• Discover Memory Care

    Workshops to Educate and Enrich


    Hosted by Deer Ridge Memory Care

    Puyallup, Washington

  • Time & Place

    Puyallup Activity Center

    210 W Pioneer Ave, Puyallup, WA 98371

    Google Maps


    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    Various Dates


    Complimentary Dinner and Workshop


    Important Note:

    Some of the events listed below are now virtual events.

    Depending on WA state policies, other events may also become virtual.

    Olivia will contact you either way.

  • Workshop Host

    Olivia Koelsch

    Director of Community Relations


    e: deerridgeDCR@koelschsenior.com

    c: 253.625.3104


    Deer Ridge Memory Care Community

    A Koelsch Community

    1515 S Meridian Puyallup, WA 98371


  • Workshop Descriptions

    Join one or more workshops.
    Earn a raffle entry for each workshop attended.

    Dementia & Depression

    Laura Vaillancourt is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Geriatric Mental Health Specialist. She began her private practice in 2012 after working several years in hospital, skilled nursing facility and dementia unit settings. She quickly recognized a need in the community for guidance when navigating difficult decisions in the world of aging.


    Laura has extensive experience as a consultant, coach and providing counseling 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 is a passionate speaker and educator about many aging related topics. She is the co-host of the Get in the Lifeboat Dementia Caregiver Summit and the host of the "Life on Repeat: a Dementia Caregiver Podcast".


    Laura has been a contracted provider with the South Sound Alzheimer’s Council, Washington State Home and Community Services, Area Agency on Aging’s Family Caregiver Support Program, and WA State Dept of Labor and Industries. She has participated as a clinician in NYU’s Family Caregiver Study, and educates physicians in residency at Providence St Peter's Hospital for their geriatric rotation. She was nominated by her community and peers for the 2019 Dennis Mahar Memorial Community Caregiver Award, an award that exemplifies community service and outstanding leadership in the South Sound community.


    Laura continues to participate in creative endeavors that better the lives of older adults and their families.



    Join Dementia Specialist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Laura Vaillancourt as she presents on depression and its effect on those who have dementia. It can be difficult to recognize when folks with dementia have depression due to their inability to articulate and express their experience. We will explore how to recognize symptoms, helpful interventions, medical conditions that can look like depression and get creative about entering the world of dementia and depression. We will also explore cutting edge science and studies around the cause of depression and new ways to address it with the most helpful interventions.


    Special Guest: Doug Olmstead | Long Term Care Financial Planner

    Laura Vaillancourt, MA, LMHC, GMHS

    Licensed Mental Health Counselor

    Geriatric Mental Health Specialist

    Facebook | Website

    Online Live Event

    Thursday, August 20th, 2020

    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

    Navigating the Dementia Maze

    William Martin was born and raised in Anderson SC. At the age of 17 he enlisted in the US Army and served as a calvary scout assigned to an Air Calvary unit based at Schofield Barracks HI. After finishing a 3 year commitment, he returned to SC for a brief period of time before enlisting in the United States Marine Corp as a communications specialist. This assignment took him back to HI where he was stationed at MCAS Kaneohe Bay. He spent 3 more years in service and decided to get out and pursue other things in life. In 1987, William Moved to the state of WA. After working a variety of jobs, He decided to return to school. He went to Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood WA, where he studied practical nursing.


    It was during preclinical training that William found his calling in life which was serving elders, especially those suffering from Dementia and the issues associated with caring for the people diagnosed with it. This calling has spanned more than 3 decades and continues to drive his passion to help others to understand the dynamics of aging and care delivery. William currently lives in Puyallup WA with his wife Lesya and two sons, Konstantine 14, and David, 13. He loves travel, reading, and physical exercise, especially racquetball. In addition to being a Licensed Practical Nurse, William is also certified as an Assisted Living Administrator, Holds a WA state Real Estate Brokers license and is a member of the Puyallup South Hill Rotary, NWMLS and Boy Scouts of America.



    Define Dementia

    Talking about the disease at large

    Talking about the subsets of Dementia

    What are behaviors of Dementia

    How to cope with the disease and behaviors

    William Martin, RN

    Executive Director

    Hearthside Manor Memory Care


    Thursday, September 17th, 2020

    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    Let's Talk about Memory Care

    Lisa Sheppard grew up in the PNW most of her life. She started her career when she was 17 years old in a Private Family Practice as their secretary. From there she accelerated into the Nursing field as a CNA, then advanced into a role in the community as a Case Manager, following Director of Business Development.


    She finished school with her LPN, Specializing in Geriatrics and her Degree in Business Management and Development and Mental Health/Psychology of Human Behaviors and Movements. After her experience working in all ranges of healthcare, she opened her own Nurse Placement Specialty Company that is accommodating to all levels of healthcare.




    Introduction to dementia

    Assessment of dementia

    Management of dementia


    Lisa Sheppard, LPN

    Case Manager, Owner

    Acqui Merge

    Thursday, October 15th, 2020

    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    How Do I Keep Dad Active?

    No Nonsense Strategies for Engaging a Person Living with Dementia

    Benjamin Surmi trains new Executive Directors in the Koelsch Living Well program and supports 80 Life Enrichment Directors in helping over 1,200 elders thrive.


    Benjamin grew up listening to his aging neighbors tell stories of life during World War II. “I would sit mesmerized by the power of their story-telling skills,” he says. As he began volunteering in assisted living communities, he developed a specific passion for empowering elders to enjoy a fruitful, meaningful elderhood – no matter what disabilities they encountered. He graduated with an M.S. in Gerontology and had often been selected for leading new initiatives. He opened a new memory care neighborhood in California and pioneered the elder-directed Turner Lifelong Learning Center in Nashville – the first partnership with a YMCA in the nation.



    Explore 7 Dementia Myths

    Understand the First Steps to Engaging Another Person

    10 Strategies for Helping Someone with Dementia Get Involved

    Charting a Personal Wellbeing Plan

    Benjamin Surmi, MsG

    Social Gerontologist

    Director of People and Culture

    Koelsch Communities

    Thursday, November 19th, 2020

    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    Past Sessions

    Dementia: What's the confusion?

    Diana Blowers started her journey as a LPN and progressed over time to her Master’s degree in Health Administration. She loves education and feels it is critical for ensuring improved comprehension of memory care and mental health diagnoses. She enjoys her family time as well as traveling.



    1) What is Dementia?

    2) Methods of coping with Dementia

    3) Types of Dementia

    4) Why is memory loss progressive? What is happening in the brain?

    5) Caregiver fatigue symptoms

    4) Dementia; what is the confusion about?

    Diana Blowers RN, MHA​

    Triage Nurse

    Pierce County Jail

    Thursday, July 16th, 2020

    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    Dementia and Driving: What are the implications?

    Amy Osborn attended Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, where she obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Arts and Letters. Her degree focus revolved around the mind and body connection and how we communicate. She has worked as a Director of Community Relations in Long Term Care for over 10 years. She started out her journey as a caregiver caring for elders with dementia and transitioned to Director of Community Relations, where she now assists families through their journey in finding the right options for their loved one and understanding dementia and how its impact on their loved one changes through time.



    Dementia and Driving: What are the implications? Lets talk about it. It’s one of the more difficult conversations you will have to have as an adult with your parents or as a guardian. Not only is your role reversed with your relationship, now you are having to address a loss of independence for your loved one. Join me as we address driving and dementia - what are the implications.

    Amy Osborn

    Regional Director of Sales

    Koelsch Communities

    Online Live Event

    Thursday, June 18th, 2020

    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

    Effective Communication Strategies

    Maggie Christofferson, BSW, is an Education Coordinator and Trainer for with the Washington State Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. She splits her time between coordinating presentations and delivering presentations. Maggie received her Bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Washington in 2009. She taught caregiving classes for the state of Washington from 2011-2018. Maggie has been a caregiver since 1996 and enjoys raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and Dementia. In her spare time Maggie enjoys running, reading, hot yoga, gardening, and walking her dog.



    Communication is more than just talking and listening — it’s also about sending and receiving messages through attitude, tone of voice, and body language.

    As the disease progresses, individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias lose the ability to use words, but families can find new ways to connect.

    Join us to explore how communication changes when someone is living with Alzheimer’s, learn how to interpret the verbal and behavioral communication, and identify strategies to help you connect and communicate at each stage of the disease.

    Maggie Christofferson

    Alzheimer's Association

    Education Coordinator & Trainer

    Online Live Event

    Thursday, May 21st, 2020

    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    Dementia Within the Brain

    Leah Baumfalk, RN, attended Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington and graduated as a Registered Nurse. She comes from a family of nurses and teachers and has always enjoyed nursing and teaching. She has worked with seniors for her entire career. A lifelong learner, she completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and trains caregivers and nurses with techniques to support those living with dementia and mental health challenges. Believing that knowledge is the foundation for families experiencing dementia, her goal is to provide those that are caring for people living with dementia support and understanding.



    What is Dementia?

    What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's?

    What's going on inside the brain?

    How do different dementia impact people differently?

    How does this knowledge impact caring for someone living with dementia?

    Leah Baumfalk, RN

    Resident Services Director

    Nurse and CNA Trainer

    Thursday, February 20th, 2020

    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    Memory Care 101 – Living a Life with Dementia

    Julie Clobes, RN, a Northwest native, graduated with a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Seattle Pacific University. She has worked in hospitals and senior living for over 40 years - serving as staff nurse in intensive care, emergency room, oncology, and pediatrics and as Director of Nursing in memory care and skilled nursing facilities. She is Director of Resident Services at Cedar Creek Memory Care, a Koelsch Community in Edmonds, WA. She is a Certified RN Case Manager and a Chronic Care Professional. Julie is married with 6 children and 5 perfect grandchildren. She enjoys large sewing projects, and long walks in the rain with her husband.



    Definition of Memory Care

    How do you know when a family member needs MC?
    Safety, Additional Health Care Needs, Caregiver Burnout

    Why Memory Care vs Assisted Living?

    Activity Programs – How they help

    Expectations in Memory Care

    The Koelsch Approach to Memory Care

    Meeting Basic Needs, Care Planning


    Maintaining Dignity and Respect

    Basic Life Needs, Showering - challenges, Incontinence Management, Eating and Nutrition, Weight-loss Management


    Julie Clobes, RN

    Certified RN Case Manager

    Chronic Care Professional

    Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    10 Signs of Dementia

    Maria Cura-Castro was fortunate to have been raised with an aging grandparent as a part of her day-to-day life and is inspired by how multi-generational relationships and experiences can develop individuals, families, communities and the world. Her passion for building a stronger and innovative aging experience through education, resources, compassion and hope has led to several community projects and philanthropic based support throughout Southwest Washington. Additional experience includes certified training and education for family caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia, facilitator for family caregiver support groups focused on memory loss and Parkinson’s disease. Maria is the Southwest Washington Director of Sales & Marketing for Koelsch Communities.



    Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer's or other dementia. Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. There are 10 warning signs and symptoms. If you notice any of them, don't ignore them. We will discuss:

    * What’s a typical age-related change?

    * What are the signs that would trigger you to take action?

    Maria Cura-Castro

    Alzheimer's Association

    Community Educator & Advocate

    Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm