible thanks to grants from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, UMRC Foundation, Chelsea Community Foundation, and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.


A registered occupational therapist for over 30 years, Teepa’s wealth of experience has led her to develop the Positive Approach™ techniques and training models, now used by family caregivers and professionals throughout the world.  Over 1,000 caregivers and family members from UMRC and across southeast Michigan attended the event to learn more about Teepa’s strategies and techniques that focus on the person’s abilities at various stages of dementia, rather than what the person has lost.


Teepa Snow mixes hands-on training and humor to demonstrate and model what the person with dementia is experiencing. In turn, she helps caregivers learn ways to change their approach, behavior, and expectations to foster improved outcomes and reduce stress for the person with dementia and caregiver alike.


“I appreciate the hands-on experience,” said Valeri M. who attended the training. “Thank you for showing – not just telling – it’s very enlightening and I’ll never look at dementia the same way again.”


The Alzheimer’s Association, Michigan Great Lakes Chapter recently named United Methodist Retirement Communities in Chelsea as its South Central Region 2017 Community Champion Award recipient. UMRC was recognized for its continued generous support, partnership, and dedication towards a world without Alzheimer’s disease.


Learn more about how UMRC is a leader in caring for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, through its Towsley Village Memory Care Center and other educational resources and support groups. Visit our website at: , follow our blog, subscribe to our UMRC e-newsletter, and ‘like’ us on Facebook: