New book of colorful art activities provides a powerful sense of connection to people with dementia and those who care for them

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Kaitlin Konecke, Marketing Coordinator
Phone: 410-337-9585 x181
Email: kkonecke@healthpropress.com

New book of colorful art activities provides a powerful sense of connection to people with dementia and those who care for them

Norris for BenchmarkBaltimore, MD (April 2015) — Health Professions Press has just released Creative Connections™ in Dementia Care: Engaging Activities to Enhance Communication, by authors and communication experts Rev. Katie Norris and Jennifer Brush, M.A., CCC/SLP. Now available in print format Creative Connections™ in Dementia Care provides care partners with the knowledge and easy-to-follow steps they need to successfully implement art projects in a group or one-on-one setting—and no art experience is required!

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.

Author Katie Norris says that this book was inspired by personal experience of caring for her mother who was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia. “As the family cared for my mother Carolyn in her home,” writes Norris, “we quickly learned two things. First, it was a struggle to communicate with her effectively. Second, there were no accessible activities or groups for her to attend that brought her joy.” As a result, Norris and her father immersed themselves in learning about dementia care—attending workshops, reading books, and learning all about the most up-to-date practices.

“What we found was that everything centered on communication,” Norris says. “According to recent brain research, art and imagination are some of the last skills to be affected by dementia. Could we use imagination to communicate? We found that we could.”

The key is in breaking down larger tasks into manageable steps, which increases a person’s ability to communicate. In Creative Connections™ in Dementia Care, art projects are presented and broken down in such a way as to make them meaningful and increase the likelihood that loved ones can and will participate. The book provides 10 basic arts projects, with colorful step-by-step photographs that show how to demonstrate and lead the activity for the person with dementia. Each activity is failure-free and taps into the imagination and creativity of all participants. Complete with full-color tear-out activity cards for easy re-use and reference, this book, described as “a bible for care partners” (Tom Brenner, MA/Karen Brenner, MA), is a one-of-a-kind guide in bringing joy and connection to the lives of people experiencing dementia.

Creative Connections™ in Dementia Care ($29.99) is now available. For more information, visit http://hppmultisite.wpengine.com/product/creative-connections-in-dementia-care/.

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About Health Professions Press, Inc.
Health Professions Press, Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland) is a publisher of high-quality educational resources for professionals interested in wellness and aging, long-term care, elder care, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and healthcare management. Visit www.healthpropress.com to learn more about this independent company, its vision, mission, and ever-growing list of publications.

About the Authors
Rev. Katie Norris
is co-founder of the Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation for Brain Health. Her community ministry is devoted to helping people with brain health illness and dementia live lives of meaning and purpose. She works to raise awareness and end stigmas associated with these illnesses through community outreach and public speaking.

Jennifer Brush, M.A., CCC-SLP, is a nationally recognized speech-language pathologist known for her work in the areas of memory and environmental interventions for people with dementia. She understands the particular needs of healthcare organizations and families who are engaged in dementia care and has more than 20 years of experience as both a leading researcher and direct-care couch in this complex field.

Comments

  1. says

    This is fantastic. I’m really happy to hear that art is still usually strong in sufferers of dementia; I’m lucky enough that I don’t have a family member suffering from it, but I have my deepest sympathies for those who do. It’s an awful thing to go through, and I’m glad that there are options like this to keep connections strong. Thank you for sharing.

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