Episode 42

Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver with Gretchen Staebler

Published on: 31st October, 2022

You'll love this episode with Laura and Gretchen as we talk about Gretchen's experience caring for her mother.

Gretchen left her job and friends on the East Coast in 2012 and returned to her childhood home on the West Coast to companion her 96 year old mother from whom she had been 'comfortably distanced' for 36 years. Her degree in counseling didn't help with this gig! Gretchen is the author of Mother Lode: Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver.

We discuss what helped Gretchen remain sane:

  • Maintaining her old habits/tapping into her old self
  • Her weekly writing group: "writing saved me"
  • Yoga
  • Listing 5 things she is grateful for daily
  • Keeping a list of what happened, what she did about it and the outcome

Gretchen has a fabulous website with pages I had fun exploring such as recipes, reading lists, and an encouragement page: gretchenstaebler.com

She is also known for her amazing blog and welcomes your stories, too: https://gretchenstaebler.com/blog


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Podcast Website: lifeonrepeatpodcast.com

Podcast Email: hello@lifeonrepeatpodcast.com

Professional Service Website: eldercarecounselor.com


I host a weekly podcast where I interview dementia specialists and other professionals to help caregivers feel educated, supported, and empowered.

We talk about a variety of topics including how to live your best life as a caregiver, how to work with challenges that may arise, and how to gain knowledge so you can be your own best advocate.

You can also find it by searching “Life on Repeat” on any podcast app (eg: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, etc) or simply saying "Alexa, listen to Life on Repeat Podcast” on your Apple device.

Or simply go to the link below for ease =).


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About the Podcast

Life on Repeat: A Dementia Caregiver Podcast
A Podcast for Dementia Caregivers
Life on Repeat is a podcast for those caring for someone with dementia. Join Laura Vaillancourt, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Geriatric Mental Health Specialist and Eldercare Coach as she explores helpful caregiving tips, practical resources and most importantly, how to care for yourself through this journey.

About your host

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Laura Vaillancourt

Laura has a unique perspective of dementia. She grew up spending time in the nursing home wing of the hospital her mother worked at in a rural community in the Pacific Northwest. She learned from a young age the importance and impact that connecting with those that have memory impairment can have. This early exposure shaped her perspective and fostered her passion and love of working with those who experience and live with dementia.

Laura is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Geriatric Mental Health Specialist and Eldercare Coach. She owns a group practice that specializes in serving the aging population and she has extensive experience as a consultant providing counseling, coaching and care management to families that are in the midst of making difficult decisions related to their loved one’s care and health transitions.

Laura's passion and professional experience has been working with individuals and family members that have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. She is a passionate speaker and educator on topics related to dementia and caregiving. She is the host of Life on Repeat: a Dementia Caregiver Podcast.