__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 48

Loma Linda in the World

A L U M N A’ S B O O K H E L P S C H I L D R E N U N D E R S TA N D ALZHEIMER’S, DEMENTIA

Psychologist seeks to make a lifetime of difference to people in need By LARRY BECKER

Beatrice Tauber Prior, PsyD, a 2004 graduate of Loma Linda University’s School of Behavioral Health, recalls sitting in her hairstylist’s chair one evening and making the remark that she was unaware of a good book on dementia she could recommend to her clients. An avid reader, Prior often recommends books to her clients at her private psychology practice called Harborside Wellbeing in Lake Norman, North Carolina. Her stylist suggested “Meet Me Where I Am: An Alzheimer’s Care Guide” by Mary Ann Drummond. The title caught Prior’s attention, and she purchased the book. “It’s one of the most useful books I have found on maintaining relationships despite the difficulties of the disease,” Prior says. At a later visit, Prior thanked her hairstylist for the recommendation, but her hairstylist revealed Drummond was also a client, and that Prior should call and thank her personally. “I reached out to Mary Ann, and we spent some time together,” Prior says. “Eventually she asked if I would be willing to collaborate on a children’s book on the topic of dementia.” The

46

two women teamed up with Julia Walther, a gifted illustrator, to create “Grandma and Me: A Kid’s Guide for Alzheimer’s and Dementia.” “Our goal for the book was to provide the necessary tools for children to maintain positive connections for as long as possible with a loved one living with dementia.” Written for children between ages 5 and 9, Prior believes entire families can benefit from reading the story to young children. “We receive constant feedback that “Grandma and Me” not only helps adults explain a difficult topic to their young child, but the adults also benefit from the tools the book provides,” Prior says. Prior’s path to a career in clinical psychology began with a defining moment during her high school days. Sitting in class one morning during her ninth grade year, Prior was stunned when a classmate told her he had plans to commit suicide. Knowing she needed to do something, Beatrice went to her school’s counselors. After Prior related her conversation, the counselors intervened. Several days later that

VOL. 54, NO. 1

SCOPE

SPRING 2019

classmate returned to school, and again sat by Prior. After confirming with her that she was the one who alerted the counselors, Beatrice’s classmate shared this unforgettable statement: “I knew it was you because you were the only one who cared enough to do something to help me.” “That moment left an enduring imprint on my mind,” Prior recalls. “Our connections with each other can leave lasting positive impressions on each other. I knew at that defining moment that it only takes one caring person to make a lifetime of difference for a person in need.” That was the day Prior decided to become a clinical psychologist. Prior received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in counseling from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, before choosing to come to Loma Linda University for her doctoral studies. Loma Linda offered training in developmental and neuropsychological practice, areas of special interest for Prior. “As a clinical psychologist I provide whole person integrative care, which is consistent with Loma Linda

Profile for Loma Linda University Health

Scope Spring 2019  

Scope Spring 2019  

Profile for lluh