Transitions in Dementia Care
About Transitions in Dementia Care
As a care partner to my wife Nancy, who was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2008, I experienced the challenges, blessings and miracles associated with being present to her journey with this illness. In the wake of her passing in 2012, a new calling and purpose in my life eventually emerged – to be a consultant to caregivers, and a guide to families, who are facing into a diagnosis of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias.
With a Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Washington, an extensive background in mediation, as well as being someone who has walked in their shoes, I am able to bring empathy, compassion and hope to individuals and families who are navigating the caregiver journey.
I am honored, and blessed, to be able to accompany individuals and families as they walk this path.
Being a care partner to a loved one with dementia can be stressful, and trigger many emotions, ranging from anxiety and fear, to sadness and guilt. Focusing on a person-directed care approach, I help caregivers, in one-on-one sessions, learn how to be present and available to their loved ones in a way that empowers positive engagement, meaning and connection. In addition – and of critical importance – I help care partners give themselves permission to take care of themselves. A family caregiver is of no use to their loved one if they are overly stressed, tired, sick, or burned out.
Family Mediation and Facilitation Services
When a loved one is diagnosed with cognitive impairment, families can be confused, torn, and fearful around next steps. They are likely not aware of the resources available to them. Not uncommonly, they may have conflicting views around the appropriate direction and care steps moving forward.
Through the use of mediation and group facilitation processes, I create a safe and confidential container within which families can engage in what are often difficult conversations associated with the decisions and challenges they face in the care of a loved one diagnosed with dementia. Further, when family members are able to discuss their anxieties, anger, fear and guilt in an open and transparent manner, they can come to realize and understand that these commonly experienced feelings are perfectly normal.