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  • Writer's pictureNicole Will

From Caregiver to Innovator: Live at Teepa Snow's PAC Conference

Natalie Elliott Handy confessions of a reluctant caregiver

From Caregiver to Innovator: Allyson Schrier, Founder of Zinnia Live at Teepa Snow's Positive Approach to Care Conference

At the 2023 Positive Approach to Care conference, I had the opportunity to interview Allyson Schrier, co-founder of Zinnia Technologies. This company was established in 2019, inspired by Allyson's experiences as a dementia family caregiver.

Addressing the lack of engaging and digestible TV programming for people living with dementia, Allyson collaborated with a former Apple designer, known for the 'Memories' product. Together, they developed an app for connected TVs and a mobile app, providing a library of over 200 videos. These serve as non-pharmacological tools to foster connections, alleviate anxiety, and assist with daily living activities.

Allyson and I have also recorded a podcast, which I'll include in our episode description for further listening. It's always a pleasure to reconnect with her and share updates.

Our discussion highlights why the organization is so significant to both of us, and the impact it has had on our lives. We also give a shout-out to Jimmy Zollo and discuss the collaboration between Joe & Bella and Zinnia.

We also talk about Allyson's journey as a family caregiver and discuss the appropriate timing for placing a loved one in a care community, including relevant questions to ask and the importance of supplemental training and education.

Spending time with Allyson is always enriching, and it's an honor to share our conversation.

This episode is powered by Seni, which provides support and products for those caring for their loved ones.

Learn more at

Listen to our episode HERE.

About Allyson Schrier

Allyson Schrier, President and Co-Founder of Zinnia is a former family care partner for her husband who was diagnosed with dementia in his 40s. Allyson is affiliated with the University of Washington’s Memory and Brain Wellness Center where she manages an education program for primary and allied healthcare providers interested in becoming regional experts in dementia detection, diagnosis and support. She stays connected to ‘her people’ by facilitating a twice-monthly support group for spouses of people with dementia.

Allyson is a recipient of a 2020 Maude’s Awards for Innovation in Alzheimer’s Care, and was named Visionary Caregiver of 2020 by

Zinnia Technologies was formed in 2019 in response to Co-founder, Allyson Schrier's experience as a dementia family caregiver. Inspired by the lack of available TV programming that was engaging for and digestible by people living with dementia, Allyson joined forces with the former designer of Apple's Memories product, a whiz-bang financial and operations person, and an enormously talented visual artist and storyteller. Together they have created an app for connected TVs and mobile apps that delivers a library of more than 200 videos that function as a non-pharmacological tool to create connections, reduce and soothe anxiety, and help with activities of daily living.

About Teepa Snow:

She is one of the world's leaders in dementia education and advocacy. Teepa founded Positive Approach to Care and its reach includes 30 countries worldwide. Teepa's ability to connect with others, provide practical tools for families and support for others has been life giving to many including myself. There is a wealth of knowledge that you need to explore at to continue learning more about her incredible work.


*This episode is brought to you by Gigi Betty co. A boutique gift shop raising awareness and funds for caregivers and care partners. Show now at Use the special code WILLGATHER20 for 20% off your order- Just for our podcast listeners!

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We are not medical professionals and are not providing any medical advice. If you have any medical questions, we recommend that you talk with a medical professional of your choice. willGather has taken care in selecting its speakers but the opinions of our speakers are theirs alone. Thank you for your continued interest in our podcasts.

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