Coping With Dementia was born from its president, Deborah Salsavage’s, personal experience as a caregiver for her husband who died from dementia in 2010. She believed the current and accepted standards of care were insufficient, ineffective, and uncompassionate, based on a lack of understanding of the disease and how it affects the behaviors of individuals with the disease. 

“We believe that most troublesome behaviors by individuals with dementia are provoked by caregivers who are working with a lack of understanding, experience, and proper training,” Selsavage says. 

As a licensed assisted-living facility administrator specializing in memory care, Selsavage’s company provides education, training, and awareness information for both family and professional caregivers. 

Learn more at http://www.coping.today/ 

How SCORE Helped: 

“Our business is unique,” Selsavage explains. “We are aware of no other organization that is deploying the concepts of person-centered, compassionate dementia care to family caregivers and the public at large.” There wasn’t a tried-and-true business model for Coping With Dementia to follow, and Selsavage knew she needed expertise and objective advice. 

“When we decided that a website was a tool we should invest in, we met with a SCORE mentor, Sabrina Watson,” Selsavage recalls. Watson helped the company build a website and set up a mailing-list management system and electronic newsletter. 

My Successes: 

“SCORE mentors have helped us during the first year to find a direction and move towards it,” Selsavage says. Early on, the business focused on branding and building an identity that lent to its credibility. It also identified five primary client groups and made a plan to address each with limited resources.

Coping With Dementia is a mobile business, which brings services to clients without the costs of a brick-and-mortar facility. “Low expenses have enabled us to focus on quality rather than an urgent need to generate revenue,” Selsavage says. “SCORE has been very supportive of our business idea and the process.”