2019 SCHA Awards
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Organization: Dignified Dementia Coaching
List your nominee's experience in Senior Care.
Trainer and developer of specialized memory care programs in assisted living communities regionally; rec therapist for senior mental health inpatient program; trainer of caregivers; private consultant
Describe how your Nominee has exceeded his or her Job Description, becoming a hero to you or others. Provide an example or as much detail as possible of the things that they do that go above and beyond their job description.
I frequently recognize deficits in the lifestyle of my clients, who are individuals trying to cope with loss of functioning due to the onset or advancement of memory loss. Families are desperate to help a loved one, and find little solace in knowing that beyond the prescription of some medications to help retard growth of the disease, little can be done.
To ensure stability is only the first step. In my 30+ years in the industry, I find that frequently the bar has been set too low. The best professionals aren't satisfied with merely helping a person to a safe spot. The goal must be to create an environment that is not only safe, but OPTIMAL This means creating a standard that frequently has been abandoned in despair by frazzled loved ones who've relegated themselves to an "it'll do" resignation.
Cindy Bock not only works to engage the senior with a highly personalized protocol (engaging all five senses and exercising the various lobes of the brain), but provides validation, friendship and easygoing support. Her reports to family include highlights, teaching moments and also coaching tips. One particular client had scored an alarming 13 on the mini-mental status exam (a baseline type of test to determine existence of memory loss); at the 6-month follow-up with neurologist, the physician was stunned to report an improved score of 24! Another client had been afflicted with Parkinson-related dementia and her confidence was shattered. She had withdrawn from cooking (an activity she loved), was nervous and uncertain and showed scattered thought processing. Her husband had assumed a paternal role and relations were strained and tense due to resentment and sorrow over the diminishment of a long partnership and his increasingly controlling behavior. Cindy coached the husband on appropriate ways in which to guide his wife and her part-time caregiver, and worked diligently to help restore the woman's sense of capability. Client "X" has been working with Cindy for eight months and reports indicate that she is able to articulate real insight, regulate and understand her emotions, and take initiative. Previously abandoned pursuits have been successfully resumed. The caregiver and extended family have received education in how to best dialogue with "X" and manage challenges that may arise. The most exciting development has been the shift in restored intimacy and relationship with her loving husband, who has been able to resume a romantic dynamic as well as a more equal partnership with his beloved wife - something he'd been convinced was gone, never to return.
These are merely a few examples of how Cindy has marshaled her talent to bring more than cognitive and recreational stimulation to seniors. Time and again, Cindy's efforts and skill have unlocked for many a door that - for all intents and purposes - had been cruelly slammed by fate. I will always be thankful that she works to guide these worthy people into a life of dignity and purpose. Cindy is most deserving of recognition of this award.