Hope Carwile, a private practitioner and Innovations Specialist for Vivage Senior Living, parent company of WellAge communities, is one of 15 wellness experts appearing at the upcoming Virtual Caregiver Retreat for Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias.
“It’s exciting because I think this retreat will provide people with a new landscape for how we focus on self-care and how we can build peer support and rapport with our care partners,” said Hope, a licensed clinical social worker with 20 years of healthcare experience, primarily in long-term care settings.
Today, Hope’s work consists of bringing person-directed/centered care to WellAge communities and other senior living and memory care communities in the form of innovative interventions such as therapeutic touch, massage, music therapy, aromatherapy, energy work, the Virtual Dementia Tour and much more.
“A lot of these therapies are free in addition to being efficient and effective,” said Hope, who is also an educator in Eden Alternative Associate Training, Integrative Wellness, and Trauma-Informed Care, and a facilitator of Chair Yoga. “There is so much that is accessible to help us self-regulate and be more grounded and present. The path I’m starting to go down now in my career is energy psychology, and how that plays a part in how people live, especially those with progressive dementia.”
Hope brings these types of alternative non-pharmacological methods to WellAge communities to help staff grow their memory care treatment toolkits, from dementia capable care training, to virtual dementia care to “Autumn Colors,” a set of guiding tools she helped develop with input on best practices from numerous long-term care industry specialists.
At this October’s free online wellness retreat, Hope’s virtual session will teach caregivers about the Emotional Freedom Technique known as “tapping,” which soothes by interrupting the body’s stress response and focusing on the upper energy pulls of the body. The practice, which has origins in acupressure and acupuncture, involves the person lightly tapping areas of their own face, head, hands and ribs to release stress and negative energy, sometimes repeating a positive affirmation while doing so.
“We know we hold trauma in our bodies, and by hitting certain points we can allow for some stress release and calm,” Hope said. “It helps the central nervous system by putting you into a parasympathetic state naturally and calmly. It also helps validate those negative feelings and ends with a positive form of acceptance, which kind of tricks the neurology.”
Hope, who will be leading the live session from Denver, said she is excited for caregivers to learn about a new self-care tool to help them cope with the pandemic’s emotional challenges.
“This pandemic has been tragic, but it also blows my mind how resilient and creative people are,” said Hope. “Caregivers are doing the best they can within the restrictions placed upon them. But it’s also been extremely difficult for both caregivers and the people they care for, so it is important to validate that.”
Virtual Caregiver Retreat
Hosted live from Santa Fe, New Mexico Friday, October 2 through Saturday, October 3, this free event is open to family and professional caregivers to explore self-care tools drawing from the arts, movement and mindfulness. Hope Carwile’s presentation “Tapping for Emotional Freedom”, will take place Friday, October 2 at 10 a.m. MT.