Long after my mother had seemingly lost all of her language skills to Alzheimer’s disease, I happened upon her leafing through a magazine, looking at pictures and reading the headlines aloud. “Mom can still read!” I thought, and vainly went in search of a simple picture book designed for people suffering with dementia.

The National Alzheimer’s Association informed me that although there are over 20,000 books available for caregivers of people with memory loss, there are virtually none for the actual patient. Until now:

L’Chaim! is specifically geared for use with Jewish dementia patients, and contains beautiful imagery that is unique and precious to Jewish life, along with short, easy-to-read captions in big print, requiring no memory to enjoy!

It is dedicated to my dear father Max, 92, in deep gratitude for his tireless care of my mother for nearly 13 years. Sadly, several years ago, on their 67th anniversary, Dad tumbled headlong down a stairwell and suffered a near-fatal brain injury.

Overnight, he joined Mom in needing full-time, at-home care.

I hope that this offering will evoke memories, stimulate stories and conversation, and provide my father and countless others like him all over the world with many tender moments of joy and connection with their loved ones.

ELIEZER SOBEL is the author of Blue Sky, White Clouds: A Book for Memory-Challenged Adults (Rainbow Ridge Books, 2012), the first of this series of picture books designed for adults suffering with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

He is also the author of: Minyan: Ten Jewish Men in a World That is Heartbroken (University of Tennessee Press, 2004; paperback edition, 2016), selected by National Book Award winner John Casey as the winner of the prestigious Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel; a memoir, The 99th Monkey: A Spiritual Journalist’s Misadventures with Gurus, Messiahs, Sex, Psychedelics and other Consciousness-Raising Experiments (Santa Monica Press, 2008); Wild Heart Dancing: A Personal One-Day Quest to Liberate the Artist and Lover Within (Simon & Schuster/Fireside, 1994); Manual of Good Luck (Mark-Martin Associates, 1979); and Why I Am Not Enlightened (Reality Sandwich Singles, 2012, an e-book available for free at evolver.net.)

Sobel was the former publisher and editor of the Wild Heart Journal and The New Sun magazine. He blogs for PsychologyToday.com and his work has also appeared online at The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Reality Sandwich, Family Caregiver Alliance, the Alzheimer’s Reading Room, and numerous others sites.

He has led intensive creativity workshops and retreats around the United States, is a certified teacher of the 5Rhythms™ movement practice, has served as a hospital chaplain and nursing home volunteer, a high school teacher, the music director of several children’s theater companies on both coasts, and once endured a short-lived career as a pizza-delivery boy.

As of late, Eliezer and his wife, Shari Cordon, are primarily engaged in helping care for their elderly parents.

Praise for
Blue Sky,
White Clouds

(first book in the series)

“I think this is a great idea and it is very useful, indeed. I never really thought about it, but it makes a lot of sense. I fully support and endorse the concept.”

— Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D.

— Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
— Director, Genetics and Aging Research Unit, Mass General Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital

“My 93-year-old grandmother and I have read the book over and over again. Each time it brings up new stories, emotions, and memories. Every family, hospital, and facility should have this on their shelves!”

—M. Savaiano, Evanston, III

“I have been looking for ages for something suitable to share with my mom who is in the late stages of dementia. Your book is perfect! Thank you!”

—Julie Brough, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

“Your Blue Sky, White Clouds book is revered at the Adult Day Health Care Center where I am an intern. Most of my clients are Jewish refugees from the Ukraine and Russia. The pictures, from first to last, always stimulate some reaction.”

—Philip Ryan, San Francisco, CA

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