Introductory Meeting: Getting to Know You
The NYUCI is designed to respond to your caregiving expectations and needs. Your counselor will use a comprehensive questionnaire to learn about your background, your role as a caregiver, your family, and the person with Alzheimer’s disease. You will have an opportunity to discuss thoughts triggered by the questionnaire about how caregiving has affected your life, your relationship with your spouse, your family and friends.
One-on-One Meeting with Your Counselor
You and the counselor will discuss how you might improve your own well-being and your ability to care for your spouse or partner. If you would like more information about the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, the counselor will either provide it or guide you to reliable sources. A focus of this discussion will be the positive and negative aspects of your family members’ involvement in caregiving and the changes you would like to see. With this in mind, you can discuss the family members you would to invite to the family meetings.
You can share your perspectives and reactions to the changes in the person with Alzheimer’s disease. The counselor can help you each to discuss how these changes have affected you, other members of the family, and your relationships. Differences in understanding of the illness and its implications for care can be resolved. You can talk about how you would like family members to be involved in caregiving. With the guidance of the counselor, family members will all be able to communicate more effectively and supportively with each other -- differences can be expressed constructively, and mutually acceptable solutions identified. The strategies and skills developed in the family meetings will continue to be useful after the formal family meetings have concluded.
Summary Meeting with your Counselor
You and the counselor will review the results of the counseling sessions -- the progress that has been made, what is working well and issues yet to be resolved. You can talk about new insights you have gained into your relationships with your family members, and how these relationships are affected by your role as a caregiver and the changing circumstances of the person with dementia. You and the counselor can discuss how and when you might want to access additional resources for yourself as a caregiver and for the person with dementia.
Ad Hoc Contacts
Ad hoc (as needed) contact with the counselor offers you, the spouse caregiver, and other participating family members the opportunity to contact the counselor for emotional support, advice and information about dementia and about reliable resources that can respond to your question or issue.
Your counselor may contact you periodically to repeat the questionnaire that was filled out at the introductory meeting. This is an opportunity to compare your current responses to those you made when you started counseling, to discuss changes in your role as a caregiver and in family relationships, and to identify new issues and discuss ways to resolve them.