BOOKS FOR PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER’S TO DEBUT AT MEMORY WALK IN MT. VERNON, WA

Picture Books that Spark Reflection and Reminiscences may be a Silver Lining in the Dark Cloud of Alzheimer’s Disease

CAMANO ISLAND, WA - Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© — books for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia — will debut at the North Sound Memory Walk in Mt. Vernon, WA on Saturday, September 6, 2008 at 10 am in the Merrill Gardens Retirement Community event booth.

It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Dan Koffman, artist and author of Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books, believes that this may be especially so for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© is a picture book series especially for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia that encourages moments of quiet reflection and fresh reminiscence, creating peaceful times free from frustration and confusion.

“The fine folks at Merrill Gardens have graciously offered Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© the opportunity to share their booth space at the North Sound Alzheimer’s Memory Walk in Mt. Vernon, a great event in support of Alzheimer’s research and care,” says Koffman.

Koffman’s father was diagnosed with dementia in the early-1980’s; his mother was the primary caregiver. “My dad passed away in 1994. My mom, just one day short of six months later. But those simple facts don’t begin to convey the sadness and helplessness I felt watching these people I loved so much go through that long, painful good-bye,” says Koffman.

“I wanted to do something that would have a positive effect on people suffering from dementia as well as those who love and care for them,” he continues. “Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© is the realization of that goal.”

Each Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© book focuses on a familiar aspect of life and is filled with simple, bold photo illustrations of familiar objects easily recognized by most Special Seniors. The first three books in the series are FRUITS, FUN FOODS and HAND TOOLS.

“My dad was a ‘tool guy’, always in his work shop, always building or fixing something,” says Koffman. “If he’d been able to look through the TOOLS book, he’d have been telling stories, making Mom smile, giving my whole family some moments of joy, something precious to remember.”

The forms of dementia are many, varied and ever-changing, but it is still possible for dementia sufferers and their caregivers to have moments of loving closeness, happiness, sharing and joyful connectedness, no matter the depth of the dementia.

Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books can 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, says Koffman.

Early trials of the books have been done at Merrill Gardens facilities in Stanwood and Bellingham, WA. “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,” says David Johnson, Personal Pathways, Garden House, Merrill Gardens at Stanwood, WA.

“There’s nothing nice about Alzheimer’s and dementia,” says Koffman, “but it is my hope that Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books will be a silver lining in that gray cloud, creating sweet, shared moments of closeness and joy between Special Seniors and those who love and care for them.”

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 Special Seniors and their caregivers.

“Everyone knows and loves someone who suffers with dementia or who is the caregiver for someone who suffers with dementia,” says Koffman. “Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books are a way to provide support to Special Seniors and their caregivers . . . a loving way to say, ‘You are not alone. I care.’”

Koffman’s final word: “Enjoy every precious moment of joyous connection . . . and treasure every day!”

Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books are available online at: www.SimplePleasuresforSpecialSeniors.com