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We had the incredible opportunity to sit down and chat with the renowned dementia expert, Teepa Snow. As healthcare professionals, we were both excited and nervous to have such an esteemed guest on our show. Teepa Snow has over 40 years of experience in healthcare, specializing in dementia care and education. Her insights and knowledge have helped countless individuals and families navigate the challenges of dementia. In this blog post, we will share some highlights from our conversation with Teepa Snow, and our hope is you walk away feeling more educated and less scared of dementia.

The Gems Approach

One of the most intriguing aspects of our conversation with Teepa Snow was her unique perspective on dementia. She introduced us to the concept of the “Gems Approach,” which views individuals with dementia as precious gemstones. Each gem represents a different stage of dementia, from the clear and sharp Sapphire to the strong yet skill-limited Ruby. Teepa emphasized the importance of focusing on what individuals can still do rather than solely on their losses. This positive approach to care allows for better understanding and support for those living with dementia.

Supporting Individuals with Dementia

We talked about the significance of building awareness, knowledge, and skills when it comes to supporting individuals with dementia. We need to be patience, have compassion, and be flexible in our interactions. Teepa also stressed the importance of community and friendship in maintaining cognitive health, which we couldn’t agree more. So important! Engaging in activities such as horticulture therapy, music therapy, and art therapy can provide sensory experiences that enhance well-being.

Preparing for the Future

Part of John and Erin’s hope with Connect-Empower podcast is listeners will be proactive! We love that Teepa Snow encourages all listeners to be proactive in their approach to dementia. Rather than waiting for a crisis to occur, she urged individuals to educate themselves and their loved ones about dementia. By familiarizing ourselves with the signs and symptoms, we can be better prepared to provide support and care. There are community resources available to use, such as” Area Agencies on Aging,” which can provide guidance and assistance in navigating the complexities of dementia care.

The Role of Technology

Technology can be helpful in connecting individuals and providing support, it is essential to strike a balance. Aging adults and even for ourselves, we need to not rely solely on technology for social interaction, as face-to-face connections and physical engagement are equally vital. Technology should be seen as a tool to enhance communication and connection, rather than a substitute for human interaction.

We will not forget our conversation with Teepa. It was both enlightening and inspiring. John and Erin both walked away with a better understand and outlook in how to approach and care for those with dementia. Teepa’s expertise and passion for dementia care shone through as she shared valuable insights and practical advice. We learned the importance of approaching dementia with curiosity and compassion, focusing on what individuals can still do rather than what they have lost. By building awareness, knowledge, and skills, we can create a supportive environment for those living with dementia. As we continue our journey in healthcare, we are grateful for the opportunity to learn from experts like Teepa Snow and share their wisdom with our audience.

Remember, it’s never too early to start educating ourselves about dementia and preparing for the future. By taking proactive steps and embracing a positive approach to care, we can make a significant difference in the lives of individuals with dementia and their families.

If you enjoyed this conversation with Teepa Snow as much as we did, visit her website here. You can also connect with her and her team by email at

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Don’t forget to share with your friends the tips you learned!

John & Erin