An interview with Adria Thompson, Speech Pathologist from Be Light Care on July 19, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
Adria Thompson is an esteemed Speech Language Pathologist and Dementia Educator with over nine years of experience in personalized speech therapy for individuals living with dementia. As the founder of Be Light Care Consulting, she collaborates with brands and organizations, offering invaluable insights on product development and dementia training. With a remarkable online following of over 290,000 engaged followers, Adria’s influential social media presence bridges knowledge gaps and cultivates empathy, making her an impactful voice in the field of dementia care.
Please tell me a little about your background.
I am a speech language pathologist and have provided individual speech therapy services to aging adults for the last 9 years in long term care settings. As a speech language pathologist, I diagnose, assess, and treat all deficits in communication, swallowing, and cognition. Over the course of my career, I have developed a passion for advocacy and awareness of neurological conditions like dementia.
Can you tell me more about your advocacy?
I create daily social media content for over 290,000 professional and personal caregivers of aging individuals. It is important to me to create easily digestible and accessible education and caregiving tips to fill in the gaps of medical care that exist once a diagnosis is provided. Often, day-to-day care tasks are overlooked, and no one gets training in how to be a caregiver.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
I am passionate about advocating for individuals who are often overlooked and misunderstood. My specialty is in the area of dementia, but many individuals with dementia also have Parkinson’s disease.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s awareness have when working with you?
When working with individuals with Parkinson’s disease, I will often be providing speech therapy services for changes in voice, articulation, facial expressions, swallowing, and cognition.
What effect can your advocacy have on an individual with Parkinson’s awareness?
I want to advocacy for how speech therapy can be beneficial in treating Parkinson’s symptoms.
What would you like to see as a future goal for your advocacy?
I want to continue to create online education content.
What events do you participate in?
I have been a keynote speaker and provided training for many conferences and seminars about dementia over the years and I create free online content.
How does this also assist the caregivers?
Caregivers can easily access my content online to get assistance when needed.
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson community, what would it be?
There is still light and opportunities for joy!
More on Be Light Care Consulting
You may be wondering who I am and why you should trust my dementia expertise?
I have worked with hundreds of individuals with dementia in long term care communities providing one-on-one speech therapy services. My specialty and passion quickly grew in dementia care. Because of this, in 2018 an occupational therapist and myself were asked by the therapy company I worked for to create a dementia program. The intention of this program was to train other therapists in how to provide more effective treatment with improved outcomes for individuals with dementia. I conducted virtual and in person training for physical, occupational, and speech therapists in 14 states and over 150 care communities.
Be Light Care Consulting started in September 2021 when I decided to adapt my services to support the care partners providing direct treatment to individuals with dementia. My goal is to support the tireless efforts of family members, friends, therapists, and other medical providers that are caring for individuals with dementia.
Now, let me share with you how I can help:
With everything I do, functionality is key. My advice and support will be practical and useful today. I also don’t just want to tell you what to do, but why. I don’t intend on you being reliant on me to provide care because I want you to understand the underlying problem so well that you can develop your own solutions to new problems on a daily basis.
For more information and resources see https://www.belightcare.com/free-resources