Five Features of an Expert

What is the definition of expertise? When choosing assistance of any kind for your loved one you want to separate the experts from the novices. There are five key qualities of an expert:
• History of success
• Affiliation
• Longevity in practice coupled with contemporary research and innovation
• Appraisal and authenticity
As a dementia coach and memory care expert, Dr. Cate, Dementia Coach meets all five qualities of expertise.
When assessing the expertise of a consultant you want to ask if she/he has the stability of longevity in memory care as well as the flexibility of multiple roles.
• How much experience has the individual had in dementia?
• Is her perspective one of both family and professional experience or solely family?
• Has she been successful in her roles? Ask for references.
A professional who has worked with dementia in a variety of professional settings and has walked the journey as a family member has the best overall perspective. If a professional’s entire experience with dementia is as a family member, there will be a deficit in scope of diagnosis, and of the multitude of care choices and considerations.
Is this a professional who is keeping up with the latest research and innovations in care? The understanding of Alzheimer’s and related dementias is developing more each day. Textbook training and a family member experience will be insufficient.
A wise dementia coach will have her finger on the pulse of both general and specific dementia research. Every study clarifies an aspect of the diseases and the best practice of care. What was credible five years ago or sometimes as recently as last month, is notalways credible today.
Finally, expertise is defined by appraisal and authenticity.
Authenticity is defined as truthfulness of origins, commitments, intentions. Authenticity comes from sincerity, devotion . . . and expertise.
• Does the professional speak from the perspective of glass half empty or glass half full? Caregiving is overwhelming enough, you do not need a coach to join you in the despair.
• Does the professional sound, feel, sincere? Authentic? Does your gut say this is a good fit?
With decades of memory care experience in a variety of settings, family experience, and a foundation of academic research specific to aging and dementia—-Dr. Cate, Dementia Coach is the real deal.

Author: Cate
Passionate about dementia care and quality of life throughout the last days of life----sums up Cate McCarty, Dr. Cate, Dementia Coach. With close to forty years of long-term care experience in nursing and recreation, a Master's in Thanatology and a PhD in Aging Studies, Dr. Cate seizes every opportunity to translate research into quality of life for individuals with dementia and all of us who have the honor to "rub elbows" with them.

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