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My thoughts these days
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
I turned 75 this past May and started to think about the future of StilMee's service to caregivers. There are other agencies offering coaching through the ASAPs (state funded agencies) like we do but many of them are new to dementia coaching. I hope to encourage others to develop a coaching service as dementia caregivers need the information and support to learn new ways of staying in relationship with their family member and it doesn't look like the disorder is going away any time soon. The diseases that cause dementia are often confusing and the new ways of relating counterintuitive at best. They must be leaned. Then too, each type of dementia presents differently so the loss of abilities and new behaviors are unique to that individual. I am impressed with the willingness to learn new ways of relating often after 40 or 50 years (for spouses) of relating the same way. 
I think in addition to education from an experienced coach, belonging to a dementia specific support group is very helpful. The two I facilitate lend new ideas and great support from others going through a similar experience. Many say that the group is 'the only place where everyone there knows what I am talking about'. While the rest of the world says, "he looks good' or 'you'd never know there was anything wrong', the members of the group understand how hard one works to make the person function as well as he or she does. Kudos to caregivers!                       
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