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How One Simple Tool For Professional Healthcare Providers Can Make Dementia Caregiving Easier

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Ever left a doctor's appointment feeling more lost than when you entered? You're not alone.  Many find the healthcare system overwhelming, especially when faced with a new diagnosis or treatment plan.

Recognizing this challenge, an innovative solution has emerged, aiming to simplify the healthcare journey for dementia caregivers and their loved ones.

The episode features a conversation with Chris Kelsey from Paths, a platform designed to aid family caregivers in navigating the healthcare system, especially concerning dementia care.

VillagePaths.com was born out of a personal journey where the founder experienced the shortcomings of the healthcare system firsthand. The platform aims to simplify the healthcare journey by providing curated steps of information to help patients and caregivers navigate complex situations.

Simple Tool For Professional Healthcare Providers Can Make Dementia Caregiving Easier

3:33 Paths Platform Introduction with Chris Kelsey
6:19 Paths Backstory and Motivation
9:56 Coping with Dementia from a Christian Perspective
11:21 Barriers to Dementia Care Education
15:02 Challenges in Healthcare System Education
16:24 Importance of Family Caregiver Coordination
20:12 Lack of Stress Assessment in Healthcare
26:19 Coordinating Caregivers in Families
31:19 Healthcare Navigation Challenge
34:43 Overcoming Misbeliefs about Dementia Care
35:52 Beginning Caregiving Journey with Hope

Navigating healthcare information can be daunting. Traditional methods often leave families in a fog of confusion, with crucial details buried in paperwork or lost in translation. Recognizing this gap, a new platform named Paths has stepped in, offering a beacon of hope to those engulfed in the complex world of dementia caregiving.

Paths: Simplifying the Caregiving Journey

Paths is not just another healthcare tool; it's a game-changer. Designed with the caregiver's journey in mind, it offers a step-by-step guide through the labyrinth of healthcare decisions and education. This platform stands out by cutting through the clutter, making healthcare education accessible, intuitive, and, most importantly, actionable for family caregivers.

Personal Motivations Drive Innovation

The inception of Paths is deeply rooted in personal experience. The platform's founders were moved by their own encounters with the healthcare system's shortcomings during critical family health crises. These personal journeys underscored the desperate need for a solution that bridges the gap between healthcare providers and caregivers, leading to the creation of Paths.

Empowering Caregivers with Tailored Education

Paths recognizes that each dementia journey is unique. It enables healthcare professionals to create customized educational pathways for families, ensuring that caregivers receive only the most relevant information. This tailored approach eliminates the overwhelm associated with sifting through generic resources, enabling families to focus on what truly matters – providing compassionate and informed care to their loved ones.

The Impact of Community and Coaching

Beyond education, Paths facilitates a sense of community and support among caregivers. It offers a platform for healthcare professionals to extend their guidance beyond the clinic walls, empowering caregivers with the knowledge and tools needed for effective dementia care. Additionally, the platform supports caregivers in coordinating with family members and healthcare professionals, ensuring everyone involved is aligned and informed.

A Call to Embrace New Solutions

As healthcare continues to evolve, so too must the resources available to those navigating its complexities. Paths offers a promising solution for dementia caregivers, providing a clearer, more manageable approach to healthcare education and coordination.

By embracing innovative solutions like Paths, we can ensure that caregivers are equipped not only with the knowledge they need but also with the hope and support that can make all the difference on their caregiving journey.

Read More:

Talking About Caregiver Burnout With Michelle Gordon

Check the other podcast: https://www.thinkdifferentdementia.com/category/podcast/

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Transcript

Frustration with Healthcare Information

[0:00] Have you ever been so frustrated when leaving your doctor's office with the information that you got related to a brand new diagnosis or new medication or anything related to your healthcare visit? visit.
Most of us get the documentation that is printed out, our after-visit summary, but how many of you guys actually read them or throw them just into a drawer, or even worse, just throw them into the trash?
Today's episode, we are going to talk to a company, which is a little bit different than my normal episodes related to healthcare education.
They have designed a platform, which is the platform I had been looking for for over a year and a half as I was building out my company and the program that I use to serve family caregivers of people with dementia.
And this platform, it's called Paths, has been the solution to my problem in order to be able to help family caregivers like yourself.
So listen to episode 99.

Introduction to Dementia Caregiving Podcast

[1:26] 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.

[1:54] I'm Lizette, your host, and fellow family caregiver.
As an occupational therapist, I bring my professional and personal experience to this community.

Highlighting Benefits of Group Coaching Program

[2:06] Here we speak 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. off. Well, welcome back to today's episode of Dementia Caregiving for Families.
Today is a special, special treat because I want to highlight and explain and show you guys as family caregivers one of the benefits that you would actually get by joining the group coaching program through a a very simple tool that I use with every single one of my clients, because for about a year, a year and a half, I had been looking for just the perfect product in order to put the educational component of my program into, because basic course platforms, basic, like a lot of the other tools out there were really just not meeting my needs.
And even though I tried to plug my information in there, it never truly felt right.

[3:18] Intuitive, and easy to use for me as a person who's putting the program together.
But even more, it was harder for the people that I was working with on the other

Paths Platform Introduction with Chris Kelsey

[3:31] side to actually get benefit from it.
So today's episode is a little bit different because I've invited the platform that I'm using, which is called Paths, to explain to us a little bit about how they came about, out why they are doing what they're doing, what the benefits to you as a family caregiver for a person would be encouraging your healthcare provider to use a super simple tool to make it like fall out of a tree easy for you to navigate your healthcare journey specifically.

[4:08] Related to education.
So today I want to introduce you guys to Chris Kelsey. He works for a company called Paths. And I love the name, Chris, because it really is a path.
It's like a pathway, like cutting back on the clutter, cutting back on the background noise, giving people a step-by-step path through a very confusing process and making it, like I said, fall out of a tree easy.
You don't even have to think about it.
You just literally follow the path. So welcome to today's program, Chris.
Thank you, Lizette. I'm so glad to be here. Thanks for the invitation.
I appreciate it. And you're spot on the whole idea behind paths.
We understand our healthcare is a journey.
It's not a single moment. It's all through our lives. And there are different waypoints along that journey.
Sometimes, you know, there are different illnesses or there are different diagnoses or different things that happen to us along our lives.
But the idea with PAS is just simply you're taking steps down your healthcare journey.
And we've tried to create a space, a platform online that is accessible, easy to use, that helps patients navigate that very challenging journey that you said, right? That it's not easy, right?
We want our healthcare to to be easy. We want our journey to be easy. We want.

[5:35] To have more control over our own health care.
But we haven't had the right tools for that. So that's what we've tried to do with our past platform is to create just the right tool for patients and for providers alike.
Right. Well, and I will tell you, I'm both a, you know, a family caregiver as well as a provider.
And for me, it is, it really is easy on both sides of this equation, because it's, like you said, it is a very simple tool that I can use to just create a very simple journey for a person that is logical and step-by-step and

Paths Backstory and Motivation

[6:16] gets them from one place to the next.
But before we get a little bit more into the platform itself, I know based on conversations with you before, since we've spent a fair amount of time together, that Paths is a very special reason why it came to being.
Would you explain to people what the back story is as to why your company, why Kermit's company actually started this product?
We know so often that personal experience can be a catalyst for change in the world. And that's precisely what happened with our platform.

[7:01] Our founder, Kermit Farmer, his wife was in our area, a prominent cancer doctor.
They had a special machine at their facility here in the cancer center here in our community that did a special type of mammogram.
And because of that, they had a pretty large regional following because there's only a handful of these machines throughout. So she was beloved, very, very popular, very, very smart, very capable doctor.
She got stomach cancer.

[7:35] And what they discovered in the journey, her health care journey, was despite their resources, her knowledge, her connections, all of those things, that the health care system failed them too.
And so our founder found himself in a caregiver role through the rest of her life, through hospice and through the end there.
And just the navigation of that was so challenging.
And he was determined in that moment. He had already started a platform.
It wasn't what it is now. It had an actually slightly different trajectory when it first started out.
But he was like, no, we're going to do something better. or we're going to make this...

[8:21] Better and easier for patients to navigate. We're going to make this better and easier for practitioners to do what they signed up to do, which was to care for people.
There are so many limitations on practitioners now with time.
And we don't always want to hear that. We always think that the doctors have it easy, but the truth is they're overwhelmed.
They don't have time to spend with the patients that they want to spend.
They're restricted by insurance companies. They have all of these things going on. And so for them, a lot of times it's hard for them to live into the oath that they took.
And they really do, so many of them just want to be helpful to people.
That's why they got into it in the first place.
And then on the patient side, navigating, keeping up with what's going on, understanding your diagnosis, it really is literally a step-by-step journey.
And that's how the platform evolved was just the step-by-step experiences that our founder had with his wife.
And then what we've discovered is all of us on our team each have had our own.

[9:27] Medical situations or other situations where I certainly have an experience with my wife's family last year with dementia with my father.
We can talk more about that later. But just even with that, I was just thinking, wow, I wish we'd had a path for that.
And so, yeah, it's been quite quite the evolution, but it's a beautiful, compelling story.
Hard to tell and sad, but it really has, I think, motivated us in a very special

Coping with Dementia from a Christian Perspective

[9:55] way to do something meaningful.
Have you recently found out someone you love has dementia?
Struggling to wrap your head around how to be a Christian caregiver?
Searching for answers by joining countless Facebook groups but find them toxic?

[10:12] Learning how to cope with dementia feels difficult, but learning a Christian caregiving worldview can be easy.
Hey, brother and sister in Christ, I'm Lizette, occupational therapist, pastor's wife, turned dementia coach, and a daughter of dementia.
In this podcast, you will learn the truth that the way to make dementia care easy is your faith.
Knowing that a loving God has decreed this hard providence in your life makes all the difference.
Here you will gain skills. You will be challenged by what God says in His Word about caregiving, and you will learn exactly what dementia is and is not.
Find clarity and certainty from God's Word so you have perseverance for this journey.
Use science-backed solutions and biblical principles to redeem your time.
Praying this blesses you as we dive into dementia from a Christian perspective.
Let's glorify God despite dementia.

Barriers to Dementia Care Education

[11:21] For sure. So you touched on something that I find extremely interesting because one of the biggest barriers that I'm running into in starting the program that I'm doing is the misbelief that people have that the healthcare system should.

[11:44] Take care of this. Why should I invest in a group coaching program or one-on-one coaching related to dementia and dementia caregiving?
Because I can go to the doctor or I can see the therapists or the healthcare system should be able to do it.
Or then even the flip side of that, which floors me, we kind of talked about this a little bit earlier, all of these resources are are out there for free, you can, you can Google it, you can get the, you know, a book and just read through the book.
So why should people, you know, invest in doing something like this?
And those are two, two big barriers I've run into related to dementia and dementia caregiving specifically.
But one of my, I guess my question to you is in your experience, both as, you know, know, a professional, but also, you know, working in this space, but also as a family caregiver.

[12:45] Do you feel like the healthcare system is actually set up the way it is right now to meet the needs, the educational needs of the people that they're supposed to be serving?
I do not. And I think that's the, we're the, and also, right, that the neurologist, the occupational therapists all of those people who would be involved say specifically in a dementia care situation they're quite capable of giving the diagnosis but then there's 15 people waiting in the waiting room and you were just with those 15 other people who were in the waiting room you sat there and waited a long time for your 10 minutes with the doctor but, it's all the doctor can do to sit there and give you the hard information that they have to give you.
And you hope that that's accurate and good, right?
But then they don't have time to sit there and educate you on all that you want to know.
So I don't think that's necessarily a broken thing. I think it's just the reality of where we are.
And then what happens is you get that diagnosis and you run home to Dr. Internet.

[13:55] And then you get maybe good information, maybe not good information.
And I would say the vast majority of the information that's out there is questionable.
There's, there is some, obviously there's some good information out there, but how do you find just the right information?
So what that provider can give to you is something that helps to educate you, that helps to move you then to extend that conversation.
I think that's the way we like to think of it and talk about it is that the practitioner, by using this product can extend that conversation.
They can almost go home with you.
They give you the information that they want you to have to be educated.
They give you the tools that you need to communicate and coordinate together as a family.
They give you what you need for the caregiver journey.
They're not going to do the caregiving. They're not equipped for it.
They're not trained for it. They don't have time for it. The insurance companies are keeping them from being able to do that.
There's just too many restrictions on their time. That's not necessarily broken. It's just true.

[14:55] So for bringing someone like yourself into the mix, it kind of probably feels

Challenges in Healthcare System Education

[15:01] a little concierge, right?
It feels like some, right?
And so why would I as a family member want to have a coach for that?
Or why would I want to have a consultant?
Or why would I want to spend the money for that? Well, here's why, because I I don't know what I'm doing.

[15:16] The neurologist with my wife's family and her father had dementia. He passed last summer.
And they handed, they didn't even hand her a book. They said, go to Amazon and buy this book. It was 300 and something pages.
My wife bought one for every member of her family. She has two brothers and her mom was the primary caregiver.
My wife was the only one who read the book.
And that's no fault of the others. It was just, it was overwhelming.
It was, it reads like a medical textbook.
It's not, it's not. And that particular book, because we talked about it, I won't mention the name of it, is really not well written.
It is not well structured, and it is extremely repetitive.
And when you read it, all you feel is like, can I go and stick my head in the sand and forget about the world?
It doesn't offer any hope to people. It just talks about all the negative stuff related to caregiving and dementia care.
And it doesn't, I think it's a, I think it's a terrible book.
But I mean, that's my never to be humble opinion.

Importance of Family Caregiver Coordination

[16:25] I was recently with, I was at a conference just a few weeks ago, and I was meeting with some representatives of a very major aging.

[16:39] Organization. And I was telling them about our platform and they were just, we were talking about dementia care specifically. And they said, all dementia care is, is just moving from one one emergency to the next emergency.
That's what I do too. And so what people like you can do, consultants, coaches, caregivers, care partners, whatever you want to call yourself, is that you help the families on those in-between times prepare for those moments where that journey in dementia care gets very challenging, right?

[17:15] You're not there for the emergency. that's not your job you're there to help prepare that family member to give the best care that they can to as a care partner to the person who needs that care to their loved one and and so you're working in the in-between spaces with them and their family and the other people who are members of the family so that they're prepared for those off moments that that happen along the way where where they know what to do with that and how to how to deal with that and and that that progresses it's not just going to be the same way over and over again you have to be prepared for any number of situations I'm not a professional as as just a person I've never been trained for that I need coach me I need somebody to help me in those moments and I need somebody who can offer me hope as you said I need someone who can be an encourager to me somebody to say I know this is really hard.

[18:11] But it's going to be okay. It is your reality right now. It's going to be okay.
So one of the things that you and I spoke about when we started working together, and one of the reasons I love the platform that you guys are putting together is because we can embed evidence-based practices into this program and the platform.
And the other reason I really like it is because I know it's a secure site, which means even though I'm working as as a coach, I'm not working as a therapist anymore.
I still want to be sensitive with people's information.
And because PATHS has been designed to be HIPAA compliant.

[18:54] That means I don't have to worry about the information that I'm putting on there related to a particular person who is going through a particular challenge, that it go out into the big, bad, wide world.
So that was one of the biggest draws for me to use this particular tool.
And then the other part of it is I've been using this tool now for several months in onboarding larger amounts of my clients and the feedback that I've gotten from them related to the user experience.

[19:31] How easy it is to just navigate through this pathway that I created.
And each provider, when they make a pass, they can embed all sorts of different tools.
You can put a video in there. You can put a document in there.
You can have a questionnaire. So when I, on my onboarding, because one of my promises to family caregivers when they join the community is that we use evidence-based practices to track caregiver stress over an extended period of time.

Lack of Stress Assessment in Healthcare

[20:06] Because even though this evidence is out there, the questionnaires are out there.
I asked a group of people, I did a workshop with like a weekend ago, and I asked the people on the workshop, how many of your doctors are asking you about your stress levels?

[20:26] And they all said, oh yeah, my doctor asks how stressed I am.
And then my follow-up question was, how many of your doctors are actually using a assessment?

[20:36] Like a standardized assessment because they're out there.
So the evidence in the reality in the scientific world is there are researchers who have researched what are the particular stressors that make a caregiver go over the edge.
What do they look like? And they've developed these evidence-based practices, but that is not getting to the family caregiver because the doctors aren't using them in their practices.
So I've been able to use this pathway to actually embed, some of those tools into my pathway for my clients because what those assessments show me, what those screening tools show me is now I have a baseline for the human that I'm helping, that I'm coaching on the other end.
And then when I keep an eye on that baseline, I can see where that benchmark level is, that they are getting ready to burn out.
As opposed to just saying, oh, I'm stressed and burned out.
Okay, why are you stressed and burned out?
The assessments show that there are five different buckets of stressors.
Well, telling me you're stressed Stress doesn't help me help you.

[22:00] So the evidence-based side, the ability to actually put these evidence-based tools into a very easy streamline process that now my clients can start to track their stress levels.
And then I can look at those scores and I can say, oh, you know, this person is struggling with this and I can build a tool.

[22:25] To help them. So I'm super excited about having the ability to customize, which is the other part, I can customize journeys for my clients in your platform.
So for example, I'll just use this as an example.
One of the reasons I love this is I could make an entire pathway just on Alzheimer's And I can assign it to the family whose family member has Alzheimer's.
Why do they need to sit through Lewy body dementia?
Why do they need to sit through vascular dementia?

[23:01] Right? So I find it so customizable related to each particular type of diagnosis that we can then start to build out these tools that are very specific, related to a very specific process.
So, like I told you, I absolutely love the platform.
My clients are loving the platform.
It is fall out of a tree easy as a provider to put it together.
Like, I am not a techie person, but this has been the easiest platform for me to use as a creator, as somebody who's customizing information for people.
So thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting this together. It has been tremendous.
So earlier on, you alluded to a little bit about your wife's experience.
Do you want to expand on that a little bit for us?

[24:02] Particularly, I think, where PATHs has real value, especially in the dementia care space that we've recently discovered this, is an element in caregiving that seems to be fairly unique here is the patient.
So PATHs was originally designed for a patient to use on their own.
If you have cancer or you have some sort of diagnosis or you're working with a particular, we have an OB who uses PATHs very regularly.
The idea is that you as a patient receive a PATH. In this particular situation with dementia care, the patient isn't likely or as likely to use if it's early onset or something, perhaps.
But they're less likely to use the platform.
The people who are going to be using the platform are the family members, the people who are giving care to the patient.
And one of the things that we found to be true is and very, very difficult is coordinating all the different caregivers together, particularly even just in a family for caring. So mom gets dementia.
Who who's going to care for this? Perhaps it's, you know, the husband or one of the children becomes kind of the primary there or just becomes important in that.

[25:20] One of the challenges is getting everybody on the same page.
Absolutely. That was a challenge with my wife's family.
When her dad had dementia, her mom did a great job. She did everything she could to be a good caregiver.
My wife took on a strong role there, helping to make sure that doctor's appointments were met and that they had what they needed to do.
Uh, my wife's, one of my wife's brothers is, uh, is a businessman, has resources, was happy to contribute and do what he needed to do that way.
The other brother, uh, very, uh, strong, uh, practical, I'll go mow the yard.
I'll do all the things that I need to do. So they were, uh, they were all doing a part, uh, in some way, uh, but still getting all All of them together on the same page for her father's care was super challenging.
And they're a very high-functioning family. They all like each other. They all get along.

Coordinating Caregivers in Families

[26:20] Imagine how much harder that is for families where that dynamic might not be true.
Correct. Where everybody got one of the books, but people are going to engage with the book at a different level.
If it's challenging, if you don't, again, we go back to what we were talking about before. I don't have any training as a caregiver, professional caregiver.
No one in their family had any training as a professional caregiver.
And the professional caregivers can't meet with everybody every time.

[26:50] Correct. So how do we provide for them?
A path, a container of information, which basically is what a path is.
It's just simply a container of curated steps of information where the family can be educated together at the same level, and they can coordinate together, and they can even have online meetings together, and there's all kinds of things right in the platform.
And then now what you have as a caregiver coach or a consultant to help them is that evidence-based now you have you know who's participating at what level how everybody's getting up to speed if we need to help somebody get up to speed a little bit more now the primary caregiver can know this i mean we we now have evidence that we didn't have before we now know exactly what's going on with this family.

[27:44] And it's not so much about okay you need to do this it's not it's not punitive, it's it's now i can up my level of care and my level of compassion and and help bring this person on a little bit more obviously that's not going to happen with every single family right but now at least we have a tool where we can measure that where we before and you can as a coach i can walk alongside people so i can see who you know in the back end of it i can see who has engaged with the content.
I can see who has progressed through the pathway.
I can see where people get stuck.
I can see what I need to change to be more clear in my communication with people.
It offers me the ability to use a variety of different medium because people do not all learn the same way.

[28:36] And so it really is a helpful, like from an educational perspective, a very helpful tool for me to be able to do the education side of the program.
The program that I have has three separate buckets.
It has education, it has coaching, and it has community.
So it offers me the ability to be able to put people through a much easier process because the coaching component of what I do is more one-on-one and answering questions.

[29:17] But I still cannot, you know, there's not, it took me 30 years to learn everything that I know.
I can't give that to people in eight to 10 minute segments based on a question, right? Right.
But now I have the ability to build out the education in a more user friendly way that people can then they can consume it on their phone.
They can consume it on a computer.
It is very practical because you can use it in multiple different ways.
And so I'm I'm just as a as a consumer, I'm excited about it.
Have you recently found out someone you love has dementia?
Struggling to wrap your head around how to be a Christian caregiver?
Searching for answers by joining countless Facebook groups but find them toxic?
Learning how to cope with dementia feels difficult, but learning a Christian caregiving worldview can be easy.
Hey, brother and sister in Christ, I'm Lizette, occupational occupational therapist, pastor's wife turned dementia.

[30:27] And a daughter of dementia. In this podcast, you will learn the truth that the way to make dementia care easy is your faith.
Knowing that a loving God has decreed this hard providence in your life makes all the difference.
Here you will gain skills.
You will be challenged by what God says in his word about caregiving, and you will learn exactly what dementia is and is not.
Find clarity and certainty from God's word so you have perseverance for this journey.
Use science-backed solutions and biblical principles to redeem your time.
Praying this blesses you as we dive into dementia from a Christian perspective.
Let's glorify God despite dementia. mention.

Healthcare Navigation Challenge

[31:19] I'd love my viewers and people who listen to this podcast to think about is, think about your own healthcare journey.
When you go to the doctor, I'll use my dad as an example.
Last May, after a three-year fight, I finally got my dad a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment.

[31:39] And the day we left the doctor, and this is the specialty hospital locally to me related to cognitive wellness.
My dad didn't even get a piece of paper with any information related to a new diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment.

[32:01] Nothing about what that means, what it looks like, what he needs to know, nothing.
Now, granted, I was pretty upfront with them about my background, but they didn't give me any information.
And regardless of my background, they should have been providing me with basic education, where to find support groups, how to help my dad.
We walked out of that office with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment and a follow-up appointment a year later. That was it.
And as a family member, I want people who are on this journey to start to think how easy, how much easier their own healthcare navigation would be if they didn't walk out of the doctor's office with, everybody's got my chart, right?
With all of this information, then what do you do with it? You throw it out.
Nobody looks at that stuff again. Well, if you look at the patient tab, also, if you look at the education tab in my chart, oftentimes there's nothing there.
You know when your next appointment is, you know when your bills do.
There's not very much education there. No, no. And so I'm, I'm challenging people on the, on the, you know, every single person listening to this is either a family caregiver or.

[33:25] For somebody living with dementia, and somebody who has their own healthcare to be concerned with, right?
I'd love to challenge people to think about talking to your healthcare providers over time about this potential solution to their problem, because it is a problem for the healthcare provider too.
Like Chris mentioned, doctors want to do a good job.
Their hands are tied, You know, back to the conversation earlier on that we had about the health care system, there is really a misbelief that the health care system is going to give specifically people with dementia all of the information they need.
And then one of my biggest pet peeves is that everybody says, you know, well, one of two things people say, well, there's nothing we can do.
So then they don't do anything. And then they don't even get education because there's nothing we can do.
So why, quote unquote, depress people, right? right?
Which means people who are truly in the trenches, seeing these changes over time, are drowning because they have no help.
And because they have no help, they have no hope.

Overcoming Misbeliefs about Dementia Care

[34:43] So, you know, that's the one part of it. But then the other part of it is, you know, that there's this misbelief that dementia has to be terrible, that it has to be the hardest thing for people to go through.
I hate to break it to people, death is death.

[35:01] Kermit's wife dying of cancer was just as difficult and probably followed a very similar path towards the end because death is death and death is terrible, right?
What I'm trying to highlight for people is that it doesn't need to be this hard.
We can make it easier. And yes, the other thing is, well.

[35:27] That's just how it is and everybody looks different, really isn't a solution for you when you're struggling, right?
Saying to you, well, everybody is different, so therefore I can't help you.
Well, yes, each person is different, but that doesn't mean that there aren't commonalities and that there is a repeatable system that we can use.

Beginning Caregiving Journey with Hope

[35:48] And that's what I've developed is a repeatable system for people to use.
Right. We have education for the commonalities we have coaching for the individual right yes yes you're equipped to fill in the spaces in between the education that exists the problem is the education that exists isn't easy to find so your your role is to help pull together quality education whether you're creating that on your own or you're pulling in other people's material and then your second role is to fill fill in the gaps in between that and to give people hope and to say, you know, it's hard. Yes.
But it doesn't have to be horrible. It gets manageable and doable.
And you can do this and I'll be there with you. I'm going to walk alongside and I'm going to help you with that. And by the way, here's the tool we're going to use to do this. Yeah.

[36:42] Yeah. So one of the, one of the big things that I do when I start working with people and I've been told I've never, nobody's ever said this to me is always tell them we begin with the end in mind.
We have to know what you as the caregiver want to look like when you're done.
Because the bottom line is, it's not about the person living with dementia.

[37:03] We're here to support the person living with dementia. But the reality of the matter is, you as the family caregiver have to have hope for your own future when you're through this caregiving journey, that you haven't decimated your own life and health in the process.
So we begin with the end in mind.
And what I'm, you know, a lot of people think, oh, I mean, the end in mind related to the death of the person living with dementia.
No, your life as a family caregiver will continue after this person passes away.
None of us know when we're going to pass away. You know, I could walk out here and get hit by a truck.

[37:40] We never, never know what the length of our days are going to be.
So my encouragement to people listening today is live every life, every day, live your life to the fullest, including your journey with the person that you care for.
Yeah so well chris thank you so much tell kermit i said i love this tool i cannot wait to keep using it and developing developing more and more on the platform i currently have three paths but i'm going to continue to build out more i just need to create some time and space in order to do that,

Invitation to Explore Paths Platform

[38:19] Well, we invite anybody who'd like to take a look at it.
If you're a care provider who, like Lizette, and you're interested in learning more about the platform, you're certainly welcome to visit our website, villagepaths.com.
We have a free trial. You can get in and kick the tires in.

[38:38] And it's a great tool. We've done all that we could do to try to make it easy for providers to create and collect their content and also for end users and patients to be able to use it in a very meaningful way without it being hard to do.
So we've tried our best to do that. And, of course, it'll grow and get better as we go along. But that's where we are.
And so for anybody who is interested in seeing how a path works, you can reach out to me.
I can show you on a user inside what it feels like.
I'm happy to do that at any point in time. So thank you so much, Chris, for joining me today.
It's always, always a pleasure.
Keep up the good work. I'm excited about this product, and I cannot wait to continue to use it every single day with my clients because I think it's going to make a tremendous difference.
Thank you so much, Lizette. It's been an honor being here with you.
Thank you. Well, wonderful. All right. We'll see you again later.

[39:45] 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 flight takes off.

family caregiver

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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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