I Help Professionals Master the Skills & Knowledge they need to care for Adults, Elders, and Every Member of the Care Partner TeamLearn About Me and How I Can Help
As an Educator and Mentor for the Eden Alternative(R), I work with their Domains of Well-Being™ a lot, and I’m committed to supporting the well-being of everyone I serve.
I thought a good way to introduce myself might be to use the Seven Domains to give you a sense of who I am and where I’m coming from.
I’m passionate about my work and strongly identify as a professional Social Worker, and am grateful every day for the experiences I’ve had, people I’ve met, and stories I’ve been gifted in my decades-long year career working with Elders, care partners, and the organizations that serve them. I’m also an educator (I taught the Fieldwork class for the Ithaca College Gerontology Institute from 2011-2019), am an introvert (who looks like an extravert), and I love to read and watch movies. I’m an Elder-in-training, and part of a large family that I enjoy spending time with.
I am a life-long learner, constantly taking new courses and seeking new challenges. In 2014, I completed both Level I and Level II EMDR training, and in 2021, I earned a Professional Certificate in End-of-Life Doula Studies from the University of Vermont. I continue to take (and teach) courses on leadership, dementia care, grief & bereavement, and trauma-informed care.
I’m also always looking for new ways to share information and support other people on their growth journey, and in the past few years have become certified as a facilitator in both Circlework(TM) and SoulCollage(R), and in 2019 I attained certification as a Supervisory Leader in Aging with the National Association of Social Workers. I keep growing through my writing and speaking about aging and Elder mental health and well-being at the local, national, and international level, and am happy to continue offering courses, workshops and coaching/mentoring in this next phase of my personal and professional life.
We all need to feel we have freedom to make choices in our lives. Of course, this is balanced with the reality that we are all interdependent! I feel very fortunate to have had a private psychotherapy practice from 2005-2020, after working for thirty years in not-for-profit health and human service organizations. Now I’ve retired from that practice to focus more completely on my teaching and consulting, and to have more time with my growing family.
One of the reasons I made the switch to working for myself was to give me more flexibility to pursue learning and growth opportunities with The Eden Alternative(R), an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to changing how we see aging and Elder care. You can learn more about them by visiting their website and reading through some of my blogs. Here’s the paradox: I couldn’t have this autonomy if it weren’t for a great care partner team to support me!
I work hard to create a safe and secure atmosphere for clients, and do the same when I’m facilitating groups or teaching a workshop. This includes my being very open to feedback and apologizing quickly when I’ve made a misstep. Good communication and transparency create security and trust over time… It’s really about building relationships.
I’m a native Pennsylvanian but I’ve lived in lots of different places, so I mostly identify with the mountains, rivers, lakes, and historic cities of the Northeastern United States as “home.” I love history and feel connected to the past in the places I visit, the buildings I admire, and the stories I read about our history, local and global!
Weird fact about me: I deeply value connectedness, and I’m a “waver.” I wave at passing boats, trains, hot air balloons, airplanes, you name it. I love when people wave back. We’re all connected.
What is meaningful is very unique to each individual. I promise to honor that which is meaningful to the clients I work with by asking very carefully about their preferences and their history, and honoring their story. The folks I work with have a wide variety of world views, and I am comfortable with meeting clients where they are and working with their ethnic, spiritual, cultural, and gender/sexual identity perspectives. I start with a “beginner’s mind” as I know that we all have very different experiences and I’ve learned not to assume anything! I want to learn from you what is important and meaningful to you, and I will hold that sacred.
I will cry with you sometimes, and we will laugh together, too. Joy is the ultimate ingredient in the quest for well-being. Can we have Joy even when we are living with loss, health challenges, career stress, or dementia? I wouldn’t be doing this work unless I believed we can. If you are missing out on the Joy, at home, in your caregiving, or in your workplace, maybe we should talk.