Rebecca Crapo OTR/L, FMT
I live and work in Massachusetts as an occupational therapist, caregiver consultant, and publisher. I love camping especially in Florida during the winter and I love golfing, a new sport I have picked up.
Professionally, I have been working as an OT for 12 years, and prior to that as a mental health family counselor. My first passion for OT was working with kids who have ADD, learning disabilities, and autism.
After my father became ill. I then turned my career toward hospital settings and elder care. My current passion is helping people understand and support their loved ones with dementia. Assist in a stress-free caregiving journey.
Besides being an occupational therapist and helping patients with personal independence, I cared for my father in his home who eventually fell ill with dementia early in life. I thought I knew everything about caregiving as an OT, and what equipment and resources were needed. I did not. There is another side to caregiving which is the caregiver. The amount of stress, patients, and understanding that is needed is overwhelming. Family dynamics, personal life, and work are still there, add to caring for an extra person who is confused and overwhelmed with daily tasks, is even more difficult.
Working as a rehab director I noticed insurance does not allow us to provide the appropriate time to teach family caregivers about dementia. With hip surgery, there is time to teach the "how to's and what not to do's." With dementia (cognitive memory loss) there is so much more. Because the brain is affected each moment is different, each person is different and people change quickly.
Having the skill set to communicate, approach, and understand someone with memory loss is hard. Not knowing if it's the diseases or them. Each person's personality is different and the same as family dynamics. All of this plays a role in providing a safe, supportive environment while maintaining a level of independence and dignity for your loved one.
I created a personalized approach for caregivers to discuss daily frustrations, and get proven solutions to daily tasks by learning, understanding, and delivering strategies for better dementia days. Alzheimer's, Lewy Body, Parkinson's, and Stroke all affect the brain, understanding how the brain affects all our behaviors is key to dementia success, and understanding.