Background & Dedication

BACKGROUND & DEDICATION

Life in The US MILITARY is the 4th title in my Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors Collection of books begun in 2007. Previous titles are FRUITS, FUN FOODS and HAND TOOLS.

The underlying concept of the books (cognitive visual/image therapy for people with memory loss) has been very carefully researched and many trials have occurred around the country under the watchful eyes of therapists, geriatric doctors, activity directors and caregiving family members that have guided the creation of the final published Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors books. Simply put, there are extremely effective at reestablishing connection and communications with people who have memory loss from various causes.

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 a pair of military boots, an apple or a hammer – and placing it in a ‘field of white’, all confusing visual contexts have been removed that might confuse or frustrate this person with memory loss. As a result, the simple, familiar object evolves into a powerful visual cue that encourages quiet reflection or shared fresh reminiscence.

It is important to note that every person with memory loss experiences things differently. What works for one person may not work in the same manner for another.

Each Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors book focuses on a familiar aspect of life and is filled with simple, bold photo illustrations of familiar images designed to be easily recognizable to most people with memory loss. 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.
I dedicate Life in The US MILITARY to my dad and mom, Jack and Dorothy Koffman, and to the many family members, friends and professionals who are loving caregivers to US Military Veterans who have Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and memory loss.

B._MOM__DADMy dad entered the Army in 1944 at the age of 39. He and my mom closed their three successful retail locations and my dad put his unique business skills to work as an educator for U.S. soldiers returning home after suffering battlefield disabilities ranging from lost limbs to blindness. Stationed at Dibble General Hospital in Menlo Park, California, my dad wrote training manuals specifically designed to assist these disabled veterans identify and establish new businesses they could successfully operate after the war with assistance offered by the GI Bill. My mom was a civilian employee of the Army and worked along side my dad, no doubt assisting in the creation of these unique training manuals. In his later years, my dad often spoke with pride about having been able to contribute positively to the lives of these disabled veterans.

Dad was diagnosed with dementia in the 1980s and passed away in the 1990s. Mom was his primary caregiver and she passed away just six months later. I am all too familiar with the pain, frustration and sadness visited upon a family in these circumstances. That is why I created this book. And this book works! 

In the world of Alzheimer’s and dementia, moments of connection and sharing are often few and far between. The images in this Simple Pleasures book are simple and powerful and can spark quiet reflection and even deeply moving shared experiences. They can create opportunities for communication between family members of all ages and their “Special Veteran” . . . opportunities for precious shared moments that will be treasured always. There is simply nothing more important.

And I think my folks would agree.
 
        Me and My Folks - 1974

 

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