We are all precious – The GEMS®: Brain Change Model

Dementia care expert Teepa Snow suggests a fascinating model to explain the stages of dementia. Teepa’s GEMS™ revolves around remaining abilities rather than capacity losses.

Watch Teepa explain the GEMS™ model here.


Read her detailed explanation of each precious stone and their attributes here.

The GEMS™ model uses sapphires, diamonds, emeralds, amber, rubies, and pearls to help us better understand people with dementia, their behaviour and how we might choose to respond.

It is a hopeful and helpful perspective on the disease and those who live with it and it provides a framework in which we can support and encourage people with dementia to live enriching lives until the end.

The analogy of a pearl in an oyster shell to describe the last phase of life with dementia is especially beautiful and fitting. Teepee says “If what you think you see is an ugly shell, remember to look deeper: the most important thing is what’s inside.”

Thank you to Seeking the Good Life, a carer’s blog post we follow, from who we learnt about this inspirational model here.

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