Joyce Simard, Social Worker and Geriatric Consultant
A social worker and geriatric consultant, Joyce Simard specializes in dementia care. Based in Land O' Lakes, Florida, and Prague in the Czech Republic, she is an adjunct associate professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney.
During her 30 years in the healthcare industry, Simard has developed quality-of-life programs for people in all stages of dementia, including a memory-enhancement program for those with mild memory loss, a program called the Club for nursing home residents in the moderate stage of dementia, and Namaste Care for people with advanced dementia. Known as "Grandma Joyce" to her seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and other kids all over the U.S. and the Czech Republic, Simard gives presentations in elementary schools that help children understand aging and memory loss -- and how to be helpers for people going through those issues. She has written about her educational work in her book The Magic Tape Recorder.
Why I Care "I believe we are here for a reason, and mine centers on the care of people with dementia. I love being able to use my creativity to help them live well despite the disease. My daily prayer includes the line, 'Allow my soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.'"