Submitted by Sarah Scott MS, CCC-SLP, Pointe Meadows Health and Rehabilitation, Lehi, UT
Micki Allred is a new addition to the ranks of Ensign Affiliate SLPs! She was a graduate student clinician at Pointe Meadows Health and Rehabilitation with a considerable aptitude for AAC and working with dementia patients. She accepted a position with Pointe Meadows and Provo Rehab and quickly became full time at Provo. Within her first month of full-time employment, Micki has been changing lives.
Pointe Meadows has a long-term resident, Jim, who has dementia and a history of CVA. Additionally, he has late-life loss of vision and became totally blind four years ago. Jim is a complex and dynamic personality with a lifetime of experiences. He raised five children as a single dad, ran his own business, played professionally as a jazz musician (drummer), and earned a black belt in martial arts.
Jim lived at an assisted living facility and declined in functional ability prior to admission to Pointe Meadows. At the time of admission, the patient spent the majority of his time in bed, resisted wheelchair and other activities, and stated, “I have no purpose.” He had a significantly reduced tolerance of ambient noise with hearing loss and demonstrated agitation in complex environments like the dining room.
Enter Micki. Micki earned a master’s degree in music prior to earning her master’s in communication disorders. She discovered through interview and personal history questions that JMicki’s husband, John (who is also a musician), and Jim have common connections. John’s friend Lars, who is a well-known bass player, played in a band with Jim in the 1960s. Micki went to work to create a meaningful group experience for Jim and many other residents and patients on speech therapy. John and Lars performed jazz music, demonstrating concepts Micki taught, including music dynamics (pianissimo, mezzo-forte, fortissimo), improvisation, melody, etc.
Notably, 30 residents and patients attended the group with rapt attention. Several “wanderers” engaged in the lesson/performance without loss of attention. The SLP team and graduate students circulated to facilitate participation and accuracy. Jim sat front and center for the 50-minute-long group, stayed to visit with other residents for an hour, and then ate lunch in the dining room. After lunch, he had plenty of energy and willingness to participate in OT.
Thank you, Micki, for bringing Jim and the Pointe Meadows crew “All That Jazz.”