Feeling overwhelmed and alone as a dementia caregiver?

You're not alone. This episode offers a helpful framework and supportive community to guide you through your journey.

Are you struggling with:

Challenging behaviors?

Feeling stressed and overwhelmed?

Unsure where to start?

This episode is for you!

How To Navigate Dementia Caregiving with Less Stress in 4 Steps

0:02:20 Developing a Framework for Dementia Caregiving
0:04:07 Adjusting the Order and Gathering Feedback
0:05:27 Coping with daily challenges of dementia care
0:06:51 Teaching the "peace framework" to manage challenging behaviors
0:09:17 Building a comprehensive dementia care plan for the future
0:17:43 Coaching and Support in
Dementia Caregiving Community
0:19:03 Connecting with Others in Similar Dementia Caregiving Situations

Lizette Cloete, a dementia care specialist and caregiver herself, shares her proven 4-step framework:

1. Current Status

Assess your situation and the person you're caring for, including your stress levels.

2. Capacity to Care 

Learn the "Dementia Peace Framework" to manage challenging behaviors effectively.

3. Capable to Care 

Prepare yourself as a caregiver with essential skills and tools.

4. Certainty to Care 

Develop a personalized dementia care plan for you and your loved one.


Join Lizette's supportive community for ongoing coaching, support, and connection with others on the same path. Ready to feel empowered and supported? Remember, you don't have to go through this alone. Take the first step today and find the support you deserve!

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Recap of Dementia Supported Cruise

[0:01] Well, welcome back to Dementia Caregiving for Families.

I come to you on, I'm recording this on Monday after just getting back from the dementia supported cruise that I had gone on for about 10 days, which I will do an entire separate episode on in the next couple of weeks. weeks.

Usually sunny South Carolina is a very rainy and wet day today.

So I'm struggling to get going and get my brain to actually be working.

But I have a special treat for you today because I decided I really needed to do a better job of explaining the process that I help families who are navigating dementia go through as I help them with this journey that we both are on.

So hang in there today. Today's episode is going to be just talking a little bit through what it is that I help people do and how I help people do it. So here you go.

[1:18] Music.

Introduction to the Process of Navigating Dementia Caregiving

[1:19] Here is our next episode.

Hey there, success seeker. Welcome to Dementia Caregiving for Families.

Do you feel overwhelmed with the daily struggle of dementia caregiving, looking for an easier path?

You're in the right place. On this podcast, we teach you the skills to simplify caregiving.

We unravel the mystery of dementia and guide you through the often difficult behaviors.

I'm Lizette, your host and fellow family caregiver.

As an occupational therapist, I bring my professional and personal experience to this community.

Here we speak the the truth, but without the verbal vomit.

I know you will find value in today's program.

So buckle up while this flight takes off.

Developing a Framework for Dementia Caregiving

[2:20] Today's episode of Dementia Caregiving Made Easy is reviewing a framework that has taken me 30 years to develop, because as you learn more and more about dementia.

[2:37] You kind of learn what works and what doesn't.

I did a free workshop this past week and on Saturday, February the 10th, and I got tremendously good feedback related to a small part of the program that I have put together that I finally realized it was like a light bulb moment that I haven't really explained to people in a way that makes it more tangible to them.

Related to how to do certain things when we are taking care of somebody living with dementia.

So I thought today I would go over the process that I take people through.

And one of the things that I also realized as I was doing the workshop this past Saturday was that I actually had things in the wrong order.

So I'm eternally grateful to the people who were on the workshop who were giving me feedback related to what was beneficial to them.

Because truly, I am here to serve you.

I'm here to make your world and your dementia caregiving journey easier for you.

[3:51] Some of the stuff I intuitively do for myself, but because I've been so immersed in helping people living with dementia for so many years, sometimes I cannot really see the forest for the trees.

Adjusting the Order and Gathering Feedback

[4:07] So I was extremely thankful to the people on the workshop, who actually gave me feedback that was, you know, like I said, the penny dropped.

And so here's today's episode where we're going to talk about the process that actually works for helping people navigating a dementia caregiving journey.

And so when I start working with people, and I haven't been super clear on this, so I apologize. apologize, the first thing that I always, always look at is the current status.

Where are we right now? What are we struggling with?

What are we, you know, what's the stuff that's the rub?

What is causing the biggest drama in your life, the biggest challenges, the biggest frustrations, the biggest pain.

And for every person, it can be vastly different.

[5:04] So, for example, for some people, it can be that they're really struggling to deal with some of what we call the challenging behaviors, right?

Or for some people, it can be they're so stressed and overwhelmed, they don't even know where to go.

They don't even know how to decrease their own stress levels.

Coping with daily challenges of dementia care

[5:27] And And literally fire by fire, right? I call it whack-a-mole, right? It's like, oops, that problem.

Oops, this problem. Oops, that problem.

And so they're frustrated because they're just coping on a day-to-day basis.

So the first step when I start working with people and through the process that I work with people on is we start with what their current status is, what's going on right now today in your life.

And we look at it from two different directions.

We look at it from where is the person that you're helping that is living with dementia or their other health concerns? And where are you?

Because I can't help you if I don't know where you are.

[6:15] So we start with quick little screening where we look at your current stress levels.

And I have a process that I take people through.

We do a quick little assessment to stage the person that you're helping.

And that helps me kind of formulate a where do we start process.

And we do this in a couple of different ways. We can do this on a call.

I do this frequently on a call. And then we have the assessments.

I don't want to call them assessments, but the screening tools that I have people go through to do that. So that's the first step.

Teaching the "peace framework" to manage challenging behaviors

[6:51] That's really the very basic first step that I take people through.

The next step, and this is where the workshop this past weekend was really very helpful, was because everybody who was on this workshop this past weekend were on the workshop because they were struggling with challenging behaviors.

And I have a very simple, repeatable process, a very, very easy, repeatable process that I teach people called the peace framework.

[7:24] The dementia peace framework, which is a mnemonic for, and you'll have to come to the workshop to find that out, right? Right.

In this part of the framework that I take people through, the process that I help people through, I call it the capacity to care.

And this is where we look at some of those challenging behaviors, which is a very quick win, because literally in less than two hours, I can teach you how to avoid or entirely stop a lot of challenging behaviors.

I call them challenging behaviors because I believe that there's a lot that we can do to avoid them, but people aren't being taught a simple, very repeatable framework to actually be able to look at it on their own and become the dementia detective.

So on this free workshop this weekend, I actually go over the Dementia Peace Framework with people.

[8:31] And I'm going to be doing another workshop at the beginning of March where I'm just going to be talking about the Dementia Peace Framework.

So if you're interested in that workshop, go ahead and shoot me an email because I want to make sure that you get the information that you need and that I'm sending you to the right place.

So email me at lizette at dimentiapeace., and we will get you the link to actually register for this brand new, brand spanking new workshop that I'm going to create just for you.

So the second step of the process, so the first step is the current status where we look at you as well as the person that you're taking care of.

Building a comprehensive dementia care plan for the future

[9:17] The second step is the capacity to care, and we look at your capacity to actually manage challenging behaviors in a person living with dementia, so that we can do one thing and one thing only by teaching you that, and that is decrease your stress levels.

The third part of the program that I take people through, the process that I work with with people.

[9:44] Is where we look at you, it's called capable to care, your capacity, your ability, not your capacity, your capability to care.

And what I mean by that is, where are you as the primary care partner?

Where are you right at this moment in time?

So we take the stress levels that we've been talking about throughout this, and we have this screening tool that we use to get a baseline of seeing where you are. And then we look at preparation.

What do we need to do to prepare you as the family caregiver for this marathon journey that you're on.

And then we start to prioritize in this phase where we look at, are you, you know, are you capable to do the care? We look at that.

[10:36] Readiness for caregiving. We look at your preparation. We look at some of the other things, the skills and the tools that a person who is a caregiver needs to have in order to be a successful caregiver.

And then the fourth phase that we actually do is what I call certainty to care, which is where we take all of the other stuff and we actually develop a dementia care plan for you and your particular person that you are caring for.

Whether you be a spouse, we look at the different things that we need to consider for a spouse, their own health, their financial situation, the greater picture of what the kids and the grandkids and, you know, all of the stuff that comes with being a spouse.

We look at that if you're a child of a person, that you're helping with related to dementia and dementia caregiving, for example, me.

[11:40] The plan that I've developed is focused on me and my husband, because I believe as a Christian that we leave and cleave.

And so therefore, I'm willing to help my mom and dad, but it is subservient to what my husband and I are able to do and willing to do.

So we work on, we look at everything.

We look at the whole big picture. We look at.

[12:08] Everything. And it sounds overwhelming, but you can actually work out an entire dementia care plan within about two to four hours and it's done and you have it for the rest of your life.

And then all you have to do is tweak it and maintain it and tweak it and maintain it.

And then the way I do this is within a container of a community, because the thing that research has shown is that people who are the family caregivers of a person, any person actually, but a person living with dementia, one of the biggest struggles that they have is that they are alone.

They feel alone. They feel isolated.

[12:53] They feel overwhelmed. They feel afraid of the future.

And the fear of the future oftentimes comes because they don't know what to expect. You know, if you don't know, you don't know what you don't know.

And when you sometimes get through a season in your life and you look back at it, you realize that if you had known what you know at the end of it, it would have made the whole entire journey easier for you.

So part of what what I do when I work with people and when I take people through this process is I know based on 30 years of working with thousands of people living with dementia I know what to expect so I can help you figure out what to expect in your particular situation and I do it in a community because people feel alone because the the research actually has shown shown that a caregiver needs support over an extended period of time.

[13:56] I mentioned this in the free workshop this past weekend.

One of the biggest things that I've started to realize is that when you go to the doctor, if you're looking to the medical model to help you solve this problem, I hate to break it to you and be the bearer of bad news, but the medical model is not going to fix this for you because you go see the doctor today and dementia is constantly changing and something happens tomorrow or three days from now.

And then you go back to the doctor three months, four months or six months from now or a year later, but you've been trying to figure out all of these micro changes all the time.

And one of the other biggest things that I realized after working with a private client last week was...

[14:48] That one of her biggest limitations or frustrations was that she thought she was struggling because of the time commitment.

But what I actually realized is she's very similar to me and it's not so much time.

Yes, time is a part of it. I get it. Caregiving takes time.

But her Her biggest challenge right at the moment was all of these micro decisions, these thousands and thousands of little decisions that she's needing to make for other people to help them.

And it is exhausting, right?

So I do my entire program in a community so that you have support. port.

[15:36] In a nutshell, today's episode is just to show you the very easy, very basic process that I take people through. It's four steps.

It's four steps. We look at your current status by looking at their current status, the person you're helping, and your current stress levels.

The second part of it is we look at your capacity to care.

And in that phase, it's a quick win.

We can do it within two hours. I can teach you a repeatable process called the dementia piece framework to be able to identify so that you can stop or avoid challenging behaviors before they even start.

Not all of them not all of the time and we talk about that in the workshop but to a very large extent there is so much that we can do to mitigate these challenging behaviors so that's the second step the third step of the process I take people through is we look at how capable they are to to provide care.

We prepare the caregiver.

[16:50] We prioritize all of the different roles, tasks, and things that you as a person need to be able to do in order to provide care, right?

What does this look like? The household, if you're still working, if you have your own relationships, all of that.

And we, you know, I've got so many tools that we can nail this down in a very, very short period of time.

Then the third phase that we look at, the fourth step that we look at is your certainty to provide care, which is where within a two to four hour window, we can build out an entire dementia care plan that is adjustable over time for you to be able to adapt as the the marathon that is a dementia care program.

Coaching and Support in Dementia Caregiving Community

[17:43] Giving process unfolds. And I do it in a community.

And within this community, you find two things.

Number one, you will have weekly coaching to actually ask your specific questions at the time that something's occurring, right?

So you'll have coaching and you will have support from other people just like you who are going through this process that are either the children of a person living with dementia or parents living with dementia, or they are a spouse of a person living with dementia.

So we're doing it in a community because yet again, everything that I do is evidence-based or science-backed.

And the evidence actually shows from the Alzheimer's Association's annual report that people who have longitudinal or support over an extended period period of time in a dementia caregiving process actually are more successful and able to do this without impacting their own health and wellness and the wellness of the person that they're helping.

The reason we do all of this is so that you can connect.

We do all of this so that you can connect with the person that you are helping who is living with dementia.

Connecting with Others in Similar Dementia Caregiving Situations

[19:03] And we do this in a community so So you can connect with other people who are walking through something similar to you.

And so I'm, like I said, I'm eternally thankful to the people who were on my workshop this past weekend because it was like a penny dropped for me.

And I'm like, yay, I can make this even better. So I'm very excited.

Yet again, if you are.

[19:31] Open to working with me if what I'm saying resonates with you.

Shoot me an email. I'm going to ask you to actually send me an email at lizette at

And here's the reason why. I want to open conversations with you.

I am here to serve you. I want to help you.

And then if you email me, then we can put you on the list for the next workshop, which will be March the 2nd at noon, Eastern Standard Time.

It will be a two-hour workshop where all I'm going to be teaching people is the peace framework or the dementia peace framework, which is a repeatable framework where you can stop or avoid challenging behaviors before they even start.

That's all I'm going to talk about in that workshop and if you send me an email we'll get you signed up because I don't have any of the technological stuff done yet because Lizette flies by the seat of her pants and my team has not had an opportunity to develop this for me as of yet so email me yet again at Lizette at and all of this information will be in the show notes.

[20:52] Put it on your calendar, March the 2nd, 2024, 12 o'clock Eastern Standard Time, and we will get you the link to register as soon as we have it.

Thank you for listening to today's program. Like I said, I am very excited to be here.

This is such a tremendous passion of mine to be able to help serve you as a family member of a person living with dementia.

So yet again, if you liked this program, please do me a huge big favor, go to Apple Podcasts.

And write me a review. I actually read them. They're like one of the biggest joys of my week is to read these reviews that I am getting on Apple Podcasts.

And if you like this program, please share it with a friend who is struggling or might be in the same position as you.

Or even better, if you are a sibling and your siblings aren't listening to this program yet, get them to listen to this podcast.

I try to keep the episodes short and try to get them to listen to this podcast because then in essence, what will happen is you guys will all start speaking the same language because you're all going to be getting the same information from the same place.

So the Lord's blessings. I will see you in our next episode. episode.

[22:19] Thanks for joining me today, Success Seeker. I pour my heart and soul into this program to serve you.

You can serve me by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts and join our free Facebook group, Dementia Caregiving for Families.

It's a positive and proactive space to navigate dementia caregiving together.

Get practical tools and find support, but without the verbal vomit.

Be a part of our community where we seek to find peace of mind and ease, despite the dementia diagnosis.

So join today and see you next time as our forum.

Subscribe To Dementia Caregiving For Families Podcast

If you feel like dementia caregiving is hard and unpredictable and you are struggling to help a spouse or a parent living with dementia, join our next free workshop.

Join our Facebook Group at: 

Become a  Member of Our Exclusive Program!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

About the author

“Think Different” Dementia’s owner, Lizette Cloete, OTR/L graduated as an Occupational Therapist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1992. Lizette has almost 30 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings, the latest being in the home health environment. She enjoys teaching on the topic of dementia, most recently presenting at a national conference on the topic “Dementia Made Simple”.

Disclaimer: These blogs, videos and any work done by Lizette Cloete OT, as a Member of Think Different Dementia, LLC, is given only as educational content and consulting work. This does not create an Occupational Therapist-Patient Relationship. The educational content and consulting work performed should not be considered medical treatment as an Occupational Therapist. The consulting work does not take the place of medical work normally performed by a licensed Occupational Therapist. Please consult a licensed Occupational Therapist for medical advice.

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