About Snow Approach Foundation
Who We Are:
Teepa Snow in North Carolina
Snow Approach Foundation is led by renowned dementia care expert and educator, Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA. Throughout her over-40-year career, Teepa has led numerous local, regional, national, and international aging initiatives. In light of the growing prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia worldwide, Teepa has partnered with countless families, communities, healthcare organizations, and educational programs to address evolving needs in dementia care. Together, Teepa and her partners have made profound impacts on the lives of people living with the disease and their myriad caregivers locally and globally. Members of the dementia care community credit Teepa’s teaching for shifting public awareness, attitudes, practice, and research toward a more positive approach to care, improving life for everyone involved.
Regardless of her work settings, Teepa has called this community home for over fifty years. She came to North Carolina to attend Duke University then UNC-CH. She and her husband raised their family in the Hillsborough area and now enjoy watching their grandchildren discover all our community has to offer. That is why Teepa believes Hillsborough is the perfect place for the next collaborative, local endeavor.
Purpose of the Foundation
Our purpose is to inspire hope, save lives, and improve quality of life for people living with brain changes (caused by dementia or another brain condition) and the community as a whole. The new non-profit organization will
· build on Hillsborough’s prior progress toward becoming a “dementia friendly community” and expand the concept of “dementia friendly” to a fully inclusive community-based model
· improve access to state-of-the-art information, services, and support so that all local residents may live fully in a neurodiverse community
Working Mission Statement
The Snow Approach Foundation, Inc.’s mission is to foster the development of a neurodiverse, inclusive community where people living with various forms of dementia or other neurocognitive conditions and their caregivers are enabled to live fully to the best of their ability for the good of the whole community. Through a combination of services for people living with brain changes and those who support them, community members will gain awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and skills to adapt to brain changes at any age while living well in a supportive and accepting place.
What is the Snow Approach?
The Snow Approach is a three-pronged approach to care for neurocognitive conditions. While the approach is based primarily around brain changes that occur with dementia, it is relevant to a broader community concerned with temporary, long-term, or even positive brain changes. In the Snow Approach, people:
1. Learn how the brain works and what is meant by neuroplasticity, neurodiversity, and neurodegeneration
2. Understand what to expect—and how to adapt—as a person’s abilities evolve throughout brain-changing conditions, e.g., dementia, delirium, depression, or anxiety
3. Develop practical skills to improve communication, maximize participation, enhance relationships, and increase quality of life for all involved
Our Early Accomplishments
Experts and community members alike agree that there is an urgent need to change the culture around neurodiversity and care partnering (e.g., reducing stigma around dementia and other conditions, improving awareness, knowledge, skills, equitable access to resources, and community engagement)
The good news is the Foundation has already started making a positive difference in Hillsborough!
For the past year, Teepa and her team of volunteers worked with Senior Care of Orange County, Inc donating significant time and resources to reopen Soltys Place, Orange County’s only adult day health program.
These early volunteer efforts combined with social media outreach activities are already building awareness, excitement, and interest in a better way to live together when dementia or other brain changes pose challenges.
Now it is time for the Foundation to shift its attention to the needs of the Hillsborough community more broadly as families, friends, neighbors, businesses, and healthcare groups are all concerned about brain health. Thus, the Foundation is coordinating efforts to develop new services for the community.
WHAT WE DO
The Foundation’s New Programs
- Brain Change Coalition – conversations, consultations, education, engagement opportunities, and training in the Snow Approach
- Snow Approach Award Program – For Local Professionals – additional training and formal recognition for those who wish to develop a neurodiversity-affirming practice, along with a registry accessible to anyone seeking trained providers
- Our Gathering Place – an open and inclusive community center where learning happens, purposeful engagement opportunities abound, and people thrive with different strengths and abilities through all stages of life.
Our goal is to build a centrally located world-class center for inclusive community living. Much like the Dementia Village model in the Netherlands, this center will offer a wide range of meaningful activities and life-enriching opportunities. What’s unique about Our Gathering Place is that it will be embedded in the fabric of Hillsborough and surrounding areas, not a sequestered or isolated space. This multi-purpose setting would be designed to enable individuals and their care partners to live longer and happier in the community (i.e., empower individuals and care partners with additional support, increase access to life-long interests, prevent isolation, reduce institutional care).
Access to Services
The Foundation will offer many services for FREE to residents of Hillsborough and the surrounding area, and some services will be fee-based. The Foundation seeks donations to fund these services for anyone who is unable pay. Additionally, the Foundation will be running a capital campaign to begin the process of locating and constructing or rehabilitating a space to house Our Gathering Place. Teepa and members of the Foundation will be spearheading this effort to create one of first neurodiverse inclusive communities in the world. The Foundation will establish a legacy program that will continue to benefit all people of Hillsborough, North Carolina, and the global community facing the challenges of neurodegeneration for the current generation and more to come.