Sparking conversation & memory for people with dementia

Oct 26th, 2011 | By | Category: Everything Else

One in eight older Americans has Alzheimer’s disease.  According to a special report on Alzheimer’s disease put out by the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease will escalate rapidly in the next 10 to 20 years as the baby boomer generation ages.  And while Alzheimer’s disease was first identified more than 100 years ago, it hasn’t been until the last 30 years that there has been any momentum in the research for symptoms, causes, risk factors or treatments.  Which leaves the 14.9 million unpaid caregivers with few resources.

Artist and author, Dan Koffman is trying to change that.  Koffman’s father had Alzheimer’s and his experience watching the toll on his mother while she cared for his father eventually led to his publishing several picture books designed to provide engagement and conversation with individuals with dementia.  Each book includes large pictures of easily recognized objects (fruits or hand tools for instance) with the goal of stimulating communication.  Koffman continued that theme in his latest book, Life in the US Military, which focuses on veterans with memory loss.  Over 600,000 military veterans have memory loss.  His latest book is a partnership with the Ladies Auxiliary VFW and includes familiar military themes such as equipment, a salute and vehicles.

Koffman hopes to write 30 different titles in all.  When he’s not working on that project, he’s on the web with a weekly webcast called Operation: Never Forget! Which focuses on veterans with memory loss and creating a support structure for caregivers.  To find him online go to webtalkradio.net/shows/operation-never-forget.  To learn more about his books or to order one, go to www.lifeintheusmilitary.com.  The book can be ordered online or a mail in order form is available for download.

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