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Mark's success
Sunday, April 20, 2014
I recently talked by phone to a candidate for being a StilMee dementia coach from Minnesota. I was impressed by his compassion for his homecare clients and his eagerness for new information. I sent him a sample of my new e-book New Trends in Alzheimer Care; Finding the Spirit Within. A few days after our conversation he emailed me the following.

Beverly, I have to tell you how I used your "Trends" sample yesterday. You said in the book, "My belief is that people don't forget how to do something, they just can no longer initiate or organize it. Using prompts and visual cues help to address this challenge." 
My client yesterday is late stage Alzheimer's. He has been my client for several weeks. His wife stated yesterday that he has been sleeping later than usual and doesn't like to get out of bed. You had stated in your book that perhaps boredom could be an issue.
My client generally watches TV and naps while I am with him. His wife believes the sleepiness is due to his medication. It is very hard to get him up to change his Depends but I have regular success with doing that.
Anyway, my client had been an avid golfer prior to his Alzheimer's and I thought I'd try some visual cues to initiate a remembered response.
I took out a putter, some golf balls and a glass from the cupboard and proceeded to putt the balls toward the glass against the wall right in front of where he was sitting. I said nothing at first, then started to make casual comments and reactions like, "Oh, just missed." etc. Little by little, he became interested and starting making comments such as "Good shot." etc. I then extended an invitation for him to join me and he was taken back by that, laughed and shook his head no. I tried several variations of the invitation to join me with no luck. I would sit down for awhile, leave and watch to see if by chance he would try putting without me and I would come back to it. Nothing.
Finally I had to check his undergarments and take him to the restroom. when we returned to the living room, I extended the putter to him and said, "Will you putt with me?" and he said "Yes". It took him only a couple of putts to get reacquainted with it and it was like he did it all the time. Anyway, his wife came home to find us playing golf; she was tremendously pleased!!.
Mark showed patience, an easy approach in showing a 'procedure' that had been second nature to his client. Putting is hard-wired in his brain. Mark simply set up cues and, using a non-demanding approach, then finally inviting him to join in putting made it a non-threatening activity. Congratulations, Mark. I love to hear of successes like that.  
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"I was so frustrated all the time just trying to get him to shower. My coach made suggestions that always worked!"

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