Discovery Bay: Mute dementia victim smiles again by seeing … Mrs. Santa Claus

PORT TOWNSEND — On Christmas Eve, Frieda Simcoe got a visit from a very special person that brought a smile to her face and those of her family.

“It was so magical,” Anita Schmucker said. “She seemed so in tune. She’s so alert right now.”

Frieda is 65 years old, but eight years ago, dementia began to dim her memories. According to Schmucker, her mother has not recognized family members for the past two years. For almost a year, she hasn’t spoken a word.

But four weeks ago, Schmucker was reading a story to her children called the “Littlest Elf.” When she asked who was coming on Christmas Eve, the children answered “Santa Claus.” But her mother seemed to disagree.

“She shook her head no and pointed to the picture in the book,” Anita said.

The picture was of Mrs. Claus. Thinking that the picture evoked a deep memory, Anita decided to ask someone to dress up as Mrs. Claus and come to the house on Christmas Eve.


The rest of the story appears in Thursday’s Peninsula Daily News.

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