Senior Workbooks by Barbara Giatti

Daughter’s determination and drive against dementia has led to multiple volumes of this activity book for older adults
Featured Image: Barbara Giatti and the Senior Workbooks
Barbara Giatti and the Senior Workbooks

What are Senior Workbooks and how did they come about? 

I was at a doctor’s appointment for my dad. He scored really low on his cognitive test, but we were expecting that. My mom said proudly “I do crossword puzzles!” The doctor shot her right down. He told us that crossword puzzles, sodukus, word searches, etc., “don’t do anything for you because it’s stuff you already know. You need to keep learning.” 

I looked at my mom, who calls the whole internet eBay, and had an idea. Maybe she could do a workbook, and maybe I could write one for her.  

Senior Workbooks are designed to help readers learn and challenge their cognitive abilities. Each chapter includes a short write-up about a subject, such as butterflies, and then pages of activities that link back to that subject, such as crosswords, word searches, prompts for free-writing thoughts, and more.

Activities included in a chapter on butterflies.
Activities included in a chapter on butterflies.

Who initially inspired you to grapple with dementia? 

My dad had dementia and my mom has Alzheimer’s. I’m from a small town in northern Michigan (population 300), but I was living my dream with my Italian husband in Malta. Then it happened.  Dementia happened.  

We moved back to that small town and lived with my parents for two years. We don’t think about senior brains until it’s too late. I am determined to fix that. I have a t-shirt that says “Dementia doesn’t come with a manual but it does come with a daughter who never gives up.” That’s me, I’m the daughter.

Barbara Giatti at a community gathering offering the Senior Workbooks to those in attendance.
Barbara Giatti at a community gathering offering the Senior Workbooks to those in attendance.

How has working on dementia-related art changed you?

I have acquired a wealth of new skills in my determination. I didn’t know anything about book layout or publishing or InDesign or ANYTHING.  I figured it all out though to deliver these activity books to the hands of those who need them.

How has the work been received? 

Older people love them. Middle-aged people make jokes like, “maybe I need that.”  I always say, “yeah, maybe.” 

This work is dedicated to: My dad. Always.

Find more Senior Workbooks from the website and on Amazon.

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