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Best practices in dementia care: building hands-on skills for communication and interactions

October 8th, Tuesday 2024
8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Canad Inns Destination Centre
Polo Park
1405 St. Matthews Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3G 0K5


Description of working session

Teepa snow is the best of the best. If you work in this field or are a caregiver for someone living with dementia you do not want to miss what could possibly be one of the last opportunities to see her in person. Teepa has reduced her in-person appearances and HQS is one of the few select organizations that secured an event with Teepa in 2024. Past Winnipeg trainings have sold out so
Register early!


This in-depth intensive workshop will help learners use effective strategies for helping people living with dementia or other forms of brain change during interactions, care delivery, and daily engagement. The session will first improve the learner’s understanding of the brain changes that occur during the process of dementia with an emphasis on empathy and understanding of the condition. It will then assist learners in developing verbal and nonverbal techniques to improve communication with those living with dementia.

The session will also help learners recognize and intervene effectively when behavioral challenges occur by emphasizing the value of matching helping behaviors to the person’s needs and retained abilities to promote a sense of control and self-direction. Modifying the task demands, the environment, and the caregiver’s approach are three key elements to improving challenging situations. These three elements combined with knowledge of the individual’s background and life story, medical, psychological, and sensory conditions, and level of cognitive function will form the base for problem solving and personalized care planning.


Finally, the session will help learners focus on carefully monitoring people with cognitive impairment for signs and signals of ‘unmet needs’ in order to intervene early and often. This effort to create a positive and caring environment rather than ‘dealing with the behavior’ after it is established will be promoted as a more effective model. The overall goal of this session is to help reduce resistance to care, and foster participation and use of preserved skills for those living with brain change. 


7:45 am - 8:30 am
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
1:15 pm - 4:30 pm

Morning Session (break 10:15 am - 10:30 am)
Lunch (on your own)
Afternoon Session (break 2:45 pm to 3:00 pm)

Morning Session

Welcome. Present essential information about dementia:

A. Discuss four truths about all types of dementia

B. Describe various brain structural changes in dementia

C. Describe dementia changes in sensory processing and other functional changes

D. Discuss differences among the most common forms of dementia

E. Highlight differences between ‘normal’ and ‘not normal’ aging

Describe effective communication strategies in dementia care:

A. Review three key times when communication is desired

B. Highlight key concepts that are essential in having effective communication when dementia exists including the Positive Physical Approach

C. Introduce the concept of empathetic communication and validation

Reading at Home
Knitting Class

Afternoon Session

Introduce other effective techniques for improving care

A. Hand-under-Hand assistance

B. Methods of cueing

C. Time-Out signal Describe the GEMS State progression of dementia, emphasizing what remains rather than what is lost


Discuss typical challenging situations that often occur during dementia progression

A. Describe the six major factors that may be used to determine causes of ‘challenging behaviors’

B. Highlight the importance of watching for signs and signals of ‘unmet needs’ in order to intervene early and prevent escalation of distress

C. Demonstrate techniques for managing challenging situations scenarios using role play

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session participants will be able:

1. to identify the different types of changes in brain structure and function during the progression of dementia.

2. to describe effective combinations of multi-modal helping techniques when presented with someone with dementia at various levels of impairment, emphasizing use of their abilities that are preserved.

3. to describe the six key components that contribute to the behaviors seen throughout the progression of dementia.

4. to compare and contrast cues that people with dementia provide to indicate the most common unmet needs that lead to distress or challenging situations.

5. to use a structured and organized approach to recognizing and coping with challenging situations in dementia care by meeting needs and intervening early and often with individuals on a regular basis.

6. to demonstrate verbal and nonverbal techniques to help deescalate situations when someone living with brain change is in a state of distress.


Instructor will use a combination of lecture, discussion, role play, group interaction, case discussion, and problem-solving among learners to actively engage learners in the content. Video clips, PowerPoint presentations, and role playing will be used throughout the training.

Teepa L. Snow

Dementia care and Training Specialist Positive Approach to Care®

Teepa Snow is one of the world’s leading advocates and educators for anyone living with dementia or other forms of brain change. She is an Occupational Therapist with over forty years of rich and varied clinical and academic experience.


Teepa’s philosophy is reflective of her education, work experience, medical research, and first hand caregiving experiences. Her advocacy efforts led her to the development of the GEMS® State Model for understanding the progression of dementia and changes in abilities. She also created the Positive Approach to Care® training strategies, which are effective techniques for anyone seeking to optimize care and support. 

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As the Education Director of Eastern North Carolina’s Alzheimer’s Association, she also helped to create the nation’s award-winning DVD entitled Accepting the Challenge: Providing the Best Care for People with Dementia. Her user-friendly approaches provide guidance and leadership to national efforts to promote best practices in care. Teepa’s company, Positive Approach to Care (PAC), was founded in 2006 and is now collaborating to improve dementia care in over thirty countries worldwide. Please visit for a wealth of information and helpful resources. Teepa presents with extraordinary expertise and humor to audiences large and small throughout the world. Please join in her mission to improve the culture of dementia care, one mind at a time.

Location / Hotel Discount

Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park
1405 St. Matthews
Phone for reservations: 1-888-332-2623

*When making hotel reservation please quote “group reservation number #399741” for room discounts. Rooms must be booked 30 days prior to conference. Reserve early as rates are based on availability

Registration Fees

Early registration

Received on or before September 3rd, 2024


Full payment must be received on or before September 3rd, 2024.

$240.00/ per person

For groups of 3 or more, registration MUST be submitted together with full payment by September 3rd, 2024.

Regular registration

After September 3rd, 2024


Full payment must be received prior to conference date.

$270.00/ per person

For groups of 3 or more, registration MUST be submitted together with full payment prior to conference date.

Full-time Students
$200.00/ per person

For students who are attending 3 or more university credit courses this academic term. Full payment MUST be received prior to conference date.

Receipts will be distributed on October 8th, 2024  at the registration table

PARKING: There is plenty of FREE parking

Cancellation / Refund Policy

If unable to attend, we will be happy to refund the full amount if notified IN WRITING or EMAIL 14 days prior to the conference date. OR a substitution may be made if notification IN WRITING or EMAIL is received prior to the conference. Refunds will not be given to those participants who do not attend the conference and do not provide HQS with notice of their absence prior to the conference.

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