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Becoming a Memory Health Coach (and How My Practice is Expanding!)

brain health coaching cognitive changes memory health Aug 09, 2022
Memory Health Coach

I started on this journey ten years ago not knowing that it would lead me here.

My road to becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) appeared linear… Get the grades, apply to graduate school, work your butt off, get your masters, apply for jobs. Check, check and check.

That linear path led me to work with older adults and seniors where I learned a lot of life lessons and even more about our healthcare system.

Eventually, it was these lessons that gave me the strength I needed to create a new path beyond the structured healthcare model for memory health, a path that leads to clarity and empowerment rather than frustration and turbulence.

To understand what I do now, I must give you a glimpse of how I got here.

Education

Over the years, my career aspirations changed. From teacher, to lawyer, to audiologist and eventually to becoming an SLP.

Of all those career choices though, one thing always remained true: I wanted to work with people.

I attended the University of South Florida (Go Bulls!) for both undergrad and graduate school, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders and later a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology.

The role of a Speech-Language Pathologist

What many people don’t realize is that the scope of an SLP is quite broad.

Yes, we work in schools and pediatric clinics targeting articulation and language.

We also work in hospitals, home care and rehabilitation settings. We target speech, fluency, swallowing, communication, language, voice, and cognition across all age groups.

It didn’t take me long to realize I belonged working with adults. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids, in fact, I have two of my own! But professionally, I was drawn to rehabilitation with adults.

Why Memory Health?

I began working in skilled nursing, assisted living and memory care settings, where my patients were mostly over 60 except for a few who were 45+ (my youngest patient was 44).

Over the years, cognitive therapy became my thing. Honestly, I didn't really have a choice because everyone had memory problems! 

But while memory problems are common, they're not normal, nor are they inevitable with age. 

And unfortunately, the traditional medical model does little to educate you on how to care for your memory and even less to rescue your memory once it becomes a problem. 

If you’ve ever been around someone with an impairment in memory function, then you know that these words hold a lot of power over people:

“I just can’t remember.”

“I forgot.”

It was this constant reminder that led me to learn everything I could about memory health and more importantly: how to strengthen and preserve it.

Stepping Into My Power

I’m a strong believer that when your passion and purpose are aligned it shines through in your work.

I enjoyed my time in healthcare, mostly because I enjoyed getting to know my patients. I was captivated by their stories, strength, and perseverance. I also got to work alongside some fabulous therapists and teams. It’s honestly what kept me in the field for so many years.

But after so long, the medical model for health care began to wear me down. It’s no secret that there are huge gaps and flaws with our (US) healthcare system, and I began to feel the pressure from above weighing down on me, with corporate healthcare companies more concerned about their bottom line than their patients.

After all, corporate healthcare doesn’t get paid for your compassion as a therapist.

So, with every passing year I could feel the urge to branch out bubbling up inside of me until finally it boiled over.

From Passion to Purpose

Coincidentally, during my final two years working in healthcare, I had found a deep passion for learning about diet and lifestyle and how it impacts your health as you age.

It happened quite by accident. I was home with my daughter who was sick with a stomach bug, she was napping, it was snowing (rare here in SC) and I turned on a documentary about food.

In this documentary, they covered information on processed foods and different diets and how it impacts your overall health. I was instantly drawn in and it sent me down the rabbit hole of reading book after book on the topic of food, lifestyle, and disease prevention.

Though I’ve always been what I had thought to be a healthy eater and avid exerciser, I began making changes to my own diet and lifestyle based on what I was learning, and I had more energy and clear focus than ever before (which is saying a lot when you have toddlers!)

I couldn’t help but relate what I was learning with this new hobby with what I saw each day at work. I was surrounded by people (whose median age was getting younger) who had cognitive dysfunction, memory problems, strokes, heart disease, etc. and I knew there was more I could be doing.

So, I did something I said I would never do after grad school - I went back to school.

I already had the memory health component down. I know how memory works. I can create and personalize memory strategies like the back of my hand. I can help you apply these strategies into your life. But memory strategies alone won't solve your memory problems. 

What I knew was missing was a more expansive lifestyle approach. An approach that would need to go beyond my scope as an SLP to help you break down the barriers that are holding you back from clear thinking and a vibrant memory.

I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and became a certified health and nutrition coach.

Now I had what I needed to help you on a deeper, more meaningful level.

What I'm Doing Now

After all that time in healthcare, I've finally left the system behind. I opened my own practice, Longevity Coaching, LLC. and now I work 1:1 with clients virtually from all over the world. It's been an amazing experience stepping into this role as a Memory Health Coach and being able to combine my expertise in memory and my passion for healthy living into a program that truly helps people. 

Virtual Memory Coaching

You deserve clear thinking and a vibrant memory at every age and when those subtle memory difficulties start to creep in, it can make you question everything.

Why do I need help with remembering things?

Will this continue to get worse?

This is so frustrating.

Are these early signs of dementia?

Here’s the thing, stressing about your memory will only make it worse. What you need is a plan, personalized with memory strategies to help you now and a lifestyle intervention approach to support a strong, clear mind as you age.

One without the other simply won’t lead to lasting results. You need a complete approach, a visual to show you where to start and what to focus on and personalized support along the way to help you reach your goals and to overcome your memory challenges once and for all.

Through 1:1 coaching, we will:

  • Uncover your unique risks and free you from the weight of those concerns.
  • Identify the roadblocks that are holding you back from clear thinking.
  • Set practical and effective goals that align with your lifestyle.
  • Create a clear path to overcome your current challenges with the right tools to keep you moving forward.
  • Strengthen your memory and create a plan to keep it healthy for a lifetime.

Who I Help

If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know that I’ve spent a lot of time working with people 60+ on their memory health.

I’m excited to share that my practice is expanding! While most of my content has been geared toward older adults, many of my clients are in their 40s and 50s.

The Mind Your Memory™ coaching program is a 1:1 highly personalized program and it can support memory function at any age.

For that reason, I’m proud to announce that I will now be accepting clients age 40+ into the program.

If….

  • Your memory has never been good and now it's getting worse.
  • Your memory is not as sharp as it was 10 years ago.
  • You often wonder why you walked into a room.
  • You know what you want to say, but your words get stuck on the tip of your tongue.
  • You frequently misplace things.
  • You chat with someone, read a book or watch a movie but don't remember the details shortly thereafter. 
  • You struggle with brain fog.
  • You're concerned about your family history of dementia and what it means for your future.
  • You wonder what you can do to prevent Alzheimer's and dementia.
  • You've been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

And you’re ready to take the next step to overcome these challenges once and for all, you can click here to snag a spot on my schedule for your (free) consultation.

Not ready to book a call but want to learn more about Strengthening Your Mind as You Age? Click here to download my free resource to help you get started.

Questions?
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Meet your memory health coach

Francine Waskavitz, owner and lead coach at Longevity Coaching, LLC. is a memory health expert dedicated to helping you get your memory back, strengthen it and keep it healthy for a lifetime.

Her mission is to empower you to take early action to support your brain health so you can thrive in the life you’ve worked so hard to create, without memory loss interrupting your plans.

Francine has her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders and her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) from the University of South Florida. She also attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) where she became an Integrative Health and Nutrition Coach.

Leveraging her expertise in memory from her 10 years as an SLP with her passion for health and wellness, Francine is dismantling the myth that memory loss is inevitable with age. 

Schedule your free coaching call to get started
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