Services We Offer:
Counseling for Older Adults. Aging is hard. Older persons often experience ageism in some form. Aging persons experience a great number of changes, including illness, chronic pain, grief, loss, role transitions (such as career changes and retirement), isolation, and they may live long distances from children and other family members. They can experience the death of a spouse. And older persons often assume caregiving duties for partners and spouses who are experiencing illness, including physical disabilities or cognitive impairment. Older persons who experience these big life changes also very frequently experience feelings of grief, loss depression, and anxiety. Counseling can be very helpful in decreasing these feelings.
We are able to accept health insurance for counseling services.
Counseling for Family Caregivers. Older persons, whether spouses or adult children, who assume a primary caregiver role for an older adult also frequently experience anticipatory grief related to watching a loved one decline over time. These caregivers also tend to have shortened lifespans as a direct result of their caregiving duties. Counseling can be very helpful for persons caring for another person. Counseling can also decrease feelings of anticipatory grief and help make a caregiver feel supported in their caregiving role. If an older adult with a physical or cognitive impairment is placed in a long-term care facility, this can have a profound emotional impact on a spouse or adult child, including feelings of grief, loss and guilt.
We are able to accept health insurance for caregiver counseling and support.
In-Home Assessments and Care Planning for Caregivers. Taking care of an older person can be very difficult. Caregiving is particularly difficult if the care receiver has a cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy Body dementia, stroke, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease, as these conditions can be accompanied by dementia related behaviors. Dementia related behaviors can include yelling, name calling, sundowning, agitation, wandering, pacing, not recognizing their own environment or familiar family members, asking repeated questions, lashing out, and sexually inappropriate behaviors. I have a great deal of experience in assessment of problem dementia behaviors and behavioral intervention planning. When a loved one has a dementing illness, they very quickly become incapable of change. Any changes to alter behaviors must come from the persons around the individual with dementia. This dynamic requires caregivers and family members to completely change patterns of behavior that have existed in a relationship between husband and wife or parent and child for a lifetime which are often not intuitive. Needed changes to long-established relationships due to a dementia are very difficult and frequently require a skilled clinician to assist.
In-Home Safety Assessments for Independent Living. Safety also becomes a great concern when an older person has dementia and continues to live independently. Persons with a cognitive impairment can wander and become lost, they can accidently set a fire, and/or they can neglect their own medical, nutritional and physical needs. Caregivers, family, and friends, frequently ask themselves if the older adult can continue to live independently or if they require placement in a care facility. My in-home assessment and care planning service addresses safety concerns, can increase capacity for independent living, can include referrals to community organizations for increased capacity for independent living, and includes future planning for greater incapacity.
Case Management. Managing day to day activities for older adults is difficult and can be time consuming. A formal case management service can provide needed supports to seniors and persons with disabilities who live independently. Case management services can ensure that household tasks are completed, such as making follow up appointments with medical providers, shopping, bill paying, pet care, transportation to and from appointments, etc.. Case management services can provide the needed eyes on a situation and can include acting as a liaison between medical providers, community supports, and/or family.
Family Mediation. Oftentimes family members disagree on care plans for parents and other loved ones. Family mediation can be an opportunity to get all interested persons together to discuss care planning options and to express whatever concern they may have. Mediation can be very effective in moving the whole family forward in care planning and safety planning.
Portland Elder Counseling