7. Zoe Harris
When her husband Geoff went to live in a care home several years after he developed dementia Zoe Harris soon realised that his lack of verbal communication was not only impacting on his quality of life but severely compromising his health. Because Geoff couldn’t tell his carers that he liked his coffee black they made it white, he didn’t drink it and in the space of two days became dangerously dehydrated.
Never one to sit and moan, Zoe took matters into her own hands. Nothing radical. She just jotted down Geoff’s preferences on post-it notes and stuck them round his room, thus ensuring that all his carers – even new ones or holiday replacements – couldn’t fail to see them, read them and act on them.
This simple personalisation process proved so effective that very soon the care home manager asked Zoe if she could replicate the system for other residents. And from these humble beginnings grew Zoe’s various award-winning enterprises – all designed to ensure that people with communication difficulties (whether because of dementia or other conditions) can convey their wishes.
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