Maximum Capacity: Strategies for Cognitive Enhancement

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Cancer | Aging | Workplace | One-on-One
Praise for our cancer-related programs
  • "When the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation opened Canada’s first Centre for Cancer Survivorship in 2011 to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors and their families, we also enlisted the help of Heather Palmer and Maximum Capacity.  A number of our Cancer Coaches became certified to deliver the Brain Fog program which has been very well received by our clients looking for support to manage cognitive changes experienced as a result of a cancer diagnosis and/or treatment.  More recently with an increase in the demand for this program from our clients, Heather provided a 6 week web based program which allowed us to provide prompt service and support to these individuals.  Despite being many kilometers away from us, Heather made a very meaningful connection to her participants, and the feedback from this group was extremely positive.  Participants noted improved self confidence, increased motivation and energy, and were comforted to know they were not alone in this struggle.  Although the group would have loved to have Heather in the room with them and would have rated the program an A++, they gave the webinar an A+, and the group all strongly agreed they would recommend this webinar to others.  We look forward to using this technology more and bringing the Brain Fog program to our clients who are unable to attend in person."
    ~ Stephanie Woodard, The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation
  • "As a national charity, Rethink Breast Cancer provides a monthly support community for young women experiencing breast cancer in various cities throughout Canada. Live Laugh Learn features a monthly educational speaker discussing a relevant topic, with a fun "girls night out" vibe. Recently Dr. Heather Palmer presented at this gathering in Toronto, and one of her trained facilitators in presented a few weeks before in Montreal. They were an absolutely perfect fit! They tackled the issues surrounding coping with Cancer-related Brain Fog in a clear, concise and compassionate manner, and the feedback we received from our participants was fabulous. Heather has an incredible ability to relate to a wide variety of women in various stages of the cancer journey, while continuously being upbeat and engaging. We learned much about neuropsychology without ever feeling bogged down with jargon, and our participants adored her. They felt validated, and confident in the strategies provided that they could take home and start using right away. The feeling of relief in the room was palpable. We look forward to having her back, and hope she trains facilitators in all of our Live Laugh Learn cities! "
    ~ Jen Lagzdins, Rethink Breast Cancer
  • "Hearing patients talk about their fears and frustrations related to symptoms of cancer related brain fog motivated us to search for resources to assist them. I was fortunate to hear Dr. Palmer present at the 2009 Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology conference, and was immediately impressed by her knowledge, skills and expertise. We invited her to CancerCare Manitoba to present her work to patients, families, and clinical staff. Dr.Palmer subsequently provided facilitator training for three CancerCare Manitoba oncology social workers and one oncology nurse and we can now offer her Cancer Related Brain Fog program to our patients. The program is in great demand, and participants have reported high levels of satisfaction with the sessions. Dr. Palmer’s mentorship has been outstanding throughout this pro cess. Her professionalism, knowledge, understanding and experience with the subject matter has made her an invaluable resource to us. She is an excellent teacher, her materials are clear, comprehensive and easy to understand. It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Palmer to develop this programming at CancerCare Manitoba."
    ~ Jill Taylor-Brown - Director, Patient and Family Support Services, CancerCare Manitoba
  • "Dr. Heather Palmer and her colleague Jennifer Chown were invited to participate in Young Adult Cancer Canada's Annual Survivor's Conference 2011. Heather offered a keynote address and she and Jennifer prepared an hour-long workshop that they shared with the group throughout the weekend. Their workshop and the keynote address was highly rated by the participants. Here are some of the comments we gathered:
    "It was great to be reminded that the skills I used for complex memory / concentration situations can be used for smaller things, that it's ok that I use these skills for things I 'should' or used to be able to do simply and easily."
    "I found from this workshop that I likely have had more effects [of] brain fog than I ever thought and now know good ways of dealing with it. Additionally, I think these techniques covered are helpful for people from all walks of life!"
    "Very knowledgeable speaker; great handling of questions; very useful!"
    What Heather and Jennifer offered went way beyond their knowledge and expertise. They took part in every activity and truly connected with the group. They took time to answer questions and gave tips outside of the workshop topic and normalized the impact brain fog can have on a day to day basis. Their warm and welcoming personalities made participants feel comfortable and listened to. As an organization focusing on helping young adult cancer survivors and their supporters live the best life possible, we are already looking forward to working with Heather and Jennifer again. The potential is enormous and the possibilities numerous! A heartfelt thank you from everyone at YACC."
    ~ Karine Chalifour, Program Director, Young Adult Cancer Canada
  • "As a cancer support community, Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka endeavours to provide its Members the skills and tools they need to live with cancer in their lives, whatever the outcome. Whether it is through lectures and workshops, support groups and social activities, our global mission is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community. Through our Program delivery, we have had the great fortune of welcoming Dr. Heather Palmer as a guest lecturer on repeat occasions. Exceptional feedback and rave reviews followed Dr. Palmer’s guest lecture on Chemo Brain as our Members shared in a common feeling of relief for having their lived experiences validated. Empowered with new tips and strategies, information and the opportunity to connect with others with similar lived experiences, the Members of Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka are excited for Dr. Palmer’s return and participation in an evening of games and activities to address cognitive function. With much heartfelt gratitude we thank Dr. Palmer for all that she has shared in community with the Members of Gilda’s Club; her passion, dedication and generosity is very much appreciated and we welcome her return to the Red Door with much anticipation and enthusiasm!"
    ~ James Thomson, Executive Director, Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka
  • "Dr. Heather Palmer was invited to join the International Advisory Committee for the 6th World Conference on Breast Cancer which took place in Hamilton, Ontario from June 7-11th, 2011. Dr. Palmer agreed to be part of an international panel of speakers who shared their research during one of the conference plenary sessions. Her unique work was well received and particularly relevant to the audience of breast cancer survivors, healthcare professionals, researchers and caregivers. Her research provided insight and validation for many audience members which resulted in the overwhelming accolades she received from the conference delegates. Dr. Palmer also contributed to the conference by sharing her work in a concurrent session which was well attended and once again, well received. I am honoured to have met Dr. Palmer and would sincerely recommend her as an exceptional speaker."
    ~ Allison Pedersen RN, BN and Jennifer Cuffley,
    International Advisory Committee Co-Chairs, 6th World Conference on Breast Cancer
  • "The Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) has had the pleasure of having Dr. Heather Palmer from Maximum Capacity present her program and research on Cancer Related Brain Fog to breast cancer patients and survivors at the National Conference for Young Women Living with Breast Cancer (2010) and at an online webinar in 2011. We have received an overwhelming response from both of these sessions from participants indicating that they found the information extremely useful and easy to integrate into their daily life. This information and the practical solutions that Dr. Palmer provides not only address an issue that so many cancer patients and survivors struggle with on a daily basis, but also positively impacts their overall quality of life. It is wonderful to see an organization and professional so dedicated to helping overcome the impact of cancer related brain fog."
    ~ Jenn McNeil,
    Operations Manager / Directrice des opérations, Canadian Breast Cancer Network
  • "I wanted to thank you for the wonderful things you taught me in the Wellspring Brain Fog Program at Sunnybrook. I find I have benefited from all the techniques. I completed the task of organizing my closet on that very Thursday after we had our final session. I felt good about myself and this keeps my thinking in a good zone. I am more confident now to engage in other activities or tasks since I have the tools I need to help myself not get overwhelmed. I find this particularly important given my profession as a Pharmacist, and as I mentioned to you after one of our sessions, I feel that many of my peers could learn a great deal from participating in your course."
    ~ Mervat
  • "I heard Dr. Palmer speak at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre Nursing oncology day on the topic of 'chemo brain'. I found Dr. Palmer to be an engaging speaker who brought clarification to the often baffling and confusing symptoms that can accompany chemotherapy. Her wonderful presentation provided a variety of techniques that help cope with the cognitive changes associated with cancer. The strategies she taught us can also be applied to every day stress and forgetfulness, benefiting patients, families, and staff."
    ~ Linda, RN.
  • "As a new cancer support centre, Wellspring Calgary is eager to understand and respond to member interests and needs. We were therefore very pleased to have a request for information about cognitive changes many had experienced during cancer and cancer treatment. We were even more delighted to learn of Dr Palmer, and to have her kick off our Discussion Series. All who attended her session (members, volunteers, members of the medical community) were thoroughly impressed. The session was comprehensive, easy to understand, and offered excellent tools and strategies - most described it as exceedingly helpful and practical. Dr. Palmer was both engaging and knowledgeable, one of the most exceptional presenters many of us have ever seen. We truly could not have been more pleased and look forward to continuing our work with Maximum Capacity."
    ~ Patti Morris, Executive Director, Wellspring, Calgary
  • "Since its introduction, Chemo Brain has been one of our most in-demand programs. The quality of programming that Heather and her facilitators provide is excellent, thoroughly developed, and well delivered. The feedback of our members indicates that Maximum Capacity is filling a gap in the delivery of supportive care for cancer patients."
    ~ Ayala Beck, Program Manager, Wellspring
  • "When I found my memory and focus were reduced after chemotherapy for breast cancer, I was deeply concerned. The course offered by Dr. Palmer was informative, full of practical solutions, and actually helped me to improve my mental performance. I highly recommend this approach to anyone needing a practical approach to recovering lost cognitive performance."
    ~ Gabrielle, neurologist
  • "Heather's course really clarified what had changed in the way my brain functioned following chemotherapy. This understanding, in itself, was a huge help. Beyond that, she showed us ways to mitigate those changes – by approaching daily tasks in a new way. It wasn't just a course in memory tricks. It was an invitation to a whole new way of thinking and functioning. Yes, there is brain-life after chemo! And besides, it was fun! Most of the women in my course still get together socially."
    ~ Nora Pratt
  • "I somehow remembered to sign up for the Chemo Brain sessions at Wellspring. The program was created and presented by Dr. Heather Palmer. I found it to be very helpful in that we learned many different coping mechanisms and strategies to mitigate the various symptoms of chemo brain e.g. memory loss, difficulties in multitasking, lack of focus, etc. I have recommended the program to others who are experiencing mental issues caused by cancer treatments. I also recently had the opportunity to speak about, and sing the praises of, your program on “CBC News: Today” (April 2, 2008), and would do it again in a heartbeat."
    ~ Barry Slater
  • "Taking Heather Palmer’s course at Wellspring helped me understand and start to deal with my “after chemo” brain. After two months of inpatient chemotherapy and three sessions of whole body radiation, my brain functioning was at best, compromised. Learning practical strategies helped me to function better in my daily life. Why, I’m now the one who remembers every person’s name at the party, even my teenagers are impressed. The information was given in a structured and organized manner with room for exercises and discussion. The course was both informative and fun. Thanks for this opportunity."
    ~ Valerie Davis-Kelly
Satisfied clients and sponsors of our aging programs Back to Top of Page 
  • “Dr. Heather Palmer spoke to the Beaver Valley Probus Club about her scientific approach to improving our cognitive capacity as we get older. Her Power Point presentation was not only informative but also very reassuring as she spoke for 30 minutes to a near capacity audience of 220 people -you could have heard a pin drop! Question period finally had to be cut off. Afterwards, people continued to line up with additional questions. All in all, this was one of our most successful and interesting meetings and we highly recommend Dr. Palmer as a first rate speaker with an excellent message.” 
    ~ Peter Armstrong, Speakers' Chair
  • "Heather Palmer has championed our Memory Enhancement course at the Centre for over two years. She brings a professionalism and sensitivity to each group she leads and as a result, boosts participant's confidence and ability to effectively learn new skills."
    ~ Anne Rawson, Executive Director, The Fairlawn Neighbourhood Centre
  • "It is my pleasure to recommend Dr Heather Palmer as a speaker. Her knowledge and delivery of her presentation on aging was absolutely superb. A group of 60 Rotarians listened and learned with complete concentration for one half hour about the aging process (normal or abnormal), tips on how to keep our minds fresh and exercised, and how to combat the aging change. When Dr. Palmer finished her talk she was surrounded with men and women asking further questions with one of the main topics being when could she return to talk to us again. The Rotary Club of Burlington Central look forward to her return."
    ~ John Rutledge, Rotarian
  • "Four Teddington Park Retirement Residence is a proud sponsor of Maximum Capacity's Memory Enhancement seminar series hosted by the Fairlawn Neighbourhood Centre. I recently had the opportunity to participate in the course and can state with certainty that I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from it. Heather Palmer is an excellent presenter, who managed to make each session highly informative and fun. We at Teddington look forward to our continued partnership."
    ~ Pat Coe, General Manager, Four Teddington Park Retirement Residence,
    Chartwell Seniors Housing REIT
  • "Thank you for your presentation to our Kiwanis Club of Don Mills - Golden K. Our club is composed of approximately 75 men, most of whom are retired business and professional people aged 65 to the late eighties.  Heather was very creative in using her PowerPoint in telling us about her topic "Maximum Capacity: Strategies for Cognitive Enhancement".  Her presentation was comprehensive, professional, informative and fun.  She was very spontaneous in the discussion period responding to a variety of questions enriching her lecture and adding to our understanding of cognitive functioning.  This was Heather's second time addressing our Club and once again she got a very positive response from our members."
    ~ Ken Allen, PhD
  • "You have very good presentation skills…good pace, involved everyone every chance you had, fielded questions well. Thank you so much for a great seminar."
    ~ Sharon Black
  • "I enjoyed the seminar. Your style in presentation is informative and entertaining. You get a lot of information out in a very non-threatening way."
    ~ John Gillies
  • "Thank you for such a positive experience. The hand-outs are a big help. You made everything seem possible. It was worth every cent to take this course."
    ~ Anna-Claire Swingler
Testimonials from working professionals Back to Top of Page 
  • "Heather has spoken to a Personal Advisory Group of business leaders, of which I am a member. The first time was on the topic of memory and cognitive abilities of people as they grow older; specifically we wanted information of what to expect of our parents as they are getting on in years and some have been diagnosed with various forms of dementia. Heather was outstanding in here knowledge, research, and how well she presented to our group. We invited Heather back to our group two years later to discuss memory and cognitive abilities of people in their middle ages, (our age group). Again she spoke directly to the subject including our concerns. Both times, my colleagues were amazed with her knowledge and how well she passed on this knowledge in a mere couple of hours The presentation could have easily gone on for two more hours and we would have been happy to keep learning but she edited and adjusted the presentation to fit well into the time allowed.
    Our family is now trying to understand Alzheimer’s in light of my father’s diagnosis. There are five siblings with various levels of understanding of the disease so I asked Heather to join us in a family meeting to teach us about the disease and the effects of aging. There was a lot of confusion and nervousness within the family before Heather began but as her presentation continued with a great deal of interaction with everyone including mother and father, comfort and confidence grew. By the end of the presentation the family was very comfortable and upbeat with the knowledge that Heather shared. Though the disease is not curable, having the knowledge of what to expect reduced the fear and allowed the family to talk openly about it.
    Because of Heather’s excellent presentation skills, knowledge, and experience I have recommended her to many friends and “The Executive Council” (T.E.C.), another business group to which I belong."
    ~ John McKenna MBA, President, McKenna Logistics
  • "I want to thank Dr. Heather Palmer for sharing her insights into "the ageing brain". Dr Palmer spoke to our business group last year and we asked her back again this year to provide more of her wisdom and experience. Her warm and caring manner illustrates her interest in and compassion for people dealing with issues related to ageing. Her insights and suggestions were interesting, touching, humorous, and above all, practical. Dr Palmer has helped us to understand the challenges of growing older and embrace the solutions that are available to those who choose to look for them.”
    ~ Heather McCann, Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE) Forum Group
  • "Dr. Heather Palmer spoke to our group of entrepreneurs to help us better understand the cognitive and physical impact of aging on our parents, ourselves and our employees. Dr. Palmer's presentation was well-founded, carefully delivered in an empathetic manner and received a very high rating. She helped us make sense of the changes we have noticed in our parents while providing us with strategies to compensate for future challenges they are likely to encounter. Additionally Dr. Palmer taught us techniques to keep our own minds sharp in our busy work lives. We intend to call upon Maximum Capacity again to schedule a refresher course for our members."
    ~ Chris Hughes, Entrepreneurs Organization, The Big Bang Forum
  • "Dr. Palmer provided our group with a half day workshop entitled 'Aging: Cognitive, Legal and Practical considerations'. Her workshop was designed to specifically address our concerns regarding brain related changes associated with aging, as well as the practical considerations involved in running a family business with an aging parent. Dr. Palmer's expertise was evident and excellent throughout the entire workshop and we came away with a variety of tools and strategies to not only help our parents, but to also enhance and understand our own current thinking skills. It was extremely enlightening and useful. I highly recommend Dr. Palmer and her workshops to any group or organization looking to understand how aging changes memory and cognitive thinking, and strategies to deal with it."
    ~ Bill Benson, Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE) Forum Group
A few words from our individual clients Back to Top of Page 
  • "Heather Palmer is the perfect combination of compassion and practicality. After chemotherapy and menopause radically altered my cognitive function, Heather helped me to rebuild my confidence and restructure my life. In many ways I am more organized than I was before the cancer diagnosis."
    ~ Marta Stothers
  • "I had the privilege of attending one of Heather's seminars as well as working with her individually. In both situations I was impressed with the depth and breadth of her professional knowledge as well as her personal skills. She is that rare person who excels both as a health care professional and has empathy and understanding for a person's needs. She listens both with her head and her heart. She is a highly intelligent woman and she also has a wonderful sense of humour. I would recommend her very highly."
    ~ Susan Stern
  • "Your work is of the highest quality and has had a huge impact on my ability to return to work following my stroke."
    ~ Bill Perry

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