Episode 31

Polyvagal Theory and Caregiving with Teresa Quadres, LCSW

Published on: 11th April, 2022

I hope you enjoy this episode with Teresa Quadres as she talks about Polyvagal Theory, how our autonomic nervous system works and the "rungs of the ladder": ventral vagal state, sympathetic state and dorsal vagal state. Most importantly, we talk about how to recognize and befriend each of these states.

She encourages doing these three things to help yourself:

  1. Notice: have awareness to how you are responding in the moment
  2. Remind yourself you are human: your response is normal
  3. Ask yourself what state you may be in: where are you at on the ladder?
  4. What state is your love one in?

Teresa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 25 years of experience working in health care, mostly in palliative care and hospice. She currently works part time as a palliative care social worker and has a part-time private psychotherapy practice.

Teresa was also a guest in episode #14: Hospice, Palliative Care and Decision Making

You can find out more about Teresa and her work here: TeresaQuadres.com

Teresa has a fabulous blog you can check out here!

Deb Dana's work: Rhythm of Regulation

Deb Dana's book: Anchored

Robert Sapolsky's book: Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers


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Podcast Website: lifeonrepeatpodcast.com

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Professional Service Website: eldercarecounselor.com


I host a weekly podcast where I interview dementia specialists and other professionals to help caregivers feel educated, supported, and empowered.

We talk about a variety of topics including how to live your best life as a caregiver, how to work with challenges that may arise, and how to gain knowledge so you can be your own best advocate.

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About the Podcast

Life on Repeat: A Dementia Caregiver Podcast
A Podcast for Dementia Caregivers
Life on Repeat is a podcast for those caring for someone with dementia. Join Laura Vaillancourt, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Geriatric Mental Health Specialist and Eldercare Coach as she explores helpful caregiving tips, practical resources and most importantly, how to care for yourself through this journey.

About your host

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Laura Vaillancourt

Laura has a unique perspective of dementia. She grew up spending time in the nursing home wing of the hospital her mother worked at in a rural community in the Pacific Northwest. She learned from a young age the importance and impact that connecting with those that have memory impairment can have. This early exposure shaped her perspective and fostered her passion and love of working with those who experience and live with dementia.

Laura is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Geriatric Mental Health Specialist and Eldercare Coach. She owns a group practice that specializes in serving the aging population and she has extensive experience as a consultant providing counseling, coaching 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's passion and professional experience has been working with individuals and family members that have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. She is a passionate speaker and educator on topics related to dementia and caregiving. She is the host of Life on Repeat: a Dementia Caregiver Podcast.