Mar 30, 2020
Episode Title: Silver Linings – Interview with Laura
Intro: Laura is the founder of Eldercare Counseling and Guidance
Laura provides elders and their caregivers with resources and
help as they navigate through the healthcare system.
We’ll listen as Laura talks about the ways she calms the chaos
in herself and especially her clients who are at increased
vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic by seeing “Silver
Linings” in the dark clouds of isolation and helplessness.
- The work Laura does
- Providing counseling, care management and resources to the
aging population who are either in skilled nursing facilities, or
receiving care at home from loved ones.
- Working with those who are caring for an aging person with
Elders and how she is managing the chaos of increased vulnerability
in her elderly clients during COVID-19
- How to work with elders and caregivers and give them the
support they need when all parties are feeling the effects of
continued efforts at quarantine, separation increased isolation?
- In “Normal Times,” Laura provides:
- Counseling: support and resources to the elder populations and
- Care Management: A team who act as surrogate family members to
- Consulting: Laura consults as an expert in the aging
population, meeting with families, defining problems and exploring
- Since COVID-19, Laura still does this, but has gotten creative
due to limitations on personal contact with clients.
- “It happened overnight” and COVID-19 ran rampant in a skilled
nursing facility in Seattle, near where she works in Washington
- The most vulnerable populations are older adults and immune
compromised individuals, who already struggle with physical /
emotional loss and isolation
- Facilities, have done a great job in their efforts to protect
residents…and…this increased caution and protective measures have
resulted in even more isolation for residents, and increased
helplessness for their caregivers
- Older adults aren’t eating together, spending time alone in
- Memory care clients typically don’t do well with change
- Caregivers feel very helpless and at a loss of how to support
their loved ones during times when physical contact is limited or
- Elders and caregivers already have a lot of loss (i.e.,
decreased physical or memory functioning, decreased ability to
communicate, helplessness, and disconnection).
- How can you work with the caregivers and the elders with all of
the chaos of COVID-19?
- Emphasize that although there are some things out of our
control, we DO have control in some areas of our lives during times
- Reframing the situation (we can’t change the situation, but we
CAN control our thinking, perceptions and reactions to the
- Accepting what is, and moving forward with what is
- Choosing to see a difficult situation in a different, more
- Consider what the benefits to the situation might be (Seeing
the “Silver Linings”)
- Brainstorm the beauty of the situation (i.e., the caregivers at
skilled nursing facilities now can become part of the family, and
the caregivers can become a part of the professional team). Help
caregivers not feel so isolated. Or giving the professionals gifts
to thank them for their service.
- Continue to practice creative ways to see “Silver Linings”
during times of separation, loneliness, isolation and
- Brainstorming ideas to stay connected to loved ones and
- Handwritten notes, cards and letters (facilities will sanitize
- Using technology when able (one facility bought all their
- Professionals help the elders with technology
- Groups at Facilities can be offered online via zoom.com for
elders and families
- We’re all at different comfort levels with technology, and
- Facebook Group “Get in the Lifeboat”
- Post cards through apps and send it to the loved one via
A great “Silver Lining” is that we are forced to be creative in
times of chaos!
Laura’s 5-Step Method on how to stay upbeat while separated /
quarantined in your home:
- Routine: Structure and routine can bring a sense of peace and
stability to our lives during uncertainty and chaos.
- Stay Connected: We are being challenged as individuals to stay
connected during this time. You can feel isolated even when people
are around you. So having a sense of connection and community is
- Reframing and focus on Positivity / Limiting negativity
- Listening to your inner guidance – catch yourself if you are
listening, and then honor your inner voice
- Set an intention: Being intentional about your self-care, this
is a beautiful time to consider changing what you’d like to change,
and what you’d like to welcome back into your life, and what you
Some of MY Silver Linings:
- Laughter – My husband and I created a funny video about toilet
paper and put it on YouTube. You can watch it at:
- My interview with Laura is also on YouTube at
- I’ve reached out to therapists in our community to do more
interviews and generate more ideas about how to calm the
- We finally got my big filing and archiving project done!
- After 2 years, we were able to have time to hook up our
electronic keyboard, and I’m having a lot of fun creating music
- My husband and I are taking more walks and watching less
- I’ve been able to work from home using Telehealth, and so now
my clients know how to use Zoom.com (Also, my buddy Will, who
created the music for this podcast, likes Zooming with me more than
talking on the phone because he has a better connection. Go
- We’ve gone through almost all of the Harry Potter movies
- I’ve had more time to play with my cats
- We’ve been having fun meal planning with what we have in our
Thank you Laura, for sharing your ideas!
You can contact Laura in the following ways:
Website: https://www.lauravcoaching.com or
Open Facebook Group: “Get in the Lifeboat” at
Podcast (Coming soon!) “Life on Repeat” Sharing resources,
emotional support and self-care
Listen to “Calming the Chaos” Podcast by visiting
calmingthechaos.libsyn.com, or my Website: at
You can also listen on iTunes or Apple Podcasts and on YouTube
On my website, there’s a link to a mindfulness CD I created
called “On This Day.” This CD teaches you how to practice
mindfulness in less than 10 minutes throughout the day. Practicing
mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and increase clear
thinking in times of chaos.
You can purchase the CD on Amazon at http://bit.ly/onthisdaycd.
or in digital format at
Facebook Open Group: Lokahi Counseling, at
Thanks for listening, and take care!