Evaluate & Escalate
Get a customized assessment and plan from me – without a long term commitment or putting me on a plane.
This is Step 1 in working with me.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to dementia care.
I work with care communities to create customized dementia programs, built with your brand and needs at the forefront.
I can help you develop or improve your existing dementia care program.
Definitely no one-size-fits-all approach.
I work with you to create a branded program for your organization that will allow you to increase move-ins and stand out in the industry.
If you’re here, you are probably in one of these categories:
The program you are currently offering for dementia care isn’t working.
You know you need to start offering dementia care, but you have no idea where to start.
Either way, I can help you!
You’ve probably landed on my website because you are looking for a new way of approaching your dementia care.
You might be tired of telling your staff to “validate—never lie” and, “just redirect and distract” residents.
Your staff are probably exhausted going around and around with families who don’t understand dementia care or what to expect in a dementia care community.
You might be in a position where you need a dementia care program but have no idea where to start.
Maybe that training you paid for last year hasn’t quite met all your needs, and left you with more questions than answers.
Whatever your current needs are, I’m here to help.
Through a customized strategy session with me, I will help your organization to:
EVALUATE & ESCALATE
Discovery Call + Roadmap
During this session, I will do an in-depth audit of:
I provide your team with a written assessment of each of these key areas, including proposed solutions and recommended next steps.
This strategy session is ideal for organizations who are:
How it works:
We have a 2-hour (virtual) strategy session during which we go through your current program in-depth. During our follow-up call I deliver a customized program roadmap and structure specific to your needs and desired outcomes.
Previous organizations who have had strategy sessions with me found this was a great way to get a comprehensive audit of their current programs and a taste of what a consultant can offer to their team.
“Evaluate & Escalate felt like a checkup with the doctor! Rachael knew just what to ask to get to the heart of the matter.”
—Mark Goetz, President at Home Care Advocacy Network
Rachael's knowledge on dementia and how to truly understand and embrace the perspective of each and every family and resident was exceptional. I highly recommend her to speak, lead, and consult at any level for dementia care.
—Matt Stanley, CEO and Founder of Sundance Memory Care
What you can expect:
Although I take a customized approach to every client, so every roadmap I create will look different, here are some things you can expect during and after this session:
- I approach every client’s strategy with an open mind and a goal to create a roadmap that is best suited to your organization
- No templates or one-size-fits all frameworks or implementation plans
- Ample time to ask your questions about implementation and next steps
- You will be given recommendations for marketing and branding strategy
- 30-day, individual access to Dementia By Day School – my online education and certification program
This is exactly what we need!
Now for the question I know you are all asking…Who am I and why should we work together?
Hey, I’m Rachael Wonderlin.
I’m a Dementia Care Consultant and author.
Simply put, I do not believe that dementia care is black and white.
I believe that dementia is full of gray areas. And this is a gift.
Dementia is a dance. An artform. One that we must be creative and flexible in our approach to.
Instead, we need to stop our black and white approach to ‘lying’ or ‘compassionate deception’ and start to live in the reality that is true for the person living with dementia.
We must be prepared to go into their world.
When I explain this to people, many of them ask me how I can be so sure this approach is any better than what is traditionally taught in dementia care.
As I often do, I explain this with a story. This is the story of my ‘light bulb’ moment when I realized that the approach I was following, the approach we’ve all been taught, was not only not working, but was often unkind to the person living with dementia.
When a woman living with dementia asked me where her mother was (long since passed), I responded with what I had always been taught, ‘You must really miss your mother’.
Her response, justifiably was, ‘Yes of course I do. Where is she?’
Cue light bulb moment #1.
I realized, I had ignored her question and said a useless, and in no way comforting, statement to her. Basically, I was acting as though I had no regard for her feelings and how this statement would make her feel.
Cue even brighter light bulb moment #2.
Would I speak to someone like this normally? No.
So why would I think it was okay to do this to someone living with dementia? Wasn’t I here to help and comfort her?
And then for the brightest light bulb moment of them all:
Senior living providers and caregivers didn’t really know what people living with dementia needed.
I came to realize that when answering these tough, but important, questions from people living with dementia, it was kinder to respond in a way that allowed them to communicate what their reality is. And then to confirm that reality with my response.
This means that the person with dementia isn’t forced to relive the death of a loved one or be plunged into more confusion all because we’ve been taught we should never lie to them.
So, now, I teach caregivers and families to respond this way:
This allows the person living with dementia to communicate where they are in their reality.
This is what I’ve made my life’s work.
What I teach is called Embracing Their Reality ™.
Embracing Their Reality ™ means letting go of any need you have to be ‘right’. You learn to understand what is real for them and respond in a way that would make sense in that reality.
I work collaboratively with senior care leaders to create a holistic and kind approach to their dementia care and training. I act as an advisor that works with you on all levels of strategy and implementation as well as marketing and branding.
There are no templates. There are no one-size-fits-all frameworks.
I approach every senior care organization differently with my comprehensive approach and strategies.
I will show you how to make meaningful connections with people who are living with dementia. And in turn, strengthen your brand and help you stand out in the market.
Let’s work together and discover the gift of Embracing Their Reality ™ and discover how we can all thrive in the gray areas.
This sounds like exactly the fresh perspective we need!
Here is my promise to you for your Escalate & Evaluate session…
After completing your Evaluate and Escalate strategy session with me, you can be confident that you will walk away with:
After you’ve received your strategy and I’ve walked your team through the next steps, you will have the option to move to step 2 where I work with your team as an advisor on a long-term basis to implement the strategy we created in your Evaluate and Escalate session.
How Sonida Senior Living created a branded dementia program and revolutionized their offerings:
When Sonida Senior Living (formerly known as Capital Senior Living) started working with me, they didn’t have a dementia care program. It was clear they had a love for dementia as an organization but not the internal expertise to create a comprehensive offering.
They knew they wanted to have a focus on programming but the consultants they worked with in the past hadn’t been able to provide them with an offer that was proprietary or specific to their needs as an organization.
After completing the Evaluate and Escalate process we got to work designing a program and coming up with a brand identity for Sonida that they could use across all of their buildings. I met with the leadership team every other week to assist with the creation of collateral for their program.
When rollout began, I helped the individual communities hire their Magnolia Trails Directors by hosting Zoom-based interviews and providing feedback for community-based teams. We conducted 1-1 trainings and education for each building who was rolling out the new dementia care program.
Over the next 14 months I worked closely with the Sonida Senior Living team to implement their customized program. From initial planning to implementation to roll out, this included:
- Developing a branded and named program for dementia care, “Magnolia Trails”
- A brand refresh and website copy on dementia
- Dementia-friendly interior design layouts and setups for communities
- Creation of a Program Guide for Magnolia Trails with all of the necessary guidelines and information
- Job descriptions, hiring assistance and a brand new role for each community: Dementia Program Director
- Daily calendars and programming creation for residents, along with product purchase assistance
Creating a branded care program has allowed Sonida Senior Living to meet the unique needs of their current and prospective residents living with dementia. Their brand and website refresh showcasing their Magnolia Trails easily sets them apart from their competition, increasing interest from prospective residents. The creation of the Dementia Program Director role with the added staff certification means they now confidently support existing and new dementia residents as well as offer practical support to their families.
“Rachael did an amazing job in assisting with the creation of Sonidas Magnolia Trails Specialized Memory Care program, from the development of staff trainings, to the program guide and marketing materials.
She was professional, and always available to answer questions and provide valuable information to assist in the development of a program that supports the whole resident- mind, body, and soul.”
The Evaluate & Escalate session is best suited for organizations who:
This sounds like us!
We are ready to work with you.
Here are questions that other companies have asked before working with me:
I employ a customized approach to every single client I work with.
Unlike other dementia care programs out there, I never use templates or one-size-fits all frameworks or strategies. These may work for some areas or temporarily, but in the long-run, they are not only a waste of your time and money, but still encourage a use of the out-dated and unkind methods I advocate against.
Great question! Here’s the breakdown of how this session works:
We have a 2-hour (virtual) strategy session during which we go through your current program or your needs for a program in-depth. We then have a follow-up call where I deliver a customized program roadmap specific to your needs and desired outcomes. I talk you and your team through it and provide you with next steps.
Why thank you for saying that! (note to self: continue using night cream!)
Well, it’s true, I am younger than the other consultants in the industry but I don’t think it’s about the length of time you’ve been doing something, but your approach, educational background and hands-on experience. I believe that many of the methods and approaches being used in dementia care right now are outdated, unnecessary and painful. I know, because I used to use these methods myself when working in care communities with people living with dementia. I saw not only how ineffective they were, but how much pain they caused. I am working to change that.
I have taught the Embracing Their Reality ™ approach to thousands of people. And every day I hear from them the difference that it’s made in their lives.
I hear that a lot because I know you are legitimately busy!
And that’s precisely where I come in. Because if we’re honest, there’s never going to be an ideal time to start a big undertaking. But consider this, your competitors are finding the time to make their dementia care programs happen. When we work together my aim is to make this transition as simple and smooth as possible. I work directly with your team (I don’t send in anyone else) and you have access to me to ask any and all questions.
Here’s a question to ask yourself: If this is something you know you want and need to do, would you rather try to do it alone or would you rather have someone who’s done this many times walk you through a step-by-step plan and guiding you every step of the way?
Very valid question! You don’t want to just hire someone ‘off the street’ or who doesn’t have in-depth knowledge of creating and implementing successful dementia care programs.
So here’s my education and experience in a nutshell:
Master’s in Gerontology
Author of 3 books
Dementia By Day Podcast
I’ve also trademarked the phrases Embrace Their Reality ™ and Timeline Confusion ™ because what I teach is so different from what you normally hear in dementia care education sessions.
Yes, you can. (Didn’t you just say above you were too busy though?! 😉) Here are a few things to consider before you decide on that route:
For one, my online education program is comprehensive, detailed and fun for staff. It covers dementia care communication, dementia friendly interior design, what dementia is and ways to tackle behavioral challenges. It even covers the intersection between improv comedy and dementia care.
Two, creating and implementing a dementia program is a massive undertaking that I’ve successfully guided dozens of other organizations through. It requires expertise, hands-on experience, and a deep understanding of dementia care. All of which I bring to each custom program.
Most certainly you and your team could piece together information from various sources and create your own plan and program. If the time required to research and staff resources necessary for development and implementation are not a factor, then this sounds like a good solution for your organization.
When you work with me, you don’t just license a cookie-cutter program that may or may not benefit your organization. I help you build a custom program that fits your brand and needs and you get to call it your own.
I teach a vastly different approach to dementia care to many other programs out there. It’s tangible, applicable and far easier to instill confidence in care staff and families.
Evaluate and Escalate is the best way to bring in my expertise without having to put me on a plane!
I only open up 3 slots every month for these sessions so:
“We worked with Rachael through her 6-month consulting program, during which she created for us a train-the-trainer dementia education program for both our caregivers and our clients’ families. We didn’t have a program like this previously, and knew we needed something to keep us competitive. Rachael’s Embrace Their Reality technique matches our belief of meeting people where they are and the way we want to reach our clients.”
—Mike Hollen, Chief Innovation Officer at Asbury Home Services