Tag Archive for "simple pleasures for special seniors"

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My dear parents, Dorothy and Jack Koffman, were married for almost 60 years. Dad was diagnosed with dementia in the 1980s and passed away in the 1990s. Mom was his primary caregiver for all but the last few months of his life. She passed away just one day short of 6 months later.


Dan Koffman, author of the innovation book series “Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors©”, will be interviewed on the “Coping with Caregiving” Internet radio program on Saturday, April 18, 2009. He will discuss how simple photo illustrations of recognizable objects create smiles and connections between people with Alzheimer’s disease and those who love and care for them.

The program airs live from 3:00-4:00 pm Pacific Time, with Koffman’s interview at 3:15 pm. To listen in, simply click on the yellow “listen live” button at the upper left of the website: http://www.wsRadio.com/CopingWithCaregiving.

Koffman speaks from heartfelt experience as his own father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease over 20 years ago. As the disease took hold of the part of the brain that controls language, thought and memory, communication with his father became more difficult until finally it was all but impossible. The family was desperate to find ways to connect with his father, but though they searched they were unable to find effective tools.

Koffman, an artist whose career is based on communication through the power of images, knew then that he wanted to create tools and activities that would create connections for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. His final inspiration — to use the power of images to create those connections — came as he watched former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner testify before the Senate Committee on Aging, recognizing her red-rimmed eyes as those of a devote, but weary caregiver.

Koffman’s ground-breaking “Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors©” books have received rave reviews from memory loss professionals and family members alike, but Koffman says he is most honored by the happy responses of the Special Seniors themselves. This positive impact has allowed Koffman to realize his dream, his passion, to make a real difference in the Alzheimer’s care community. http://www.SimplePleasureBooks.com

Alzheimer’s Disease affects more than 5.2 million people in the United States with numbers about to soar as Baby Boomers fast approach the age of onset. It is the most common form of dementia and most victims are cared for at home by family members. In 2008, there were nearly 10 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S., providing 8.5 billion hours of unpaid care which is valued at $94 billion.

If you miss Koffman’s live interview, you can listen to the archive anytime via listening-on-demand by date at “Coping With Caregiving“. The host of the seven-year old popular program, Jacqueline Marcell, is an eldercare advocate, international speaker and author of the best-selling book “Elder Rage” (http://www.ElderRage.com).

Contact: Dan Koffman
Phone: 360-387-3024


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.

Camano Island, WA – In the world of Alzheimer’s disease, easy, effective, reliable daily activities that engage Alzheimer’s sufferers and create connections with the world around them are few and far between. That’s why Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© <www.simplepleasuresforspecialseniors.com/>, a new picture book series designed by artist Dan Koffman specifically for people with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease, is winning rave reviews from memory loss professionals, caregivers and family members of Alzheimer’s sufferers.

“Dan Koffman’s Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© book series is a wonderful resource for eliciting memories and conversation with individuals who have memory loss challenges,” says Rebecca G. Logsdon, Ph.D. (Research Professor, University of Washington School of Nursing, Northwest Research Group on Aging).

Each Simple Pleasures book focuses on a familiar aspect of life and is filled with simple, bold photo illustrations of familiar objects easily recognizable to people with Alzheimer’s or other memory loss disease. The first three books in the series are Fruits, Fun Foods and Hand Tools.

Simple Pleasures allows family and caregivers to rebuild connections today based on awakening recollections from years ago,” says Ron Kauffman, CSA, ?Author of Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease. “After about 30 minutes of exploring Fruits with my mom, she closed the book and said, “That was nice. Can we do more later?” As a family member and caregiver, hearing those words from someone with memory loss was truly music to my ears.”

Words like these are music to Dan Koffman’s ears. From personal experience he knows that 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 individual and create connections with their caregivers and the world around them. Koffman’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the early 1980’s; his mother was the primary caregiver. He lost his dad in 1994; his mom one day short of six months later.

“I wanted to create an easy-to-use tool, a daily activity that would engage people like my dad and open the door to quiet reflection, fresh reminiscence and peaceful times free from frustration and confusion, something that would create new memories for caregivers like my mom to treasure,” says author Koffman, an artist whose career has been built on the power of images. “Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© is the realization of that goal.”

Says Cameron J. Camp, Ph.D., Cognitive Psychologist, Research Scientist and Author of Activities for Persons with Dementia, A Different Visit and other titles: “The high quality of the photo-illustrations in Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books and the items selected should be especially relevant for working with those who have more advanced dementia.”

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.

“It has been so heartening to receive positive reviews from leading memory loss professionals across the USA who confirm that Simple Pleasures books are making an important difference,” says Koffman, who believes a picture is worth a thousand words.

David Johnson (Personal Pathways, Garden House, Merrill Gardens at Stanwood, WA) agrees, saying that the pictures in Simple Pleasures books create “wide eyes, smiles, ooh’s and aah’s and the sharing of memories. Even those with severe dementia smile and laugh. Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© is a drug free, self-contained, easy to use, anytime activity that really works for our residents with moderate to severe dementias, a touch of simplicity for solid heart-mind connection!”

Koffman’s final word: “Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors© books can be a silver lining in the gray cloud of Alzheimer’s disease, providing an easy, effective, reliable daily activity that creates 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.”

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. 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.

About Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors©
Dan Koffman is an artist and creator of Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors©, books designed specifically for people with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. Koffman’s goal is to make life better for patients and caregivers coping with the demands of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. He welcomes quantity book orders from senior care centers and solo copy sales from anyone needing a new tool to help make a treasured connection with a loved one slipping away from Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about this new line of books, what leading memory loss professionals are saying about them or to buy books in any quantity, please visit the Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors©  website.

Dan Koffman
Simple Pleasures for Special Seniors
Phone: 360-387-3024
email: dan@koffman.net