This information taken from: http://www.recreativeresources.com/STARS.2013.htm
To see the monthly newsletter, click on this link: REC Room Newsletter – Louise Smith wins Star Award 2013. Article written by Gloria Hoffner, owner of Guitar with Gloria and Science for Seniors.
Mary’s first days and weeks in the dementia unit of the nursing home were filled with the same two words, “Come on, come on, come on.” They were the same words her family said Mary began to repeat over and over as her dementia progressed. Even the hospice nurse who visited Mary at the nursing home said no one had been able to change Mary’s two-word vocabulary.
All that changed when Louise Smith, an activity professional at Sterling Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Media, Pennsylvania entered Mary’s life. These days, Mary converses with the staff, sings songs, plays ball, works on art and finishes puzzles. The secret, Smith said, is working one-on-one and building up Mary’s skills day by day. She began by introducing Mary to large piece easy to assemble puzzles. “I started with large puzzles,” Smith said. “I put the puzzle pieces with the finished edge towards her. Then together we added a piece at a time until the puzzle was completed.” As they worked, Smith talked with Mary and encouraged her work on the puzzle. When each large piece puzzle was completed, Smith would use the subject matter to extend Mary’s conversations. So they might talk about the Golden Retriever dog or the tall red barn featured in the puzzle.
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