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Afternoon Light
Lori worked with my late husband for several years as his speech therapist. Before the onslaught of neurodegenerative disease, he was a very social man who used his gift for talking to make a living and garner a significant circle of friends. Speech became one of his most frustrating challenges. He worked with several excellent therapists over a period of ten years with hit-miss success. In his experiences with Lori, however, he and I both observed a broader dynamic. He felt less pressured and more comfortable. When engaging in standard programs became so difficult he began to lose motivation, Lori astutely adapted her approach to meet his emotional needs rather than functional requirements. She listened to learn about and really understand his interests and engage his sense of humor. Rather than checking off exercises and pressing “alternative” forms of communication his brain could no longer grasp, they developed a rapport that focused on communicating simply in the moment for pleasure and necessity. She became a social life-line during the Covid lockdown. It was not easy to leave home and travel to speech and physical therapy, but my husband always wanted to make the effort. He always had a smile on his face when Lori pushed him out in his wheelchar to meet me in the lobby. He felt valued and valuable after their interactions. I noticed the same indicators as I watched Lori greet her other patients. Lori shared her gifts of listening and friendship with me as his caretaker, and she continues to reach out periodically since our patient/therapist experience ended. Lori is a remarkable listener and coach!

Linda C., UT

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