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As a Masters-level gerontologist, the owner, Michele Boudinot, has developed a unique approach to care management based on the strengths-based perspective used in social work. Only a handful of care managers across the country are actively using this approach, although we at North Bay Eldercare Options feel this model will be increasingly adopted in the future.

For many years, the traditional medical model in the field of aging has had a focus on the decline, illnesses, frailties and disabilities of the aging adult. Well-meaning experts would swoop in to tell the family “what they should do” for their elderly parents. The elder had a passive role which, understandably, often led to feelings of vulnerability, helplessness and defensiveness. The result was resistance.

Instead of using the old model of “deficits,” “interventions” and disempowering approaches, at North Bay Eldercare Options our work is client-centered and based on a belief that all people are best served by collaboration and empowerment. Our approach is deeply-rooted in the conviction that growth is a life-long process that does not stop when one reaches old age. We feel that even ill, frail and cognitively impaired older adults can be helped to live their lives to their fullest potential, within their circumstances. We also believe that the elders themselves inherently know best what is needed for them to live satisfying and meaningful lives.

Many of our elders have faced difficulties in their lives that have helped them to hone their own particular coping methods and adaptation strategies. Rather than try to use a “one size fits all” approach, we work with the elder to access their inner resources that will aid in coping with the many challenges and losses of advanced age. We recognize that each client’s history, capabilities and personal strengths are unique. We use a collaborative partnership that actively involves the elder – even those who have had a lifetime pattern of passivity and dependency can be included, informed and involved. This approach fosters feelings of competency, dignity and well-being, and ultimately brings better results for all concerned.

At North Bay Eldercare Options, we place an emphasis on dignity and respect, on relationships, on comfort, and on the overall quality of life and day-to-day enjoyment of small pleasures. It is our hope that by helping our elders live out their lives with feelings of contentment and self-worth that the experience for the whole family will be a more rewarding and meaningful time.

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