WHAT IS CARE CONSULTATION?

Care Consultation is a braiding of the many here-and-now practical concerns with the very personal, emotional responses you may have in the face of life’s big transitions, especially at times of illness or of aging-related changes.

Care-giving and care-receiving do not come naturally to most of us, but these complex roles can be developed. I help individuals, couples and family-groups identify, understand, and enhance their abilities both to give and to receive care.

Over my years of work with San Francisco community-based organizations, hospitals, and professional associations, I have developed both a body of knowledge and expertise about the challenges and the resources for care, and a deep regard for each person’s situation and preferences.

In Care Consultation meetings, my goal is to provide you with information, identify steps, and map ways to proceed with your challenges. These meetings may help with any of the following:

  • Identify specific care needs now and those likely to arise
  • Identify community resources and sources of respite
  • Information on types and levels of care in the health-care system
  • Ways to work with behaviors that may arise in someone with a brain disorder, and how best to communicate as abilities change
  • Tools to advocate for care in complex health care systems
  • Long-term planning – resources, options
  • Care-Giving – stages, strategies, supports
  • Care-Receiving – ways to “shake hands” with your new needs
  • Family differences – help to explore and mediate roadblocks
  • Support for emotional turmoil

Who Requests Care Consultations?

  • People with a newly diagnosed chronic or life-threatening illness, and those who are partnering in this transition
  • Adult children, grandchildren caring for elders in the family
  • Spouses caring for an ill/disabled spouse
  • Friends caring for an ill/disabled friend

More than a year ago, Susan and Ted were told that Ted had Parkinson’s Disease (PD). The neurologist provided information, and Susan and Ted did research on-line. And still, they faced a myriad of emotional responses and questions about how to live with this progressive illness.

At first, they met with Beth to identify changes and new stressors in their daily lives, and to explore their questions: where to live in the future, how to keep working but plan for a time when that might not be possible, how to tell family members about this illness, how to keep their marriage and each other healthy?

With Beth’s guidance, Ted and Susan began to design a personal roadmap; they entered into deep conversations and began to identify their priorities.  Beth provided models of reckoning with such an unexpected change, and continued to ask carefully-informed questions that helped Ted and Susan know their sources for hope and possibilities. They both said they felt relief to learn from Beth new skills to handle overwhelm, anxiety and the sense of loss.

Beth provided Ted with information on specialized support and exercise groups for people with PD.   Susan chose to meet individually with Beth to further explore her expanding role as caregiver.

After a few months, Ted and Susan ended regular sessions with Beth, and said they appreciated knowing they could call Beth at any time to revisit their practical and emotional terrain with her support.