When a family member or loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate a path forward. A Family Coach from Kemper Cognitive Wellness provides caregiver and family education, counseling and support to help families plan for the future, while living successfully in the present.
Cheryl Freed, Family Coach for Kemper Cognitive Wellness, meets with clients and families to understand their current situation, challenges, questions and concerns. She helps care partners and families understand the disease process, and often answers the question, “why are they doing that!?” While families’ needs vary, Cheryl’s vast training and experience enables her to quickly hone in on a problem and collaborate for solutions.
Families often meet with Cheryl several times—in person, virtually, or in-home where available—to navigate the family’s unique challenges and co-develop creative strategies for the person with dementia, and their loved ones, as the disease progresses. A licensed social worker, Cheryl excels at getting to the heart of an issue quickly, and re-focusing on practical solutions for the individual and the family.
Role of a Family Coach
- Helps families better understand the disease
- Cultivates an environment to maximize the diagnosed person’s independence
- Creates strategies to minimize symptoms
- Restores a sense of normalcy in the home to the extent possible
- Recommends measures that meet home safety requirements
- Designs a setting to reduce stress, anxiety, and guilt
- Provides support and structure in dealing with the disease
- Develops solutions to on-going, dementia-related problems
- Increases caregiver confidence through education
- Facilitates discussions around changing care needs and care options available to families
- Creates teamwork among family members and the caregiver
- Provides objective feedback and guidance
About Cheryl Freed, LSW, CDP, CADDCT, CMDCP, VDT-CT
Ms. Freed has spent her career advocating for individuals with cognitive challenges and disabilities. As the Vice President of Learning & Support for The Kemper Company, Cheryl works with families, staff, residents and clients to maximize the individual’s abilities and develop creative strategies to manage or minimize challenges. While Ms. Freed continuously receives training on industry best practices, she notes that her best teachers are the clients. “When we can effectively communicate and interact with the person with dementia, we are able to meet needs and maximize the present moment.”