EliezerSobel, author, artist, musician, and by his own description, a humanbeing, has been caring for his parents for many years. His father Maxhad been the loving caregiver for his mother, Manya, who is in her16 th year of Alzheimer’s Disease! Three years ago, Max suffered atraumatic brain injury and now is also in full time care at home.Manya has lost much of her language abilities and when she doesspeak, it is admittedly “dementia-speak”. Eliezer, in hiscompassionate and good-humored manner, chats with her in the languagethat she now uses. They converse regularly in this way.
One day afew years ago, El noticed that Manya was flipping through a magazine,looking at the pictures and reciting words out loud. He wasastonished at her ability to read! How many of us have had theexperience of someone living with Alzheimer’s who cannot find theirwords, but still able to read street signs, billboards, or as inManya’s case, captions in a magazine?
Being thegood son that he is, Eliezer tried to find an adult picture book. Hewanted something with beautiful photographs of familiar items andshort simple phrases. He searched without success for book that wouldrequire no memory of the previous page in order to enjoy. Unable tofind anything, El created his first in a series of two books titled Blue Sky White Clouds,A Book For Memory Challenged Adults. The second one, L’Chaim,Pictures to Evoke Memories of Jewish Life, is full of images gearedtoward people of Jewish heritage living with dementia, hoping toevoke memories, conversation, and tender moments for families.
These booksare both a visual feast and a simple pleasure -- a must to share withfriends and family. You can read more about them and his journey withhis beloved parents on his website, http://eliezersobel.com/books.html.One certainly does not need to have cognitive challenges to enjoythese lovely images. We search for activities where we can findconnection with a loved one living with dementia - what a pleasurethese books are to share and read together!