Where it all began...
It all started with a song.
When I decided to go back to school at the age of 31 to become a physical therapist assistant, I had no idea the journey I was about to embark upon and the spark that was soon going to be lit.
My first job fresh out of school was at an assisted living community that specialized in residents diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s. It was a challenging venue for a new graduate, and I lacked many of the skills needed to properly interact and help many of the residents there. I received training in school on how to get them physically better, but not how to interact with them on an emotional level. I soon came to learn that this feeling was not reserved strictly for new graduates, but caregivers of all types. What I learned while working there was how to see the residents not for what they were physically or mentally lacking, but what they still had to offer.
One of my first and favorite patients there was also one of my most challenging. A lovely gentleman who had suddenly stopped wanting to walk. It was becoming increasingly more difficult for the staff to help him, as he required more and more assistance to do even simple tasks. It was my hope that I could connect with him and get him strong enough to be able to walk again.
The challenge was, he did not even want to stand. Certainly, there are many seated exercises that I could have done with him, but that was not truly going to help him get strong enough to bear weight and transfer. After working with him for several sessions and feeling like I was getting no where, I started to do some digging. After connecting with his family and finding out a bit more about his past, it turned out he loved old Irish songs, especially Danny Boy. So I went to the computer monitor they had there in the room, which was on an adjustable platform that was able to be raised and lowered. I raised it up to an acceptable height and put on a you tube video of someone singing Danny Boy. This immediately piqued his interest as he looked around to see where it was coming from. He wanted a better look at the monitor, and the only way to do so was to stand.
Grabbing the parallel bars and placing them in front of him, I offered to assist him to stand, which he did. He stood there with me helping to support him while he sang Danny Boy over and over in a beautiful tenor voice. It was repetitive, but it worked, and over time I was able to help him increase his weight bearing and strength enough to reduce him from needing two people to help him transfer to requiring only one person with moderate assistance.
This gentleman, and many others like him, helped set me down the path to discovering that maybe there was more we could do for those suffering from the ravages of neurodegenerative diseases. I had no idea it would take a pandemic to put me exactly where I needed to be at just the right time.
During 2020, I came to learn about a small clinic in Boise Idaho who was doing revolutionary things and on the cutting edge of the latest cognitive research regarding the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including various types of dementia, concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and more. They helped develop an exciting new program called The Enhance Protocol®, a phenomenal guide to helping individual's operate their mind at peak potential.
The more I learned about this protocol, the more I realized it was combined many of the elements I had been trying to teach my clients over the years separately, organizing them into a detailed and individualized protocol for each client. Now we can lay out a personalized roadmap towards preventing and treating their own cognitive decline, or that of a loved one. I knew right away that this was something I wanted to bring to the East Coast, so I approached them about licensing their protocol and began my training.
Having trained as a memory coach under them and their insightful mentorship, I am excited to be able to offer these services in Maryland and the surrounding region. The Maryland Center for Brain Health offers a truly holistic approach to the treatment and prevention of cognitive decline. Looking at your entire body system, we can identify contributing factors to an individual's cognitive concerns, and precisely what steps can be taken to improve one's brain health.