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BOOKS FOR PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Sparks Quiet Reflection and Shared Reminiscence

CAMANO ISLAND, WA - “The experience of witnessing the progression of my dad’s dementia and the toll it extracted on my mom, the primary caregiver, and my family registered deeply in my heart and mind,” says artist/author Dan Koffman. “I wanted to do something that would have a positive effect on everyone involved. Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© is the realization of that goal.”

The first three titles in the Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© book series that Koffman has created especially for people afflicted with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are FRUITS, FUN FOODS and HAND TOOLS. Each book focuses on images of familiar objects that are easily recognizable to most Special Seniors.

The images are crisply detailed against a pristine white background, an artistic device that helps unite viewer and subject. By extracting the familiar object from its typical setting - be it kitchen counter or restaurant table - and placing it in a ‘field of white’, Koffman removes visual contexts that might confuse or frustrate his special audience. As a result, the simple, familiar object evolves into a powerful visual cue that encourages quiet reflection or shared fresh reminiscence.

With no storylines or characters to cause confusion or frustration, Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© provides a positive alternative to written books, magazines and television programs. Several pages at the end of each book have been left blank for the addition of other specific images that may have personal meaning for the Special Senior.

There’s nothing nice about dementia, but the quiet reflection and fresh reminiscences sparked by images in the Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books may well be a silver lining, creating sweet, shared moments of closeness and joy between Special Seniors and those who love and care for them.

“Response by residents with varying degrees of dementia (from low to high) to the images in the Simple Pleasures book was 100% . . . ranging from wide eyes, smiles and ooo’s and ahhh’s, to expressing personal likes and even the sharing of several good memories. Even those with strong dementia smiled and laughed a lot.” David Johnson, Personal Pathways, Garden House, Merrill Gardens at Stanwood, WA

Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© may be able to provide that little spark necessary to create a new, shared experience for a Special Senior and his or her caregiver that will be treasured forever. And the quiet reflection that the Special Senior may experience can result in peaceful moments free from frustration and aggravation.

Caregivers are encouraged to watch closely as their Special Senior looks at the images. Do they linger or smile while on a particular page? If so, that is a cue to ask a simple question: “What does this remind you of?” or “Tell me something about this.” Then the caregiver is encouraged to listen and see what happens.

The forms of dementia are many, varied and ever-changing, but it is still possible to have moments of loving closeness, happiness, sharing and joyful connectedness, no matter the depth of the dementia. The simple, bold photo illustrations in the Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books are meant to do just that.

Current Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© titles focus on familiar aspects of life - including FRUITS (Hardcover edition ISBN 1-59858-729-3, Softcover edition ISBN 1-59858-726-9), FUN FOODS (Hardcover edition ISBN 1-59858-730-7, Softcover edition ISBN 1-59858-727-7) and HAND TOOLS (Hardcover edition ISBN 1-59858-731-5, Softcover edition ISBN 1-59858-728-5), (Dog Ear Publishing). Dozens of other titles will be introduced in the coming months.

While brilliant researchers are hard at work searching for cures, Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books are here now to create new times to treasure and help take full advantage of every precious moment between caregivers and their Special Seniors.

The Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© book series has been designed in a straight forward, respectful and friendly manner in order to facilitate special moments of joyous connection.

Says Koffman, “Enjoy every precious moment of joyous connection . . . and treasure every day!”

Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books are also available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.