When I started this blog, I thought there weren’t any books written for dementia patients. I was wrong. My most recent discovery is Shadowbox Press, a company that specializes in books and activity cards for memory impaired adults.
There are eight books in the series: Flowers, America, Bible Verses, Dogs and Puppies, Colors, Seasons, Fun and Games, and Wild Animals. Each 64 page book includes photographs paired with brief text in large print. In addition, each book includes conversation starters and activities related to the book’s subject matter.
The conversation starters are a mix of closed- and open-ended questions. For example, some of the questions in Flowers are “Have you ever grown peonies?”, “What flowers do you like in a bouquet?”, and “Have you ever been a member of a garden club?”
The activities are designed to encourage mental and physical engagement. Some suggested activities in Flowers include inspecting flowers with a magnifying glass, moisturizing hands with floral-scented lotion, and making pressed flowers.
Matt Schneider, the owner of Shadowbox Press, says his company measures their success in both customer feedback and sales figures. “The feedback we have receive from individuals and caregivers for adults living with mid and late stage dementia, has been very positive,” Matt said.
In addition to books, Shadowbox Press offers Conversation Card sets designed to promote opportunities to reminisce, recall special memories, and share stories. The three available card sets are titled Familiar Words, Nostalgic Items, and Words for Guys.
Shadowbox Press books are priced at $19.95 and the card sets at $29.95. Discounts are available when you order multiple books and/or cards. Matt noted that many libraries across the country have ordered sets of the activity books. “For individuals who don’t have the means to purchase the books, they can request their local library to buy the set of Shadowbox Press books for their community to share,” Matt said. I plan to look into this with my library.
Matt says the company introduced a new deck of Conversation Cards in early January, 2017. They might be adding new books in the future too, but nothing is planned at this time. I hope they do!