What Is The Role Of A Dementia Coach In A Home Care Agency?

Left to right: Tamara Ballard, Teepa Snow, Catherine MacRae

Tamara Ballard and Catherine MacRae, Client Care Managers for Earth Angels Home Care, recently achieved their Positive Approach™ to Care (PAC) Dementia Coach Certification.

We sat down with Tamara to ask her a few questions about the Coach Certification and how it benefits the clients of Earth Angels Home Care.

Question: What is a Positive Approach to Care Certified Coach?

Tamara: A Positive Approach to Care Certified Coach is a certification designed by Teepa Snow, one of the world’s leading dementia experts. It’s intended for anyone who supervises caregivers providing direct care to individuals living with dementia.

Question: What does it mean to the caregivers of Earth Angels Home Care now that you are a PAC Certified Coach?

Tamara: The Coach Certification really helped me to develop the skills and competencies I need to enhance the support I provide to our caregivers. Caregiving can be challenging work, so I am here to provide reassurance to caregivers anytime they need it. I am here as a guide to help them increase their awareness and knowledge about dementia, and to help them cope in challenging situations. This builds their confidence so that the job is more enjoyable, and ultimately, they are set up to be successful when they go into people’s homes.

Question: How does the Dementia Coach Certification benefit the clients of Earth Angels Home Care?

Tamara: The entire philosophy of Positive Approach to Care is based on helping the person with dementia to use whatever skills they have remaining and to do with them, not to them. We focus on the person’s abilities, not on what they’ve lost or can no longer do. It’s a much more positive way to focus dementia care. With the PAC Coach Certification, I can coach our caregivers in the moment so that the Positive Approach to Care philosophy becomes integrated into daily routines and interactions.  The goal is to help people change their behaviors, expectations and attitudes toward people living with dementia, and to see the situation from the perspective of the person living with dementia.

Question: What does the PAC Coach certification mean to you professionally? How has it helped you in your role as Client Care Manager?

Tamara: The Coach Certification took my dementia care skills to the next level. As a Positive Approach to Care Trainer, I help increase dementia knowledge and skills of my caregivers. As a Coach, I empower them to take what they’ve learned in the training and apply it to real-life situations that they encounter. It isn’t about giving them solutions to the challenges; it’s about helping them navigate the situations to arrive at the best possible outcome for both them and the client.

Question: What does the Positive Approach to Care Coach certification mean to you personally?

Tamara: It’s so rewarding to help develop the skills of our caregivers so that persons living with dementia and their families benefit from receiving the best care possible. In Nova Scotia, 17,000 people live with dementia and there are countless more people who are affected. They turn to us for help and we must step up to the plate by continuously learning. I am proud to work for a company who invests in the needs of their clients and staff.

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