With today’s #MeetTheTeamMonday, we are getting with the program—ADAW Program Director Becky DeBuhr, that is.
Becky (pictured above, far left, at the 2019 ADAW Richland County Alzheimer’s Walk) earned a Master of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and has significant experience developing innovative dementia programs for individuals and for their caregivers.
With an emphasis on rural Wisconsin communities, Becky ensures the ADAW creates and maintains programming that promotes sustainability of dementia care and provides families with in-depth consultations.
“We have a simple mission statement: the needs of families always comes first,” Becky said. “Simplicity helps us keep our eye on the ball.”
In addition to serving as program director, Becky is the dementia outreach specialist for Richland Center and partners with the Richland Medical Center Geriatric Assessment Clinic.
Becky cites her own personal caregiving journey as the primary reason for her work in this field and with the ADAW. She has experienced a dementia diagnosis in her own family and knows first-hand what it’s like to overcome emotional obstacles through hope and through positivity.
“There is much life to be lived after the diagnosis,” Becky said.
Becky’s family endured two “very different” dementia journeys, but she found a common experience in watching family members with a progressive, neurodegenerative disease change gradually over time.
She has experienced the heartbreak of dementia both personally and professionally.
“In my experiences, the best way to help the person with dementia, and their family, is to be educated in the medical and research aspects as well as best practices in dementia care,” Becky said.
Becky said a distinguishing factor of the ADAW is partnership: we work with medical providers, researchers, attorneys, dementia specialists, and other non-profit organizations.
So basically, there is never a shortage of inspiration at the ADAW.
“We translate the difficult to the do-able,” Becky said.
Often, families come to the ADAW bewildered, Becky explained, so it’s our job to have an educated, experienced team that is ready to assist.
This sense of community shows in our work.
“Our dementia outreach specialists strive to bring a sense of belonging to people—a sense that we are in their corner. I think this is what we do best.”
Becky’s passion for her work is driven by persons with dementia, care partners, and family members—who shine in their greatest time of need and who grow stronger despite the ups and downs of dementia.
“To be around wonderful people like these inspires me to strive for quality dementia education and services for our friends on the dementia journey.”
For more information on ADAW programs,
visit: www.alzwisc.org or call (888) 308-6251