Coloring books aren’t just for kids anymore.  The last few years show an increase in sales of adult coloring books in addition to the already popular children’s coloring books.  In recognition of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, a coloring book specifically designed for Alzheimer’s patients was released this month.

“Color Your Mind: A Coloring Book for Those with Alzheimer’s and the People Who Love Them” was created by Maria Shriver, who was inspired after caring for her father who fought the disease.

Unlike your typical coloring book, this book is the first of its kind and aims to create a calm, soothing and guided activity that patients can do, with or without assistance from their caregivers.  Over five million people suffer from the disease in the United States, so this book is written for caregivers, family and friends to help those who suffer not only from Alzheimer’s, but with other forms of dementia.

The images for the book were developed through frequent visits to nursing homes and memory care units as collaborating with patients.  It also provides tips for the caregivers, derived from conversations with doctors, neurologists and families.

As Alzheimer’s progresses, the patient may lose the ability to communicate or may forget a conversation that occurred only 10 minutes earlier, but they can still express themselves through their art.  The book serves to facilitate and maintain the connection between patient and their loved ones, since this is something they can do together and be a conversation starter as the patient may want to talk about the images as they color.

Color Your Mind is comprised of six chapters which focus on brain health: (1) Well-Being; (2) Exercise; (3) Social Connection; (4) Move your Mind; (5) Nutrition; and (6) Sleep.  Each coloring page is accompanied by relevant information and prompts to help those with the disease and their caregivers to connect and reflect.

The book can be purchased online by visiting http://books.bluestarcoloring.com/color-your-mind/ and a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.

-Rachel Zaslow, Esq.