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Nearby, Manfred Schlaupitz, a former Daimler-Benz engineer in his 70s, lies back in a deck chair, cradling a stuffed toy lamb. His caregiver, Kanokkan Tasa, sits on the grass beside him, gently massaging his legs and tickling his chin. She has been with him for six years, eight hours a day and earlier cared for Woodtli’s mother.

“If you think of it as a job it’s very difficult,” she says, “but if it comes from the heart, it is easy.”

She came to the home with no formal nursing training.

“I felt pity for them and asked myself, ‘If I was stricken with Alzheimer’s, how would I want to be cared for?’” she said.

The 32-year-old woman communicates in Thai, German, English and her native tribal language but most importantly, she says, through eye and physical contact and displays of emotion.

Like a number of Alzheimer’s victims, Schlaupitz responds well to music. Sometimes they sing one of his favorite songs: “Yesterday.”