Greetings funny names fans! Welcome to a new year. Today we meet Teepa Snow. I first discovered Teepa on YouTube watching one of her training videos for dementia care. It was her name and her manner that attracted my attention—and her positive approach.
Here was this energetic woman demonstrating how to de-escalate a crisis with someone with dementia. It was beautiful. Goosebumps crawled up my arms. My eyes misted.
In one short video I learn how to care for my father when he felt out-of-control. Here is that video. Go ahead and watch it on YouTube, I’ll wait.
How did she get there, according to her own website:
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.
She earned her undergraduate degree in Zoology from Duke, but it was in 1978 when she entered the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill School of Medicine’s Program on Aging that set the course for the rest of her life.
Teepa is an occupational therapist by trade, but her insight and skills in working with folks with brain injuries, helped her develop her unconventional skills. She now travels the country teaching care givers how to positively give care, introducing more emotional support for the person with dementia.
She made it her mission to change the culture of dementia professional care and support not only in this country, but around the world. She supports the person with dementia and teaches others how to care for and celebrate what remains, no matter where they are in their decline. So the person living with dementia will still be seen as a person, not a J-O-B.
She has written several guide books and created several videos teaching how to care for people with dementia from the early stages to end of life. Several of her videos are featured on YouTube.
Let’s all raise a cup of cheer to the wonderfully named Teepa Snow and her positive approach.
To learn more about Teepa, visit her website here.
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