Partnering In Care: presents


Offering C.E. certified workshops, classes, seminars, and consultations to help dementia caregivers improve the quality of life for both themselves and especially for the people they care for.

Teaching Teepa Snow’s hand skills

 “Until there’s a Cure…there’s Care.”

-Teepa Snow

Most people think dementia is about loss–the loss of memory, of dignity, of independence, and of personhood. But as a certified Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) Trainer and Consultant, I believe dementia is more about change than anything else. Accepting change is hard when it comes to dementia. But even the hardest change doesn’t have to be all about loss and defeat . It can also be about exploring possibilities. Growing. Deepening knowledge. Finding new ways to appreciate and connect and communicate through unique problem-solving approaches, creative awareness, and learning how to apply new evidence-based hands-on skills.

Out of all the instinctual needs we humans have to put up with – sex, food, sleep, fresh air, water – the most important and least recognized need of all is beauty. It’s what magnifies us into human beings.
from Laura’s novel about Alzheimer’s, Remember Me

What I Offer

I am the only Certified Independent Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) Dementia Trainer and Consultant in the state of New Mexico. Through workshops, seminars, private consultations and dementia hotlines, I teach nurses, social workers, neighbors and families increased awareness of the unmet needs of those who live with dementia; how to decode distress issues; and how to resolve safety and health issues effectively.  I also offer CE-certified workshops where care partners can learn and practice the hands-on skills developed by dementia expert and advocate, Teepa Snow, MS, OTR,/L,FAOTA.  I am available for private consultations by phone and/or in person. See contact information below.

Who I Am

In 1980 when I was twenty-six, my mother began to change into someone my sisters and I could not recognize.  The neighborhood sheriff found her trying to pull down a street sign.  The local country club said she’d driven her car onto the golf green.  We discovers forks and knives in her purse and she began to tell us about a dead body out in her garden.  I didn’t know what dementia was–I didn’t want to know–and despite what my mother taught me about dementia for the next eighteen years, I still knew very little about it by the time she died. But I found myself writing more fiction about dementia, volunteering more often for hospice patients diagnosed with dementia, and—perhaps because I had survived the dreadfully raw and hopeless years of my mother’s illness–I even occasionally referred to myself as a ‘dementia expert’. 

It was not true.  The more time I spent getting to know people who had dementia, the more I knew how much I didn’t know about how to help them. 

Then in 2018, my life took an unexpected turn.  I accidentally stumbled one night onto a video of Teepa Snow, and when I saw her demonstrate a few of her ideas about dementia— practical, no-nonsense ideas I had never even thought of before—I knew that my life as an MFA graduate teacher and an award-winning writer was going to change. I wanted to offer caregivers in the dementia community the chance to experience the kind of positive results I could only have dreamed of thirty years before, when I and my own mother had needed them most.

So I quit my teaching career.  I quit my career as a fiction writer.  I flew to the nearest Teepa Snow dementia workshop and became certified as a PAC trainer– and then later as a PAC consultant. Returning to New Mexico, I set up my Partnering in Care business in Santa Fe and offered free public workshops and private consultations for families, and finally,  in the spring of 2020, I was formally approved to offer Continuing Education credits for nurses and social workers who care for people living with dementia.

Teaching why hand gestures can communicate better than words at the Los Alamos Senior Citizens Center, 2019


–I’ll be adding public events and workshops here as they get organized, but for now, here’s a sampling of what I offer to the Santa Fe community :

JUNE 9, 2020:

In conjunction with David Davis’ Prepare to Care ZOOM Memory Care Alliance Support Group, I  will be offering an experiential  problem-solving workshop where we will discuss and practice ways to decode distress issues for those living with dementia without becoming part of the problem. Email me before we meet and I’ll make sure you get the workshop handout.

WHEN:           June 9th at 1:30 pm

WHERE:        Zoom room:

JANUARY 23, 2020:

I wrote, organized and led a 2 hour experiential workshop studying vision changes in dementia and how that can affect your behavior around people who live with dementia. We met at the soon-to-open Senior Daycare Center on Espinocita St. run by Michael Munsen.

DECEMBER 23, 2019 :

I led a two and a half hour experiential workshop about left- and right-brain changes in dementia called “DEMENTIA: IT’S NOT ABOUT WHAT’S LOST–IT’S ABOUT WHAT’S LEFT” at the La Farge Library.



A Certified Independent Positive Approach® to Care Trainer and Consultant of methods designed by dementia expert Teepa Snow MS, OTR/L, FAOTA

Training as a Consultant With Teepa Snow in Dallas, 2019

For private consultations, I offer a free half-hour call or visit with families so that we can find out if and how I can be of help to you.

For more information about my Continuing Education workshops, consultations, or to reserve a seat at the next event: 505-780-8066 or 719-221-5804


P.S. My Writing

Remember Me was published by Henry Holt in 1998 and in paperback by Picador in 2000. The characters are fictional but the novel is based on Laura’s attempts to decode her mother’s 13-year struggle with dementia. That experience, which shifted Laura’s horror of dementia into curiosity about the person her mother was becoming, led to more than 20 years of volunteer work with dementia patients and eventually to Laura’s certification as an independent trainer and educator for Teepa Snow.

Remember Me was a Barnes & Nobel Discover New Writers pick and a critically acclaimed finalist for the Mountains and Plains Bookseller’s Award. Along with Laura’s other award-winning books of fiction, used copies of Remember Me are available on Amazon.

Stygo is a collection of interlocked stories about citizens in a fictional company town in Colorado. It was initially published by MacMurray and Beck in 1994, by Simon and Schuster in 1996 and finally by McAdams/Cage in 2000. In addition to winning the 1994 Colorado Book Award for best design, it won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Foundation Award, the Mountains and Plains Regional Bookseller’s Award, and was a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway Award.