May 19, 2016

book reveiws by Lauretta Kaldor who is a diversional therapist who has been writing manuals for leisure staff working in aged care for the last 18 years.

These and other resources are available for loan to members of AANSW - if you would like to reserve them please email the Library on

Brain flexers : Games and Activities to Strengthen Memory
This book is a collection of 86 one-page activities designed especially for individuals with early memory loss to help strengthen brain functioning, promote social interaction, and provide hours of meaningful entertainment. Using trivia, reminiscence, and word association, individuals can test their memory and gain new knowledge on a wide variety of topics related to people, places, and things. Activities use an assortment of matching, fill-in-the-blank, and brainstorming skills and can be enjoyed either by individuals or with groups.

The book is divided into the following themes: Warm-ups, Sharpening Your Senses
Language, Geography, Creativity, History and Culture, Logic and Sequence, Music
Each activity includes answers as well as facilitator instructions
Brain flexers : Games and Activities to Strengthen Memory

 Brain flexers


Review book by Lauretta Kaldor

I really love this book because the games and quizzes were fun to try. Strengthening the mind is considered important as we age. There are over 200 pages of different types of activities on different types of brain activity that appeal to different aspects of the brain such as memory, mathematics, history, other activities that incorporate all the senses. Although this book is written for the US market, it doesn't really matter because many ideas could easily be adapted to the type to the Australian. I commend this book to any staff who are working with older people possibly people who have some early dementia. For students and educators it's a great resource. For therapists doing activity programs it is great to have on hand as the programs are ready to use straight away.


And still the music plays : stories of people with dementia
not unlike in the "hiding the stranger in the mirror" by using 22 stories, the author draws on his memories of people with dementia he has met to bring the reader a greater understanding of the condition and why some people behave in the way they do and how to work with that to solve difficult behaviours. The central theme is that everyone with dementia is unique, with a distinctive personality and experiences, and it is only by thinking deeply about each person individually that we can respond to their unique needs and give the best care possible.

Still the Music plays 

Review by Lauretta Kaldor for the DTA newsletter

One of the biggest problems therapist have working with people who have dementia is how to deal with the continual challenging and bizarre behaviours. Many of the clients in this book were still living at home. This book has many readable true stories based on experiences of the author (psychologist) on some of those challenging behaviours such as calling out, difficulties of toileting, as well unusual and destructive behaviours. Example one man with dementia began destroying a garden he once loved and cared for. For carers and family members the behaviours seem spiteful. The author has been called on to assist and has become a detective and find the root causes for the behaviours and suggests solutions. The stories are records of what he has done. In some cases he was able to find real solutions when strange fears are uncovered. The book is therefore very readable making what could be very dry material interesting and memorable. I do a recommend this book to all students and therapists who work with carers and staff and their family members because the stories will bring to life some of the issues that a professional person has to deal with on a daily basis.


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