Laura Vaillancourt on working with dementia and caregiving for the elderly | PoP 642

A photo of Laura Vaillancourt is captured. Laura is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Geriatric Mental Health Specialist, and Eldercare Coach. Laura Vaillancourt is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Do you think that the skills you possess are limited to just one-on-counseling? How can you pivot from spending all your time in the chair to leveling up and offering additional services such as counseling? What are some important pillars of caregiving?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Laura Vaillancourt about how she grew her private practice within her caregiving niche and is now reaching the aging population via her podcast.

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Meet Laura Vaillancourt

A photo of Laura Vaillancourt is captured. Laura is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Geriatric Mental Health Specialist and Eldercare Coach. She is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

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.

Laura’s passion and much of her experience have 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.

Visit the ElderCare Counselor website and connect with Laura on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Download our “10 Ways to Stay Sane as a Caregiver.” Don’t forget to take care of yourself— you help the most when you’re at your best.

In This Podcast

  • Starting with a niche in private practice
  • Pivoting in private practice
  • Information vs implementation in consulting
  • Pillars of caregiving

Starting with a niche in private practice

When Laura was in grad school, her dream was to start a private practice. Having had the unique experience of growing up in a remote community with her mom being a nurse, Laura would spend days with her mom at work in the nursing home. She already knew that she wanted to work with the aging population.

At this point, there was nobody specializing in working with the aging population, Laura was the only person in her grad program focused on this. So, after working in hospitals, nursing homes, and dementia units as a social worker, she started her private practice.

The folks that would come into my office were in serious crisis. They needed direction, they needed guidance, they needed somebody to help them navigate these complex systems in the medical field. (Laura Vaillancourt)

Pivoting in private practice

Laura found that her clients really needed more practical on-the-ground guidance. This is when she pivoted in her private practice.

Very quickly my counseling practice pivoted to also include care management and consulting. This looked like wearing a few different hats. (Laura Vaillancourt)

Adding different services to your private practice could be a bit tricky as you have to navigate licensing and legalities as per your state’s rules. Luckily for Laura, the additions she made to her practice were a bit more clear.

We look at the legal piece and the ethical piece that comes with the associations we’re affiliated with and following their guidelines, as well as state guidelines. But we’re also looking within ourselves and keeping it very clear as to which hat we are wearing. (Laura Vaillancourt)

Information vs implementation in consulting

Laura had been advised to not share too much information with her clients upfront as this would take away from people needing to rebook with her or hiring her. She very quickly decided that this was not her style.

The more information you give, you’re showing your clients that you know what you’re talking about. You’re showing them you’re there for them, you’re showing them that you have an expertise, and then they trust you even more. (Laura Vaillancourt)

You could certainly share all of the necessary information with your clients, but they are probably going to get overwhelmed with it. Then they are going to realize that they need your help to implement it.

Because of this approach, Laura has established herself as the expert in her field, despite the fact that she doesn’t even advertise her business.

Pillars of caregiving

When it comes to caregiving there are so many different moving pieces and it is imperative that you become familiar with:

  • Legalities
  • Finance
  • Crisis management
  • Future planning
  • Supporting the primary caregiver
  • Creating a support team for the caregiver
  • Making sure that you’re informed

Find out more at

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

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