Joggin’ Your Noggin

From Ginny Pisciotta
Author: Mary Randolph
Title: Joggin’ Your Noggin
Joggin’ Your Noggin is a book of word games designed for those in mild to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. These mind sharpening games will provide fun and entertainment, while aiding word recall. Completing these puzzles will give the Alzheimer’s or dementia patient a sense of pride and accomplishment. If done together with a caregiver, it will provide many opportunities for meaningful conversation and interaction. There are 3 volumes in this series.

Dogs and Puppies: Heartwarming Stories of Man’s Best Friend

From Ginny Pisciotta
Author:  Matthew Schneider
Title:  Dogs and Puppies: Heartwarming Stories of Man’s Best Friend
This is a picture book specifically created for memory-impaired adults and is designed to be used in a shared reading experience with a family member, caregiver or friend.  It is not a continuous story – each set of pages has it’s own story and picture, so the book can be read a little at a time or all at once. The print is large, the language is simple and the pictures of dogs and their owners are delightful.  The back of the book has conversation starters for each set of pages, as well as activity ideas. The front of the book includes interaction guidelines for the caregiver.  This book can be an effective tool for building connections with someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello – The Montessori Method for Positive Dementia Care

From  Ginny Pisciotta
Author:  Tom & Karen Brenner
Title:  You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello – The Montessori Method for Positive Dementia Care
You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello is an amazing book.  It is short and easy to understand, but full of encouragement and wonderful ideas to help the caregiver connect with and care for the dementia patient.  The book is philosophical, yet immensely practical.

The authors  do not sugar-coat the disease but show how a change of mindset and methods can improve the quality of life for both the patient and the caregiver.

Tom and Karen Brenner combined  his background in gerontology and hers as a Montesorri educator to come up with this inspiring method of dementia care.  The basic principles and specific ideas set forth in this book are brought to life with the telling of individual stories of patients they have worked with.

I Remember Better When I Paint : Treating Alzheimer’s Through the Creative Arts [videorecording DVD]

From Virginia Pisciotta
Author:  Eric Ellena
I Remember Better When I Paint : Treating Alzheimer’s Through the Creative Arts [videorecording DVD]
I Remember Better When I Paint is a fascinating documentary on how art therapy is producing positive results in those suffering from Alzheimer’s  disease.  Many facilities are now using art and other creative outlets such as music to improve the quality of life of Alzheimer’s patients and open up paths of communication between patients and family members or caregivers.  Scientists have found that the parts of the brain related to emotions and creativity still function in the Alzheimer patient.

Visits to art museums are also highly effective.  You would never guess from watching the visitors respond to the art and listening to their conversations about the art, that they had Alzheimer’s disease.

I would highly recommend this documentary to anyone who has a family member or friend with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, or who works in a facility with Alzheimer’s patients.  In fact, I think most anyone would find this both interesting and encouraging.

All Gone: a Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia. With Refreshments

From  Margaret Mezzacapo
Author:  Alex Witchel
All Gone: a Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia. With Refreshments 
This book chronicles the author’s mother’s journey through stages of Alzheimer’s, from an active, vibrant, educated woman to a completely different and debilitated person. This journey impacts not only the patient, but many others as well. Witchel uses food as an illustrative device to chronicle her younger years as well as the present, and includes recipes for the dishes that serve to illustrate her life.

I enjoyed this book and its style. Before starting any Alzheimer’s support group, I’d recommend reading this book. It shows that those who are mourned are not necessarily deceased.