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Dementia: Individualized Care Techniques to Support Nourishment and Hydration

Watch world renowned dementia expert and author, Teepa L. Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, for this engaging workshop as you explore the depth and breadth of change that various forms of dementia have on the person’s interest in and ability to consume food and drink—for enjoyment and survival. During this highly interactive program, you will learn the skills necessary to design and implement programs that serve your client to optimize remaining abilities and capacities while respecting and acknowledging the limitations that this neurodegenerative condition ultimately has on the person.

Drawing on over 30 years of clinical experience and research with dementia, Teepa will teach you practical and useful strategies and techniques to maximize functional performance, engagement and safety. You will walk away with screening and assessment maneuvers, environmental and programming modifications, ability-based cueing and assistance from first symptoms to end of the life considerations, and will be able to make a positive and valuable difference in the lives of people living with dementia whether—

  • guiding in food and drink preparation during early stage situations
  • fostering item selection and supported intake in mid-stages
  • offering moisture and tastes for sensory satisfaction only at life’s end.


Product Details
Average Rating:
Ms. Teepa L. Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA
6 Hours 13 Minutes
Audio and Video
Mar 16, 2018
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Recordings



This online program is worth 6.25 hours CPD.



Ms. Teepa L. Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA's Profile

Ms. Teepa L. Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA Related seminars and products

Positive Approach, LLC

Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, is one of the world's leading advocates and educators for anyone living with dementia or other forms of brain change.

Teepa is an Occupational Therapist with over forty years of rich and varied clinical and academic experience. Her philosophy is reflective of her education, work experience, medical research, and first-hand caregiving experiences. Her advocacy efforts led her to the development of the GEMS® State Model for understanding the progression of dementia and changes in abilities. She also created the Positive Approach to Care® training strategies, which are effective techniques for anyone seeking to optimize care and support for those living with brain change. As the Education Director of Eastern North Carolina's Alzheimer's Association, she also helped to create the nation's award-winning DVD entitled, Accepting the Challenge: Providing the Best Care for People with Dementia. Her user-friendly approaches provide guidance and leadership to national efforts to promote best practices in care.

Teepa's company, Positive Approach to Care (PAC), was founded in 2006 and is now collaborating to improve dementia care in over thirty countries worldwide. PAC provides online and in-person services, training, and products to professionals, family members, the lay public, and people living with brain change. Please visit for educational video clips, DVDs, books, information on individual certifications, online support groups, virtual and onsite trainings, or to subscribe to a free monthly newsletter.

Teepa presents with extraordinary expertise and humor to audiences large and small throughout the world. Please join in her mission to improve the culture of dementia care, one mind at a time.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial:  Teepa Snow is in private practice.  She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. 
Non-financial:  Teepa Snow is a member of the NC Coalition for Long Term Care Enhancement; American Occupational Therapy Association; North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association; North Carolina Assisted Living Association; and Friends of Residents in Long Term Care.  

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Articulate dementia’s effect on appetite, nutrition, hydration, meal prep and eating as it relates to intervention planning.
  2. Recognize the cause/effect of various changes in neurological processing, both cortical and sub-cortical, that affect the client’s oral intake and hydration.
  3. Identify the changes in the client’s physiological function, perceptions, abilities, and interests that are caused by advancing dementia as they affect appetite, eating, drinking, intake and elimination.
  4. Utilize dynamic screening skills to determine client’s state of cognitive abilities and functional capacities related to eating or drinking.
  5. Connect common concerns at early, middle, late and end of life stages of dementia to intervention planning that address the client’s interest in and ability to consume food and drink at these stages.
  6. Assess whether nutrition and eating support is being optimized at each dementia level based on the client’s abilities, needs and disease.
  7. Utilize techniques and strategies when nourishment and hydration is no long the goal in end of life stage of dementia.


  • Dementia’s Effect on Appetite, Nutrition, Hydration, Meal Preparation and Eating
    • Our relationship with food, drink, meal preparation and eating from multiple aspects:
      • Cultural
      • Spiritual
      • Social
      • Emotional
      • Individual
      • Physical
      • Sensory
      • Physiological
    • Value and meaning of food and drink that affect behaviors related to food and intake
    • Assessment tools to personalize behavioral interventions
  • Impact of Dementia on Changes in Brain Function
    • Screen for visual, auditory, sensory-motor, olfactory and gustatory sensory intake
    • Processing changes at various stages of dementia
    • Cognitive skill alterations that affect independence, interest and engagement:
      • Time awareness
      • Situational awareness
      • Problem solving
      • Sequencing
      • Memory
      • Language processing
      • Impulse control
  • Ability-based and Cognitive Disability Evaluation Tool – GEMS® Model
    • Provides common language and a framework to modify expectations and environments for:
      • Early Stage (Diamond)
      • Moderate Stage (Emerald)
      • Moderately Severe Stage (Amber)
      • Severe Stage (Rubies)
      • Extreme Stage (Pearls)
  • Techniques to Develop Skills that Optimize Successful Nourishment and Hydration
    • Structured initiating to promote active participation and limit refusals
    • Verbal statements to promote choice, self-direction and task initiation
    • Cueing sequences with graded options for each GEMS® state
    • Support attempts, focus attention, automatic reactions and reflexes
    • Minimize distractions and passive feeding behaviors
  • Strategies to Enhance Nourishment and Hydration in Early to Late Stage
    • Guide meal selection, settings and routines in combination with each GEMS® state
    • Limit refusals, negative reactions, over or under eating or drinking
    • Cues, routines, communication and interaction skills to optimize performance
    • Social, physical, and sensory environmental features that foster or impair optimal function
    • Environmental settings/situations to address probable areas of concern
    • Create individualized care programs to provide optimal support for you
    • Members of a support team: The role of each person/discipline
  • Life is Ending: The Role of Food and Drink
    • Physical, behavioral, and physiological changes that typically signal the ending of life
    • Interaction skills that support the exploration of:
      • Personal beliefs about life sustaining measures
      • Personal choice
      • Offer versus push
      • Value and meaning of food and drink
      • Eating by mouth versus artificial hydration and nourishment
    • Offering techniques that differentiate between lack of ability to make use of the nourishment and hydration vs. inability to understand the offer of food or drink
    • Techniques and strategies when nourishment and hydration is no longer the goal

Target Audience

Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Physical Therapists/Physical Therapist Assistants, Counselors, Nurses, Nursing Home Administrators, and other Mental Health Professionals



Overall:      5

Total Reviews: 7


Sharon S

"Great Course, great examples. As an MFT, I can be more supportive of clients with aging, dementia family members and give additional insight into management of the person with dementia."

Erika S

"Great program that I really enjoyed! Teepa presents with such energy and does a wonderful job depicting patients and offering tips for support! "

Erin Y

"The presenter was so very dynamic. "

Heidi P

"This seminar was full of priceless tidbits for working with people. It would have been helpful for me to be taking it with someone else because of the amount of hands on and group work."

Janet J

"Excellent presentation"

Kim M

"Great CEU with vital information pertaining to my field of work."

Marsha M M

"I loved your use of movement, rhythm, and client centered focus! What a gift you are as a creative clinician. I have a degree in dance/movement therapy and use it in my social work practice as well. And...I love to make up songs so really appreciated your creativity! Plan to check out your website for more gems of which YOU are the main one!!!!!"

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