Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© picture books engage people with second and third stage Alzheimer’s disease and create connections with their caregivers by providing a drug-free visual therapy that is “uplifting, surprising and gratifying.”

Camano Island, WA (OPENPRESS) December 4, 2008 – One of the most important and challenging aspects of caring for people with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease is identifying activities that engage the individuals and create connections with their caregivers and the world around them.

Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors©, a new picture book series created by artist Dan Koffman, does just that.

“I saw a need,” say Koffman, “for something that would engage Special Seniors and open the door to quiet reflections, fresh reminiscences and peaceful times free from frustration and confusion, something that would create new memories for caregivers to treasure. At the same time, I knew that that something had to be easy to do, without lots of supplies to buy, preparation or clean up for busy caregivers.”

The simple act of opening a Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© book generates smiles and encourages communication. Each book focuses on a familiar aspect of life and is filled with simple, bold photo illustrations of familiar objects easily recognizable to most Special Seniors. The first three books in the series are Fruits, Fun Foods and Hand Tools.

A picture IS worth a thousand words – and the pictures in Simple Pleasures books create “wide eyes, smiles, ooh’s and aah’s and the sharing of memories,” according to David Johnson (Personal Pathways, Garden House, Merrill Gardens at Stanwood, WA).

“Our Activity Assistants are enjoying using the Simple Pleasures books with our residents who have memory loss. The books are easy for us to reach for and utilize as an engaging activity for our residents on a daily basis. The responses that we are seeing are often uplifting, surprising and gratifying . . . we can feel the connection. It’s great to have a drug-free visual therapy easily available such as the Simple Pleasures books that have only positive side effects. Simple Pleasuresfor Special Seniors books are “simply wonderful!” says Diana Koob (Activity Director at Josephine, an Intergenerational Care Community, Stanwood, WA).

Barb Paterson (Administrator. Eagle Ridge Assisted Living, Ferndale, WA) says, “Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books are a new and enlightening way to connect with loved ones who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia diseases. These easy to use books . . . offer an opportunity to spark reflections and reminiscences, thus improving the quality of life to both residents and their families.”

Koffman’s interest and passion in creating a tool to engage and connect with people with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease is very personal. His father was diagnosed with dementia in the early 1980’s; his mother was the primary caregiver. He lost both parents in 1994. “I vowed to find a way to have a positive effect on other families going through this sadness, says Koffman, an artist whose career has been based on the power of images. “Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© is the realization of that goal.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease every 71 seconds. An estimated five million Americans are affected today, with numbers expected to rise to as many as 16 million of our country’s aging population by 2050.

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, options for engaging and connecting are many, but as the disease progresses and attention spans and communication skills become more limited, possibilities are greatly reduced even as engaging and connecting become ever more important.

“There’s nothing nice about Alzheimer’s and dementia,” Koffman concludes, “but Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books can be a silver lining in that gray cloud, providing an easy way to create shared moments of loving closeness and new times to treasure, taking full advantage of every precious moment between Special Seniors and those who love and care for them.”

Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books are available at (hardcover and softcover) as well as at and (softcover only).

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease, contact the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center (, the Alzheimer’s Association ( and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (

Dan Koffman is an artist and creator of Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors©, books specifically for people with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease.

Dan Koffman
Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors