Dementia Friendly Wyoming

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Contact us: 307-461-7134
admin@dfwsheridan.org

Staff

Kay Wallick, Dementia Friendly Wyoming Director

Kay WallickKay has over 35 years of experience in social service administration, working with diverse populations (older adults, at-risk youth, foster children and low-income families). Over the last 20 years she served as Executive Director and President of the Board for Shepherd’s Centers of America, providing support for over 60 community-based centers where older adult volunteers use their wisdom and skills to provide educational opportunities and in-home services for their peers. After moving to Sheridan in 2007 she worked with other passionate citizens to build four Green House Living for Sheridan homes where elders live dignified, fulfilling lives supported by quality care.  She continues to serve on the board.  The Green House board set as one of their goals “to create person-centered care for those living with dementia wherever they reside”.  Kay and others worked with the Center for a Vital Community to bring the community together to develop a plan to create a dementia friendly community.  This led to the submission of the grant to Administration for Community Living to support the building of a dementia capable system in Sheridan.   Kay is a graduate of the Sheridan CiViC Project for emerging and existing leaders through the Center for a Vital Community.   Other affiliations are as a board member for the Wyoming Board of Nursing Home Administrators and the Whedon Cancer Detection Foundation. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Kay’s Phone – 307-751-8040   Email – kwallick@dfwsheridan.org

Heather Comstock, Dementia Care Educator and certified as a Teepa Snow Physical Approach to Brain Change™  Trainer and Coach

Heather ComstockAfter receiving a B.A. in Social Sciences at the University of Wyoming, prior to her efforts with The Hub, Heather worked with a Sheridan-based national real estate franchise as an associate broker and later as the manager of the firm. In 2015, she began to design her future around a passion to work with older adults. She joined a group of Sheridan professionals that were beginning to study the creation of a dementia friendly community in Sheridan. Soon thereafter, Heather became the part-time Family Caregiver Services Coordinator at the Sheridan Senior Center. To enhance her skills in community development, she attended the “Art of Hosting & Harvesting Conversations that Matter” conference in South Dakota. Heather was one of 12 people selected internationally to attend the Michael Verde’s Memory Bridge Retreat (enhancing emotional communication with those living with dementia) in 2016. At the same time, she was working with a small team to submit a proposal for the Administration for Community Living Alzheimer’s Initiative. When the Sheridan Senior Center received notification that Sheridan was one of 11 recipients in the US in the fall of 2016, Heather became the Dementia Care Educator. She has now received her Dementia Care Certificate from the University of Wyoming and has become certified as a trainer and a coach for the Teepa Snow Positive Approach to Care (PAC). Heather and a small group of volunteers are “blazing the trail” to provide education to care partners about how to use the “Validation Method” to help in emotionally connecting to those that they are caring for. Heather is excited to be able to provide dementia-specific care partner skill preparations to our community through workshops and one-on-one coaching sessions. Watch our workshop calendar for dementia specific care partner education opportunities.

Heather’s Phone – 307-752-9111   Email – heathercomstock@dfwsheridan.org

Amanda Lawson, Program Coordinator

Amanda LawsonAmanda has been volunteering and been employed in community enrichment careers throughout her life. Her and her husband returned to her hometown of Sheridan ten years ago to raise their two daughters.  Since returning she has helped in development with the District #2 afterschool programs and was the owner of Caring Transitions.  While helping seniors with Caring Transitions, Amanda found that she is passionate about the issues that older members in the community and their families are challenged with.  Amanda has gone through volunteer Validation training which utilizes an empathetic communication technique while interacting with people living with early stages of Dementia. As a member of the Dementia Friendly Wyoming staff Amanda will be working to help develop and manage several of the volunteer programs.

Amanda’s Phone - 307-752-3735       Email – alawson@dfwsheridan.org

Vanessa Thiele, Caregiver Coordinator

A native of Texas, Vanessa moved to Sheridan in 2014 after completing her bachelors of Psychology from Texas A&M University. She quickly integrated herself with the Hub on Smith (formerly the Sheridan Senior Center) as a volunteer. After working as a VISTA Summer Associate in 2015, Vanessa discovered a great passion working with elders via the Hub’s many services. Vanessa witnessed and was inspired by seeing the impact of the Hub’s services throughout the surrounding community. She soon joined the spirited team at Day Break which offers a place of socialization and inclusion for adults. While at Day Break, Vanessa encouraged involvement of participants during activities and games, and soon realized the benefits of Day Break are two-fold: it decreases risk of elder isolation and withdrawal, and offers some much-needed respite for care partners. In 2017, Vanessa joined the Family Caregiver Program as Coordinator and Dementia Friendly Wyoming as Counselor with the objective of connecting care partners to community resources and counseling families who are entering early stages of dementia. 

Vanessa’s Phone - 307-461-7134       Email – fcgcoord@thehubsheridan.org

Dementia Friendly Wyoming, 1 South Scott Street #2, Sheridan, WY 82801

A program of The Hub, Sheridan's Senior Center

This document was developed under the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, Administration for Community Living.