Guest Laura Vaillancourt is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Geriatric Mental Health Specialist and began her private practice in 2012 after working several years in hospital, skilled nursing facility, and dementia unit settings. She quickly recognized a need in the community for guidance when navigating difficult decisions in the world of aging and opened her practice, Eldercare Counseling, and Guidance Services.

She has extensive experience as a consultant and coach for family caregivers and healthcare professionals across the country. She also offers counseling and care management to families that are in the midst of making difficult decisions related to their loved one’s care and health transitions.

Her passion and much of her experience has been working with individuals and family members that have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Laura is a speaker and educator about many aging-related topics. She is a contracted provider with several WA State agencies. She was involved as a clinician in NYU’s Family Caregiver Study and educates physicians in residency at Providence St Peter’s Hospital for their geriatric rotation. She was nominated by her community and peers for the 2019 Dennis Mahar Memorial Community Caregiver Award, an award that exemplifies community service and outstanding leadership in the South Sound community.  Laura continues to participate in creative endeavors that better the lives of older adults and their families.

In this episode: Caregiver

  • Laura shares her story on why she does this work and how her parents impacted her decision
  • Laura listened to families wanting more guidance
  • Being the sandwich generation
  • Seven signs that a woman and/or her family may need additional outside support?
  • How you can support a caregiver as a family or friend
  • How to respect the autonomy of your parent AND get them the care they need
  • What is anosognosia
  • Examples of creative ways to support your parents with specific kinds of dementia
  • Benefits of collaborating with a Geriatric consultant and coach
  • What to do if you have been contacted as a primary person when you no longer have a relationship with your parents or there is a family history of abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, financial) Part Two of this episode coming!
  • What are signs women’s(caregivers) mental wellbeing and health are being impacted by not asking for help?
  • The research that backs this up and the simple things that make big difference
  • Essential documentation prior to major illnesses and having an Elder Law Attorney
  • What happens if your mom or dad has dementia or memory issues
  • Another important document to have on file as a power of attorney to make your life easier
  • How you and your parents can be as prepared as possible for this journey and reduce stress?
  • How to support the family caregiver’s needs
  • Resources to become more educated on this specific topic and organizations to set up support
  • Laura shares her own self-care practices
  • Listen to Episode 116 with Dr. Sarah McKay to find out a way to prevent some types of dementia for women

Resources Mentioned:

Alzheimer’s Association

Area Agencies on Aging (Here is Indiana’s

Under the above agency is “Family Caregiver Program”

Aging Life Care Association

Hilarity for Charity-Seth Rogen