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Dementia: Until there's a cure, there's CARE 2019
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Dementia:  Until there’s a cure, there’s CARE 

Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA

If you have never seen Teepa, guarantee you will NOT 

regret attending this course!!!



This course will cover the following information:


Brain Changes in Dementia

Learners will understand the changes within the structure of the different parts of the brain that are often observed, and the ways in which these changes often vary based on the type of dementia present.  Learners will also understand the ways in which these structural changes contribute to changes in everyday function. This session will also address the differences between “normal” and “not normal” aging.  


The Difference Between Supportive and Confrontational Communication

Help learners develop better interaction skills when working with people living with dementia. It will emphasize the value of empathetic communication in combination with redirection and distraction. This approach is used to cope with distress and promote the use of ‘go with the flow’ and improved non-verbal strategies to enhance client understanding and responses. This will  help therapists reduce or minimize unproductive conversations and resistive behaviors by using effective verbal and non-verbal skills.

Changing Resistance to Care to Participation in Care

Learners will understand effective strategies for helping people with dementia during personal care, reducing resistance to care.  It will enable learners to develop better observational skills to recognize and intervene effectively when behavioral challenges occur. This information will emphasize the value of matching helping behaviors to the person’s needs and retained abilities to promote a sense of control and self-direction. Learners will understand that matching caregiver help to the state of the person living with dementia will help to foster positive interactions during care activities rather than struggle and resistance. 


The Typical Progression of Dementia and How to Help

Learners will have a more in depth understanding of the progression of dementia and behaviors that affect care-giving and daily programming throughout the disease. Will use the concept of gemstones to help caregivers appreciate the value and uniqueness of each stage in progression of the condition. The information will emphasize the need to use observational skills, hands-on skills, self-awareness and environmental supports and modifications to optimize care for the person with dementia. Learners will gain experience in using empathy, redirection, and distraction to help a person who is distressed. Learners will also gain knowledge about environmental factors that affect behavior and responses as the condition changes and how to use this information to create environmental supports that positively influence outcomes and interactions. The session will be very interactive with the goal of providing knowledge, skills and attitudes that will change daily outcomes of care.


Enhancing Mobility and Reducing Fall Risks

This information is designed to help learners engage in successful programming to enhance functional mobility. This will be accomplished through the use of a variety of effective techniques based on level of brain change, environmental support, caregiver support, and use of personal preferences and life experiences. The program will provide learners with practical hands-on skills and strategies that have been shown to be effective with individuals living with varying amounts and types of brain change.





  1. Identify the different types of changes in brain structure during the progression of Dementia
  2. Describe variations in brain changes and symptoms that are often seen in the most common types of dementia
  3. Discriminate between ‘normal’ and ‘not normal’ processes of aging, including possible early warning signs of dementia
  4. Describe changes in sensory processing, memory, and language during dementia progression
  5. Use validation and empathetic communication techniques when presented with someone in distress
  6. Discriminate between redirection and distraction, and recognize the value of each in helping someone with dementia, after initiating the interaction with empathy
  7. Describe the value of knowing the person and their history in effective communication efforts
  8. Review reasons that people ‘resist care,’ using a structured hands-on Experience
  9. Discuss strategies that reduce the sense of loss of control
  10. Review three categories of helping behaviors 
  11. Rehearse each technique in isolation for impact
  12. Describe the typical progression of dementia as it relates to behavior, abilities, and lost skills
  13. Discuss interaction skills and supports that would be matched to changes in abilities to provide effective care
  14. Describe the role the physical environment plays in increasing or reducing stress and distress 
  15. Describe typical behaviors and skills that affect mobility needs and issues
  16. Describe familiar activities that can be used to promote desired movement patterns with minimal verbal directions
  17. Demonstrate use of different types of cues and prompts to facilitate function based on an individual’s ability to interpret input
  18. Discuss the benefits of sustaining mobility skills for dignity and well-being as well as fall risk reduction


CREDITS:  15 hours 




Teepa’s experience in neurological impairment care spans both her personal and professional worlds. Early in her life, her grandfather moved into her family’s house due to his changing abilities. However, at the time words such as eccentric then senile were used. Later on, she helped provide support for other family members with various forms of brain change. As a teenager, Teepa started by volunteering with a group in order to work with children with various developmental disabilities. This group included her much younger sister, who had developed an inoperable brain tumor by age three, leaving her with lasting severe developmental issues. By the time she started college at Duke University, Teepa had been a nursing assistant, before there was a certification, and a volunteer in day programs and hospitals near campus.


After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Duke University with a degree in zoology, Teepa worked as a night-time desk clerk at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC. She then went from volunteering at a day program that served elders and people with developmental disabilities to being a full-time assistant there, while she explored what she wanted to do professionally. In 1978, she entered the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill’s (UNC-CH) brand-new Occupational Therapy (OT) Master’s Program and was in its first graduating class in 1980. She gave her first speech to over 500 OTs in San Antonio, Texas, under the direction of Joan Rogers. She finished her 30-minute presentation in under 20 minutes. Lots of nervous energy, to say the least, but a great way to get over her fear of speaking in a hurry.  Shortly after that, she published her first article with Joan in the official journal of the American Occupational Therapy Association.  After graduation, Teepa consulted in a continuing care retirement community, two local home health companies, and a local nursing home for two years until she began working with UNC.

Teepa was an interdisciplinary team member and clinical associate professor at the UNC-CH School of Medicine's Program on Aging, and a coordinator and care manager for CAP Medicaid waiver services in North Carolina. She has served in a wide variety of leadership and advisory positions in professional organizations at both the state and national levels, including the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's Foundation of America, AOTA, and NBCOT. She’s currently working with a number of national and international projects and organizations. She is currently on the board of the US Dementia Action Alliance, the Alzheimers Support Network in Naples, Florida, and has been asked to join the Advisory Board of Dementia Alliance International, led by Kate Swaffer.

Teepa is an advocate for those living with dementia and has made it her personal mission to help families and professionals better understand how it feels to be living with the challenges and changes that accompany various forms of the condition so that life can be lived fully and well. Her company, Positive Approach to Care, was founded in 2005 and offers education to family and professional care providers all over the world. Her training, services, and products are available through video, online education, and in-person trainings and consulting





Saturday September 28, 2019

7:15-8:00 am Registration open for Courses-Breakfast on your own

8-6pm Teepa Snow Dementia Course

8-6pm  Jeff Moore Cervical Spine Manual Therapy 

12-2 pm Business Meeting and State Award Presentations

Lunch noon – provided onsite for course and/or business meeting participants 


Sunday  September 29, 2019

7:15-8 am Course Check In - Breakfast on your own

8-4 pm Teepa Snow Dementia Course

8-4 Jeff Moore Cervical Spine Manual Therapy

12 pm Lunch – provided onsite




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