Laurette Klier from Lyme was named the winner of the Maude Prize for her “Nana’s Books” project, aimed at lonely and isolated seniors during the COVID pandemic.

Klier, a former educator, was frustrated with the lack of quality materials with which to engage her stepmother Mary, 89, who was living in memory care with Lewy Body Dementia, a degenerative disease similar to Dementia. ‘Alzheimer’s.

“The FaceTime tours were extremely difficult for us as we could talk about little due to his complete loss of short-term memory. Once an avid reader, the reused children’s books available only added to her frustration and left her discouraged, “Klier said in a statement.” When I realized that conversations about her past were enlightening her and bringing her joy, I decided to use texts and nostalgic images to create books to meet her where she was now; in her mind.

Klier went on to create 16 large print books of nostalgic classics (poetry, praise, proverbs, patriotism and prose) to fill the void for his stepmother, and now, the wider community of people with dementia.

The Maude’s Awards were created in 2019 by Richard Ferry (co-founder of Korn-Ferry International) in honor of his beloved 65-year-old wife who was diagnosed with dementia. The Maude Awards recognize achievements and demonstrated successes, as opposed to grants for future programs.

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