Careing & Selfcare Advice for Caregivers from Teepa Snow
Updated: May 21
Teepa Snow is the foremost expert in dementia care and has been an Occupational Therapist for over forty years. Her rich and varied clinical and academic experience led her to develop the GEMS® State Model, for understanding the progression of dementia, and the Positive Approach® training strategies. Through her company, Positive Approach to Care® (PAC), Teepa provides online and in-person education and products.
Teepa presents with extraordinary expertise and humor to audiences throughout the world and we are so proud that she was our Podcast guest on Tuesday, May 11th. Click here to watch our Facebook Live recording of that event.
In preparation for that Podcast, we wanted to share one of her amazing videos with you here. In this video you will hear Teepa explain the ways to bring meaning into our lives. These principles and activities can be utilized by those struggling with Alzheimer’s or Dementia and those caring for these people as well.
A meaningful life is filled with these 4 types of activities:
Productive: An activity in which you feel valued or appreciated for the work you have done. An example may be feeling accomplished after a long and fruitful day at your job.
Leisure: A fun or playful venture that you pursue solely for joy or entertainment. From playing a card game, watching a sporting event or anything you find a healthy escape.
Rest & Restoration: A recharging activity that makes you feel revitalized. From getting good sleep at night to finding pockets of rest throughout the day, rest is critical to your well-being.
Self Care: Taking care of your body, environment, or mental health. This could be as simple as going on a walk to clear your headspace, or as complicated as figuring out transportation for yourself.
"People need to feel valued and productive. Not all leisure should be passive. That there is more to rest and restoration than sleep. And taking care of your brain, body, and yourself should match your abilities.”-Teepa Snow
Your well-being is critical in your ability to care for others.
Recently, we heard from a caregiver who felt that she had to remind herself to do at least one thing she loves every day to stay grounded. It can be so tough to make time for yourself when the majority of your time is spent caring for others. We believe you can do it.
A helpful practice to implement is to compile a short list of accessible things you love to do. This list can include:
savoring favorite food
engaging in a peaceful activity like gardening
taking a short walk
spending time with pets
taking just 5 minutes of quiet time for yourself
If all you can do is incorporate at least one thing from the list above each day in your routine, you will start to notice all the other little things that fill your life with joy.
You must prioritize living your life with meaning
Do not feel that as a caregiver you have to put your life on the back-burner because that is a recipe for burn out. It is difficult to differentiate the time in your life that is supposed to be dedicated to the person you are taking care of and the time you need for yourselves. That is why taking time for yourself, setting boundaries, and asking for help is so important.
Post Author, Caregiver Wellness Retreat, Abigail R. Hemmi
For more information about Teepa Snow: