Many people believe that when Alzheimer’s disease hits, there is nothing to be done to help their loved ones think clearly again.
However, cognitive-communication treatment can often maximize an individual’s quality of life and communication success.
This was the case for Dale Lovelace, who came to Northwood Hills Care Center in Humansville, Missouri, on June 10, 2016.
“Cognitive testing during hospitalization indicated scores in the extremely low range (less than 1 percentile),” said Karen Williams, director of rehab services.
Williams, who is also a speech-language pathologist, worked with Lovelace, using the Montessori Approach focusing on his interests to looking through the lens of ability.
“Mr. Lovelace had a lifetime of building his cognitive reserve, including Dale Carnegie’s famous training in public speaking and interpersonal skills to facilitate his successful sales career,” said Williams. “Research indicates stimuli that are novel and unexpected tend to elicit a higher level of brain activation. Our cognitive treatment sessions embraced novelty to achieve cognitive outcomes, including baking bread, creating songs on the piano and enjoying a good cup of coffee while strategizing life goals.”
After Lovelace’s treatment, he was retested, and his cognitive score was within normal limits!
To celebrate his achievements, Lovelace planned a party with a menu of sweet Italian sausage pasta and braided sourdough bread (made by Williams). When he arrived at the private dining room for the party, he said, “I’m under-dressed!” and went back to his room to change into his suit.
Lovelace is no longer living on the dementia unit but has joined the general population at the facility.
“My hope has been restored,” Lovelace said.
Through tears, Lovelace’s daughter shared, “I felt like I got my dad back!”