Memory Support Coaching Now Available

March 01, 2024

Memory Support Coaching Now Available

Life is full of trials that we may feel ill-equipped to meet on our own, and the challenges of aging in particular can be difficult for older adults and their caregivers alike. The goal of Aviv Older Adult Services is to empower people to live as fully as possible as they age — and a big part of that is destigmatizing memory changes. We are pleased to now be offering Memory Support Coaching to do just that.

Our Cognitive Coaching enhances quality of life and independence for individuals with early-to-middle-stage dementia by maintaining and/or increasing cognition, which can slow disease progression and foster independence in individuals. Engagement Coaching equips care partners to create a meaningful and effective relationship with the person experiencing dementia as the disease progresses. Engagement Coaching lowers stress levels and increases quality of life for both individuals by helping caretakers understand memory changes, and giving them tools to meet their loved ones where they are amidst those changes.

“There is a stigma with dementia- no one talks about it unless you have to,” said Samantha Freeman, MS, CPG, CDP, who is a Case Manager with Aviv and leads our Memory Support Coaching as a Dementia Specialist. “When people have a parent diagnosed with dementia, they’re often facing it without the education and the tools to handle it.”

Not only is there a lack of societal support for dementia, but it’s also becoming more prevalent as life expectancy extends. “We’re providing tools for the younger generations to be able to help their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles as they go through this hard process,” said Samantha. “When the person experiencing dementia starts changing, that disconnect can dehumanize the person; our coaching builds a bridge between them and their caregiver to begin to be able to see them as a person again, and a valuable member of society.”

Samantha Freeman, MS, CPG, CDP

Samantha’s passion for this work is rooted in reverence for the older adult population, as well as her own family experience with dementia. She was interested in healthcare and the human body from an early age and began working as a Certified Nursing Assistant in high school. Her paternal grandmother was diagnosed with dementia during this time, and while working in nursing homes through college, she found it particularly rewarding to work with people living with dementia. Toward the end of her studies, her maternal grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, too.

“I think part of my love and passion for this population, especially those with dementia, is that they are overlooked, they are seen as ‘less than,’ and I feel like I can relate to that in some ways,” she said. “Being an advocate for those who cannot speak up for themselves and bringing dignity to their lives is so important to me.”

“It’s incredibly rewarding work,” she continued. “During the middle to later stages of the disease, their world slowly begins to close off as the disease progresses. When I’m able to find my way into their world, be there with them, and see the person behind their eyes, I go home and know that I did something special that day, even if for just a moment.”

Early in her career at JF&CS, Samantha was able to connect with her maternal grandmother when she was a Music & Memory client at the agency. She saw firsthand how her training allowed her to connect with her grandmother in a special way and was able to provide resources for her and their family.

“Because I had the tools and the skillset, I was able to really connect with her, and to do so in a kind and patient way,” she said. “This is why I love to do the coaching and the presentations that I do, because it gives people the tools that they need to be able to have those conversations, feel that connection, and have meaningful interactions.”

“One of the reasons I love working for JF&CS is because I can touch more lives and provide more education in the broader community, rather than in just one building,” Samantha concluded. “I work in homes, assisted living neighborhoods, nursing communities, and I’m able to make an impact. I want to leave a mark on the world, and I feel like I can do that really well here at JF&CS: I’m given the opportunity to create new programs, like the coaching program; I’m able to see what the community needs and wants and respond to that, which is so rewarding.”

To learn more about Memory Support Coaching, reach out to Samantha at or 770-677-9415.