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Who is Teepa Snow and How Has She Changed Dementia Care?

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other forms of dementia affect more than 5 million Americans, reports the Alzheimer’s Association. While researchers continue to search for a cure and better treatment options, it’s important to learn to better support those living with dementia. In the words of Teepa Snow, “Until there’s a cure, there’s care”. As internationally renowned leader in dementia care, Teepa is helping to change how people approach and interact with people living with any type of brain change. Her Positive Approach® to care techniques, Positive Physical Approach and Hand-under-Hand  have received widespread acclaim.

“Dementia doesn’t rob someone of their dignity, it’s our reaction to them that does.”
– Teepa Snow

Who is Teepa Snow?

As one of America’s leading educators on dementia, Teepa has developed a dementia care philosophy reflective of her education, work experience, medical research, and first hand caregiving experiences.  She is a graduate of Duke University, and received her MS degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.  As an Occupational Therapist with over 30 years of experience in geriatrics, she has worked as the OT Director in a head injury facility, a clinical specialist in geriatrics for a Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, and a Restorative Care Coordinator for a long term care facility.  Her hands on caregiving experiences include providing direct care in home health, assisted living, long term care, and rehabilitation settings. Teepa also served as the Director of Education and Lead Trainer for the Eastern N.C. Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and as a clinical associate professor at UNC’s School of Medicine, Program on Aging.

Teepa’s teaching style integrates facts about the brain and what happens to someone when doing, thinking, reasoning, or processing becomes different or difficult. Her teaching style is unique, entertaining, and energetic, even when watching online. Completing online training is first step in laying a strong foundation for continued learning. Teepa’s training organization, Positive Approach LLC, provides in person training and consulting to healthcare professionals and families with the goal of helping them grow their dementia care awareness, knowledge, and skill in order to improve quality of life for people living with dementia.

What Does the Positive Approach® Mean?

Many training resources for dementia care focus on reflecting statistics, sharing symptoms, and the expected progression of the disease. Teepa’s Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) training model takes it a step further by training in a way that helps people to better appreciate the impact dementia has on a person’ life. Understanding how the brain is affected by dementia and how it affects behaviors, is one of the first steps in learning how to better interact with, communicate, and support someone living with dementia. Teepa believes in and teaches others how to focus on remaining abilities, rather than what is lost.

Positive Approach to Care (PAC) philosophy encourages care partners to:

  • Respond to a person’s change in cognition and abilities in a way that is not hurtful or offensive.
  • Understand that, with practice, common reactions to the person living with dementia can become thoughtful responses that improve quality of life for everyone involved.
  • Recognize that the person living with dementia is doing the best they can and that if something isn’t working, it’s the responsibility of the care partner to change their approach and behaviors toward the person with dementia.
  • Notice the physical and sensory environment (lighting, sound, activity) surrounding the person they are caring for and make changes as necessary.

Learning from Teepa Snow’s Online Training

As a dementia care provider, learning how to better interact with, care for, and support people living with dementia serves you, your resident family member, and most importantly the person living with dementia. Give your employees a leg up by adding Teepa Snow’s online training to your dementia care training program. After completing online training, take your training program a step further by bringing Teepa’s organization to your community for in person training. They’ll thank you for it!

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