Press Releases

Jan 24th, 2012

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Attention: All Ladies Auxiliary VFW Members, Department, District and Post Representatives
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Please watch this short Video of Dan Koffman's presentation to the Washington State LA-VFW representatives about his book, "Life in The US MILITARY" for Veterans with Memory Loss, their Caregivers and Families.


 
This remarkable book really facilitates connection and communication feared lost forever!

Please consider purchasing a couple of copies to have at each post to loan out as necessary, please offer to all members for purchase to be given to friends or family where appropriate and consider gifting to your local VA Care and Hospital Facilities where there are Veterans who have memory Loss.

Remember that there are 600,000 Veterans with Memory Loss and we'd like to get one of these books into the hands of each caregiving Family. This book and this goal is an Initiative of our Veterans and Family Support Program so please take a close look at it. We have made a (3) year commitment to achieve this huge goal. The LA-VFW receives 10% of each sale . . . a real win-win proposition

Feel free to contact Dan with any questions and check out his weekly Radio Show, "OPERATION: NEVER FORGET" which focuses on the issues facing Veterans with Memory Loss and their Families.

Thank you for your support of this effort on behalf of our Veterans who have Memory Loss.

The Ladies Auxiliary VFW

Cara Day, Director of Communications
 

Download VFW MAG Nov 2011 by clicking here...

 

August 11th, 2011

 

LOCAL AUTHOR TO ADDRESS VFW NATIONAL CONVENTION

 Camano Island artist and author Dan Koffman has developed a way for Veterans suffering from memory loss to be able to communicate for short periods, with their caregivers and loved ones again. His picture book, “Life in The US MILITARY”, has been designed specifically for Veterans with memory loss and it works to connect people.

 “This is not a cure . . . but provides unique visual stimulus that sparks memories and often evokes shared reminiscences . . . it brings them back home again for a short, treasured time,” Koffman says . . . but getting the book into the hands of the 600,000 families caring for these Veterans is a whole other matter.

Enter the VFW Ladies Auxiliary and the entire VFW Organization . . . 2,000,000 strong!

The Ladies Auxiliary VFW is proud to partner with Dan Koffman’s “Life in The US MILITARY” to help caregivers of Veterans with Memory Loss connect with their loved ones in a special way,” wrote Jan Owens, National Secretary-Treasurer of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW, in her letter to Koffman.

On August 28th, Koffman will address over 5,000 VFW Representatives at their National Convention in San Antonio to officially kick-off this unique partnership, the first of it’s kind between the VFW and an author.

Koffman says, “The only way this can possibly work is for the members of the VFW to identify these specific 600,000 Veterans and their families and to get books into their hands. So, my goal will be to share some of the great success stories we have experienced and to inspire the members of the VFW to spread the word to every corner of the USA . . . and with 9,000 Posts . . . the VFW is already everywhere!”

Additionally, Koffman has pledged $1.5 million to the VFW Ladies Auxiliary for their help in reaching this huge goal.

Koffman’s book is available through his website, www.LifeInTheUSMilitary.com.

 

 

   


Posted on the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Website: www.ladiesauxvfw.org

 

Ladies Auxiliary VFW Partners with Author to

Battle Memory Loss

 

Post Date: 5/27/2011 12:00:00 AM

 

       The Ladies Auxiliary VFW has partnered with author and artist Dan Koffman to bring a new tool to caregivers of veterans with memory loss. Koffman is debuting his book "Life in the US Military," a specially designed picture book to help caregivers connect with their veterans who have memory loss.

      Each page of "Life in the US Military" has an image relating to military service, such as a bugle, a barracks bunk and a U.S. Flag. Tests in VA Medical Centers showed that these images stimulated memories for veterans, creating rare moments of connection and conversation with their loved ones.

      Koffman's father served in the Army in World War II and developed dementia in the 1980s. "Mom was his primary caregiver," he recalls, knowing firsthand how difficult memory loss can be on the caregiver. "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."

      "Mr. Koffman has handed us a true gift of time disguised as a book," wrote Nina Tumosa, Professor of Internal Medicine/Geriatrics at Saint Louis University. "With his book we can reverse the silence that has started to descend into our interactions with our veterans as a result of their memory losses. This book does not create new memories; instead it unlocks the old ones."

      There are some 600,000 veterans known to have some form of memory loss today. Koffman's goal is that each of the families affected would have access to this book. Ladies Auxiliaries, and their Posts through them, are encouraged to purchase a few copies to keep at the Post or give to a local VA Medical Center, nursing home or Alzheimer's facility.

      The book is for all ages and would also be great for grandparent veterans to talk about with their grandchildren.

      In addition to the benefits the book provides to veterans, their caregivers and their families, a portion of the proceeds from the book will go back to the Ladies Auxiliary VFW, which is committed to assist veterans, active-duty military and their families. At www.lifeintheusmilitary.com choose "LA-VFW" when purchasing the book.

     Koffman recently participated in the National Advisory Committee's annual conference in Cincinnati, where he had the chance to introduce the book to VAVS Representatives. There he talked about the results he's seen in using the book with veterans who have memory loss, recounting stories of how veterans were affected.

     "Caregivers were clearly touched by their loved ones’ responses to the book," Koffman said. 

"One wife spent the entire support group in tears because her husband was talking to her and explaining the pictures. At the end of the session she said that it was good to see him animated again and said 'I could see the young soldier who swept me off my feet.”

     Purchase a copy today either for yourself, a loved one or to keep on hand to give away.

www.lifeintheusmilitary.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

April 26, 2011

 

LADIES AUXILIARY VFW IS FIRST VETERANS GROUP PROMOTING BOOK THAT HELPS VETERANS

BATTLE MEMORY LOSS

 

At this week’s meeting of the National Advisory Council (NAC) of the

Department of Veterans Affairs’ Voluntary Services (VAVS),

Pacific Northwest Author and Artist Dan Koffman will be meeting with representatives

of 54 other veterans organizations to gain support for his new book,

“Life in the US Military – Images for Reflection & Reminiscence

for Veterans with Memory Loss.”

 

CINCINNATI, OH  -  “Government records show there are 600,000 military veterans from all branches of the service who are suffering with memory loss. Their caregivers and families are suffering too as they hopelessly witness the mental decline of their cherished loved one . . . hopeless until now,” Koffman says.

 

Koffman’s book, “Life in The US MILITARY,” has been designed specifically for veterans of the military who suffer from memory loss. The book contains images designed and tested to spark quiet reflection and stimulate shared reminiscences between the veteran, caregivers, old friends and family members of all ages, including grandchildren.

 

It is the first book of its kind on this topic, with this goal. Research trials with the book show that veterans with memory loss smile, nod and often begin talking about their military memories when they see the images, even when they have not responded to other attempts to break through their silence and sense of isolation caused by memory loss.

 

The book illustrates a broad palette of military experiences in visual images, to attain the most basic, versatile and pertinent metaphors for service life - yet with no martial focus. The images are remindful of camaraderie and pride in their service rather than bloodshed. While brilliant researchers are hard at work searching for cures to memory loss, “Life in The US MILITARY” is here now to create new times to treasure and help take full advantage of every precious moment between caregivers and their cherished loved ones.

News Release – Page 2

Cincinnati: Veterans groups to hear of

new book to penetrate barriers of veterans’ memory loss

 

As Koffman meets with veterans organizations this week at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Cincinnati, seeking more groups to help promote his book, he already has had his first success. After being invited to the convention to share information about his book, he sent each group a brief summary of the book and his intentions to share $1.5 million in book revenues with partnering groups.

Just reading his information letter, he inspired the VFW Ladies Auxiliary to respond with a partnership commitment to promote the new book.

 

“The Ladies Auxiliary VFW is proud to be the very first veteran-serving organization stepping forward to partner with Dan Koffman’s ‘Life in The US MILITARY’ to help caregivers of veterans with memory loss connect with their loved ones in a special way,” wrote Jan Owens, National Secretary-Treasurer of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW.

 

 “That’s the kind of impact this book is having on veterans support groups, including several American Legion posts in my home area where I’ve presented talks about the book. Many people signed up that night for pre-production orders,” Koffman said, noting that the book will be published in Indianapolis in May.

 

“With over 9,000 posts nationally and a combined membership of nearly two million folks carrying the message, I can think of no better way to kick off this important project,” Koffman said.

 

As for his $1.5 million pledge to veteran-serving organizations who will help him to spread the word about his book to helps veterans with memory loss connect once again to their loved ones and caregivers, he said “technology makes these multiple partnerships possible.”

 

“On our website (www.LifeInTheUSMILITARY.com), the main source for purchasing the book, buyers will be asked where they heard about it. From a pull-down menu of choices, listing the partnering veterans support organizations, buyers can select their source, giving that group credit for the sale,” Koffman said. “That just shows how serious I am about getting the word out to veterans, family members and caregivers who can benefit from this simple-to-use book.”

 

During the two-day conference, Koffman hopes to enroll the participation of many other veterans support groups.

 

“Just imagine,” he said, “millions of people working together to battle the serious issue of memory loss in veterans . . . now that’s good news!”

 

“Life in The US MILITARY” and other titles in Dan Koffman’s Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors book series are available online at www.LifeInTheUSMILITARY.com and from Amazon

 

 

April 1, 2011

 

US MILITARY DECLARES WAR ON VETERAN’S MEMORY LOSS

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, FUN FOODS and HAND TOOLS (Dog Ear Publishing – ISBN#’s xxxxxxx, xxxxxxx, xxxxxxx – soft and hard cover editions). 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 available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as at: www.SimplePleasuresforSpecialSeniors.com