Dementia Caregiver Coaching
Give yourself the gift of knowledge, skills, and self-care for the dementia journey through a supportive coaching relationship!
Dementia Caregiver Coaching is a unique way to approach your own well-being and that of the person you are supporting. Living with dementia in your family is challenging. With coaching, it can also be an opportunity for your growth and development. Curious? Let’s connect.
Caring for a family member living with Minimal Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or Dementia
- Support the person themself,
- Navigate the healthcare system
- Care well for yourself so you can sustain your own well-being in this process.
If this interests you, read on! Explore what’s possible!
“I highly recommend Liz as a dementia caregiver coach for the insight and compassion she brings to this role. Liz used her expertise and kindness to help me find my way to an improved sense of calm as a caregiver with her attentive listening, action plans, and meaningful follow through. ”
Dealing with the unknown
When a family member is diagnosed with a condition that affects their thinking such as dementia or MCI, we are faced with a lot of “not knowing”. While we can learn facts about the condition, we can’t know exactly how it will progress for our family member.
Understandably, after diagnosis, the focus of everyone’s attention is the person living with the condition. They are experiencing big changes and big feelings. We want to support them the best way we can. But it is essential to remember that these conditions affect more than the person living with the illness. It also affects us as the people who support them..
When we are the primary support person for someone living with MCI or dementia, we need to pay attention to our needs. These needs include:
- Our self-care
- Knowledge & skills related to MCI and dementia and
- Learning ways to relate wisely with the healthcare system
Meeting these needs are the keys to care partner well-being!
Lived and learned experience
As a geriatric psychiatrist with 3 decades of experience, and as a dementia care partner for both of my parents, I have learned the importance of caring well for families living with dementia/MCI. I have also developed a keen interest in intervening early to support care partners/caregivers/family members, equipping them with tools and skills that they can use to connect with and strengthen their own inner resources and wisdom.
An individualized approach to dementia care
While there are common experiences on the dementia journey, I am a firm believer that “When you have met one person living with dementia, you have met one person living with dementia” – that each person is unique and that their journey will reflect that. Likewise, you too are a unique individual whose needs will depend on many factors. You aren’t a widget designed to fit into an algorithm. Coaching with me will help you walk through this experience in a way that honours your uniqueness.
How is this different from the wonderful work of community organisations who support family members? My work is individually tailored to your needs. We will collaborate together to:
- clarify your unique situation
- develop some realistic goals and expectations
- identify needed skills that will assist you in your care for you and your care partner & determine the best place to learn those skills
- review the road blocks and empower you to move in your desired direction
- translate these goals into bite-sized actionable pieces
- support you to authentically show up for the experience of dementia care partnering.
The key is that you have someone in your court, helping you to keep your eye on your well-being as you support your family member, and help you develop skills you need in that process.
“When you have met one person living with dementia, you have met one person living with dementia”
The importance of self care
If you aren’t yet convinced of the value of self-care, consider this:
When we travel with a dependent on an airplane, what does the safety announcement remind us to do in the case of emergency? When the oxygen mask drops, put on your own mask first before helping your travelling companion. Why? Because unless you give yourself the oxygen you need, you will pass out and be of no help to anyone. Dementia care-partnering is no different. If we focus all our attention on the needs of our family members and ignore our needs, we will literally run out of air and energy, and no longer be of any help to them.
Let’s see if Dementia Caregiver Coaching is right for you
Caregivers use my support in any number of ways:
- A few sessions focused on developing clarity about the illness, its effect on your family, and a plan to move forward
- Intermittent bursts of support to walk through particularly challenging times.
- Regularly scheduled check-ins to keep you on track in the self-care arena.
- Coaching with a focus on personal growth and well-being in the context of the care partnering experience.
I’d be delighted to set up a complimentary 30 minute session to see if dementia caregiver coaching seems like the right fit for you.