As one of America’s leading educators on dementia, Teepa Snow’s philosophy is reflective of her education, work experience, available medical research, and first hand caregiving interactions. Working as a Registered Occupational Therapist for over 30 years her wealth of experience has led her to develop Positive Approach™ to Care techniques and training models that now are used by families and professionals working or living with dementia or other brain changes throughout the world.
She is a graduate of Duke University, and received her MS degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She has a wealth of clinical, teaching, and research experiences that have informed and influenced her philosophy, approach, and practice. Teepa has worked as an OT director in a head injury facility, a clinical specialist in geriatrics for a Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, and a therapist and restorative care coordinator for long term care facilities. Her hands on caregiving experiences include providing direct care in community and wellness centers, day programming sites, home care settings, assisted living and CCRC communities, long term care facilities, out-patient clinics, hospitals, and rehabilitation settings. Teepa currently has clinical appointments with Duke University’s School of Nursing and UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine. Previously, she served as the Director of Education and Lead Trainer for the Eastern N.C. Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, as the Program Director of Durham Technical Community College’s, OTA program, as an interdisciplinary team member and clinical associate professor at UNC-CH School of Medicine’s Program on Aging, and as a coordinator and care manager for CAP Medicaid waiver services in NC. She has served in a wide variety of leadership and advisory positions in professional organizations at both state and national levels, including the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, AOTA, and NBCOT. She’s currently working with the CMS INTERACT program and is an active member of the US Dementia Action Alliance.
Teepa’s care strategies & techniques integrate what is known about brain function and changes that happen with dementing conditions with therapeutic approaches to foster positive outcomes, modified environmental supports, and altered task expectations that match retained or available abilities of people living with some form of dementing illness. She teaches about the value of connection when primary verbal communication and interaction abilities are altered. Her teaching style is extraordinarily unique in that she is able to accurately demonstrate and model for her students and audience the struggle and challenges dementia creates for all parties involved. She is an enlightening, witty, entertaining, and energetic speaker, who is much sought after to present to agencies and organizations across the U.S and Canada.
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, LLC was founded in 2005 and offers education to family and professional carepartners all over the world. Her training is available through video, online education, and in person trainings and consulting.
The letters behind Teepa’s name represent the following credentials: MS (Master of Science), OTR/L (Occupational Therapist, Registered and Licensed), FAOTA (Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association).