Cheri L. Elson and Allen G. Drescher, Retired
21 S. 2nd St. ● Ashland ● Oregon ● 97520
*** Due to COVID-19, we now offer web-based Video Conferencing. LEARN MORE HERE ***

Event at the Ashland Food Co-op!

I am so excited to be speaking at the Ashland Food Co-op May 2, 2016, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.!

We will be discussing the importance of having one’s legal documents in order before illness strikes, as well as looking at some of the many ways of paying for long-term illnesses such as dementia.

For more information, please contact the Co-op directly at (541) 482-2237; they have all the details on how to sign up!

I hope to see everyone there – it will be a great presentation and I promise we will have fun while looking at these important issues!

2016-05-02 Legal Tools Flyer (Coop)

What is NLP?

NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a name that encompasses the three most influential components involved in producing the human experience: neurology, language, and programming. It began as Richard Bandler’s thesis project at UC Santa Cruz, California. He and his professor, John Grinder, wanted to develop models of human behavior to understand why certain people were so successful. The idea was that if they could come up with a model of the behavior, the skills could be acquired by anyone.

NLP is a multi-dimensional process that involves both the development of behavioral competence and flexibility, as well as strategic thinking and an understanding of the mental and cognitive processes behind behavior. It provides a system of empowering beliefs and presuppositions about what human beings are, what communication is, and what the process of change is all about. NLP is also about self-discovery and exploring identity and mission.

There are 15 basic presuppositions upon which NLP is founded. Among these are the belief that no one is broken and that everyone acts “perfectly” given his or her experiences. This does not mean that the serial killer should not be incarcerated, or that the murders are okay; it is simply a way of looking at their actions from a different perspective.

Another presupposition is that we all have all the resources we need and that it is a matter of being able to access them at appropriate times and in appropriate ways. This makes NLP a very empowering modality for coaching, as the coaches “job” is not to fix anyone, but rather to help them access the resources they already have available to them in a better way for them. There is no judgment in NLP; if someone is not ready to make a particular journey that is fine. The resources and skills needed to access them are always available when they in a place that feels good to them.

One of the richest presuppositions is the one that states the map is not the territory. This suggests that we can never really know reality, rather only our perception of it. Every person will have a different perception of reality and therefore respond differently. In their studies, Bandler and Grinder found that the most successful people were those whose map allows them to perceive the greatest number of available choices and perspectives. Wisdom comes from having multiple perspectives.

NLP can be a powerful tool in working with a family touched by dementia. The skills learned in NLP can help us reframe our relationship with the disease and someone affected by it. This reframing can keep our “buttons” from being “pushed” by someone no longer able to monitor their own behavior.

If you are struggling with dementia in your family and would like to learn more about how NLP may be of help, please do not hesitate to contact me and set up a consultation.

Cheri Elson
Gray Matters Consulting
(541) 708-1147

For more information:
What is NLP?
What is NLP?

Signs Your Parent May Need Help at Home

As the Baby Boomers turn 65 (at the rate of one every 10 seconds), more and more Americans will find themselves with senior-aged parents and faced with some potentially difficult realities. Among those, recognizing when Mom or Dad need help at home. Aging parents are often in denial that there is a problem and, often, the kids either don’t see it, or are also in denial.  After being independent for so long, it can be difficult for someone to admit they need help.

The burden of recognizing the signs that an aging parent may need help with daily living tasks often falls on the children. It is important to communicate with your parents and let them know why you are worried and that you want to help. The best solutions will be the ones worked out together.

Here are some signs that may indicate your parent needs help:

  1. Forgetfulness

Are appointments missed or bills not getting paid? Are common objects being put in illogical places (i.e. car keys in the freezer). Perhaps medication is being incorrectly or not at all.

If you notice any of these, an assessment (both medical and cognitive) may be in order to determine what is going on and to start to come up with some options. Knowing the cause of the condition means effective treatments can be put in place and your loved one can be kept safe.

  1. Difficulty Getting Around

Are your parents having trouble moving around or getting in and out of chairs? If so, having a two-story house could be problematic and put your parents at a much higher fall risk. Check for slippery tiles and furniture that creates obstacles.

Providing them with a cane or walker may be all that is needed. Or, modifications to the house may be possible, allowing them to remain at home. Your parent may be reluctant to leave their home of 30, 40, 50 years, and that’s okay. The goal is not get them to leave the home, but rather to come up together with viable options that keep them safe.

  1. Unusual Amount of Clutter

Is there dirty laundry or unopened mail in a home that is historically meticulously clean? Does the lawn need mowing? This could be a sign of cognitive decline, or simply that the house is getting to be too much for your parents to handle. A conversation with them could help determine what is needed: a housekeeper, gardener, or a more significant geriatric makeover.

  1. Change in Personality

Are there changes in your parents’ personality? Are they speaking too loudly or softly? Are they accusing people of taking their things, or exhibiting other paranoid behavior?

This could be a sign of dementia. An appointment with a medical doctor for a cognitive assessment could be important to establish a base line from which to gauge any further decline. If there is a diagnosis of dementia, that in itself does not mean that your parents cannot participate in the decision-making process; the severity of the dementia will have more of an impact on their inclusion in the conversation. However, dementia will mean that at some point they will not be able to make decisions and now is the time to make certain all legal and medical documents are in order.

It is important to remember that needing assistance does not necessarily mean leaving the home. It may be that extra help in the home environment is all that is needed to keep your loved one safe and healthy. A care manager may be able to assist with determining what extra services are needed and where to look for help. If you are concerned with a family member and would like to speak more about this, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be honored to sit down with you and discuss your situation in more detail.

Cheri Elson
Gray Matters Consulting
(541) 708-1147

For more information:
9 Signs Your Parent Needs Help
Signs Your Senior Parents Need Help
Signs Your Parent Needs Help

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