May/June

Support for Those Living with Dementia

Alison Kennedy provides one-on-one cognitive stimulation and emotional support to clients living with dementia. This is her story.
 I was once hired to work with a client in a locked personal care home unit who was sleeping excessively. My first challenge was to get him to wake up! The unit nurse suggested I start reading to him when I visited. I did. A few weeks later another nurse on the unit popped her head in the room, called to my sleeping client who to all appearances was comatose and told him to wake up as I was there. He rolled over opened his eyes and told her that he was listening to a great story, did she mind??  I almost fell off of my chair!
Eventually he was staying awake. One day I gave him a set of letters and had him spell “Thanksgiving” on the table.  I then said we are going to take turns creating original small words out of those letters. You go first and create five words. He did as I wrote them down. Then it was my turn.  We went back and forth for an hour. Do you know that between us we created 102 original words out of those letters! Towards the end he was starting to squirm in his seat. He did not want to lose to a woman!
He came to life and made me marvel at the hidden talents in sleeping bodies in nursing homes. You know something else…he could do math faster than I!

Visit Alison's website Kennedy Cognitive Services, Inc. 

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