August 11, 2017

12 books to help reduce isolation and use evidence-based memory interventions

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

Positive communication : activities to reduce isolation and improve the wellbeing of older adults

A collection of over 100 structured activities for use with groups of older people that are designed to improve overall physical health and emotional wellbeing. Each activity comes with specific instructions for delivery along with helpful handouts and additional resources.

The effects of social interaction and engagement with older people have been proven to considerably improve quality of life and emotional wellbeing. This book comes packed with ready-to-use activities for groups of older people, aimed at connecting individuals, developing their self-esteem, and encouraging personal expression and independence.

The activities are intended to be led by facilitators working with groups of older people in residential homes, drop-in or day centres, hospices, clubs for older people, hospitals, or support groups. The activities range from creative arts to storytelling to sports, and are all designed to keep both bodies and minds sharp, while encouraging positive relationships with others.

Keep your brain stronger for longer : 201 brain exercises for people with mild cognitive impairment

Start Exercising Your Brain Now: 201 Word and Number Exercises to Challenge Your Memory, Reasoning, Visual-Spatial Skills, Vocabulary, and More!

Keep your brain active, even with MCI. For adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment, brain exercises are the best way to stay sharp and delay the onset of dementia. That’s why cognitive specialist Dr. Tonia Vojtkofsky tailored this fun workbook specifically for people with MCI. It’s the first of its kind!

    includes : Complete the word, image recall, determine the order, matching, true or false, logic problems, decode using clues, trivia, discover the pattern, word mazes, and math games.

“The idea for the book originated from my need to provide appropriate brain exercises for my clients who have MCI. All of the brain-exercise books on the market today are for people with no cognitive impairment and therefore were too hard for my clients. I knew that I had to provide something for this underserved population.”—Dr. Tonia Vojtkofsky

Spaced retrieval step by step : an evidence-based memory intervention

With proper supports in place, people with memory loss can be taught to remember information and even learn tasks that will promote their independence. Spaced Retrieval Step by Step: An Evidence-Based Memory Intervention describes a simple, effective process that can significantly improve people’s daily performance, safety, and confidence.

This practical guide takes a fresh approach to Spaced Retrieval, teaching this innovative process step by step so you can better assist people in learning important actions and information, such as when to take medications or how to use a walker. With this proven memory-training strategy, you help people learn and store specific information that, with practice, can be easily accessed and retrieved.

Filled with practical insights and advice for care partners, this book also provides:

•screening and program forms (also available as downloadable PDF files)
•an easy-to-follow protocol for practicing Spaced Retrieval
•advice and tools for developing visual cuing

Engaging and communicating with people who have dementia : finding and using their strengths

Keep people with dementia fully engaged in daily life and help them maximize remaining functional skills by tapping into their innate abilities and interests.

This book is a trove of advice on how to identify people's strengths and preferences and then use this knowledge to improve activity programming, communication, and functional independence.
Includes these assessment and intervention tools:

  • -Informal geriatric strength-based inventory
  • -Caregiver questionnaire and checklist
  • -Personal preferences inventory
  • -Strength-based summary sheet
  • -SIMPLE (Simplified inventory of multiple potential and leisure engagement)
  • -Dementia care staff guide
  • -Memory loss caregiver guide

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

Creative connections in dementia care : engaging activities to enhance communication
Written for anyone who cares for a person with dementia—family members, friends, and professionals—this how-to manual is packed with guidance to help enhance communication, interactions, task breakdown, and problem-solving efforts while also encouraging the abilities of each participant.
People with dementia enjoy valuable benefits when they actively engage in a creative activity:
•stress is reduced
•memories can be accessed
•mood and self-esteem are elevated
•a sense of personal identity and achievement is experienced

Use it don't lose it : a mental fitness workbook

This workbook has 31 exercises in categories like Memory, Sketching, Trivia, Spatial Ability, Word Games, and Imagination. Some exercises have specific answers, while other depend on individual opinions or choices. Ideal for mental fitness groups or individual puzzling. Contents: introduction -- proverbs and memory -- imagination and sketching -- partners trivia -- spatial ability -- on the wind word game -- add subtract and multiple numbers -- imagination make a picture -- more trivia memory and the life of the honey bee -- can you read this word game -- pet peeves and brainstorming -- fill in word games -- more numbers -- rainbow and moonbeams word game -- brain teasers and spatial ability -- newspaper and memory -- using percentages -- work squares – palindromes -- names in common – things that bubble and imagination -- aging in place and word finder -- answers and resources

 A Creative Toolkit for Communication in Dementia Care
Reviews.."...As a person with dementia I know many of my peers will lose the ability to verbally communicate, but that does not mean we lose our intelligence. It is pleasing to know that the importance of non-verbal language is highlighted in this book. Ignorance, social isolation and boredom are issues we face. But by following the great advice in this book you will have the necessary toolkit to give people every opportunity to communicate and take part in worthwhile physical and mental activities that will bring hours of enjoyment for the person with dementia and, just as importantly, you the carer.' - Tommy Dunne, person living with dementia.

'A Creative Toolkit for Communication in Dementia Care is a valuable resource for caregivers. You'll learn important tips for connecting and better communication with someone who has dementia. The book is inspirational, practical and educational. It demonstrates how creative communications in caregiving can support the well-being of people with dementia.' 

Creativity and communication in persons with dementia : a practical guide 
Providing people with dementia with opportunities to engage in creative activity can play a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing communication, and in reinforcing personhood and identity. This thoughtful book describes how people with dementia, and the people who work with and care for them, can foster and develop a creative approach, and provides rich and varied ideas for creative activities. The authors explore the concept of creativity - what exactly it is,its particular relevance for people with dementia and how to get into the creative 'flow'. They introduce a range of creative art forms, including poetry and story-telling, collage, drama, music making, photography, textiles and working with wood and metal, and suggest possibilities for employing them in a range of settings, and with people of all abilities. consideration is given to the practicalities of facilitating such creative work,including how to organise and run sessions, how to involvepeople with dementia and their carers, and how to reflect upon the experience. Practice examples are included throughout the book, as well as the comments and observations of people with dementia, and many examples of the artwork and poetry the authors have created with people with dementia over the years. 

Transcending dementia through the TTAP method : a new psychology of art brain, and cognition
The brain-stimulating approach known as Therapeutic Thematic Arts Programming (TTAP) has a proven record of improving the lives of people with dementia by increasing their engagement and functioning. Activities using the TTAP method can provide significant stimulation and integration of multiple brain regions; enjoyment, engagement, creativity, relaxation, and a sense of purpose for people with even advanced dementia. It has anan easy-to-follow framework that allows infinite variations on themes and personal interests; complete documentation for tracking and evaluation; opportunities for one-on-one or group programming.

Montessori-based activities for persons with dementia : volume 1 and volume 2

Improve your care by improving the functioning of your clients or residents with Alzheimer's disease. Discover how the principles of Montessori education can help people with dementia maintain or improve skills needed in their daily lives. With these 41 step-by-step activities you can enhance the skills used to perform basic tasks.

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