Returning 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 have 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: Estranged

  • Laura is a returning guest our first conversion was episode 119 on Caregiver Burnout
  • Laura shares various scenarios that can occur with adult’s and their estranged parents
  • Returning to old unfinished hurts and wounding
  • Nicole shares her clinical work with trauma clients and empowering them
  • You have choices even if you are named as power of attorney
  • Past trauma and emotional safety
  • Adults who take responsibility for their past abusive behavior can heal the past wounding
  • You do not need to make the decision immediately
  • Another option for you with an estranged parent in need of care
  • How past trauma triggers can impact the body
  • Doesn’t feel like it is on your terms
  • Holding space for families who feel guilty due to family dynamics
  • You are not responsible for your aging parents care
  • How dementia may change the personality of your parent or grandparent
  • Navigating emotions when your parent has changed due to brain disease vs what you experienced as a child
  • You can create the boundaries
  • Become more informed about the type of dementia
  • You can have more than one type of dementia
  • Getting the support you need during this phase of life
  • If finances are an issue and the person qualifies for Medicaid
  • Recognizing the bigger team you have
  • Laura shares who has inspired her