AD/dementia caregiver coach needs home; iPods for clients
Organized by: Deborah Susswein
Thank you to everyone who is in my corner!
June 23, 2016
My name is Deborah Susswein. I’m 66 years old and ordinarily a very happy person, with a calling to advocate for elders, especially those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. I am a Certified Dementia Practitioner and a PAC Approved Coach for caregivers of people living with dementia. My mission is to provide coaching skills to as many family and professional caregivers as possible because the Baby Boomer generation (of which I am one) is growing so rapidly that so many more coaches will be needed with the increase of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s. Recently, my life took an unanticipated turn for the worse medically and financially. Through no fault of my own, I will have to leave the house I’ve been renting for the last 15 years. I have nowhere to go; I work part time as a companion for a man with dementia and I receive Social Security, but I have little to no savings and plenty of bills to pay. I live alone and have three 11-year-old cats, littermates that I’ve had as my companions since they were weaned. I have to move and I have no funds to do it: moving costs, rent—first and last, security deposit, and of course, a pet-friendly residence. That usually means a pet deposit, too. I don’t want to move. I want to stay and build my business as an elder caregiver and caregiver coach. I also started a business called NeuroArts, which I have been promoting to assisted living facilities. I combine brain fitness and the arts to all residents of ALFs—independent, assisted living and memory care—tailored to their needs and abilities. My dream is to provide all of my dementia clients with iPods, each having a playlist created just for them. As dementia progresses, music is one of the last experiences that residents can enjoy, live for and revel in. It is critical in the last stages of dementia. Currently, I am in a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. In my last PET scan, beta amyloid plaque was detected, so I am doing what I can to stave off this horrific disease through a healthy lifestyle and the clinical trial. It is ongoing for three and a half years and I want to continue, but if I have to move, I may not have this service at my disposal.