Books and Manuals for the New Graduate
This week I'd like to continue with specific therapy material
suggestions for new graduates and the books and manuals that have worked for
me, with a focus on cognitive-linguistic resources.
Cognitive-linguistic therapy is a very important aspect of our work
in geriatrics and long-term care (LTC). At the very least, we should be
supporting patients who have been diagnosed with any of the many disease
processes that are characterized by dementia by creating a Functional
Maintenance Plan (FMP) to help the patient, family, and caregivers as they
navigate through the reality of dementia and cognitive impairments.
One of my favorite resources is My
Past is Now My Future: A Practical Guide to Dementia Possible Care by Lanny Butler, MS, OTR/L. This concise, 88-page
book is my first suggestion to clinicians, patients, family members and
caregivers who want to know more about the stages of dementia and how to help
maintain an individual's dignity and independence as dementia progresses. Mr.
Butler includes practical and clear advice developed in his years of work with
people with dementia. I suggest this book first because the signs and symptoms
of dementia must be addressed in order for the patient to experience success in
other therapies, including dysphagia therapy, communication, physical therapy,
and occupational therapy, as well as to participate in the daily routine in
whatever their discharge environment might be, whether it's a home or a facility.
The next resource I'd like to recommend is Memory Books and Other Graphic Cueing Systems, by Michelle S.
Bourgeois, PhD, CCC-SLP. Dr. Bourgeois has developed many strategies
for communication for dementia patients, and her book is full of ideas to help
the new clinician create memory books and wallets and to develop strategies for
patients. It is another concise book, with all the good, practical knowledge
you need to start creating memory aids with and for your patients. The author
includes suggestions for books and aids to be used at home as well as in
For people who are in more middle to advanced stages of dementia, I
suggest Montessori-Based Activities for Persons with Dementia, edited by Cameron
J. Camp, PhD, psychologist and senior research scientist at Myers Research
Institute, and A
by Jennifer A. Brush, MA, CCC-SLP,
speech-language pathologist and researcher, and Dr. Camp. There are two volumes
of the Montessori activities that target successful, meaningful activities
alongside cognitive stimulation to promote socialization and interaction in the
person's environment. Specific activities are well thought out, and the books
include models for cueing and adjusting the difficulty of the task to the
specific patient's abilities. Spaced retrieval is a simple but very effective
therapy technique and the book includes a screen to determine if a patient is a
good candidate for the technique, as well as specific therapy goals to
incorporate into spaced retrieval training.
Susan Howell Brubaker, MS, CCC-SLP, has authored a
well-respected and highly recommended line of books targeting aphasia and cognition.
For very high level patients, I pull out The Workbook for Cognitive Skills, which many of my
patients enjoy because it is full of puzzles and word games to stimulate cognitive
function. The Workbook for Reasoning Skills is another
favorite, and slightly less difficult than the Cognitive Skills volume.
Brubaker's book can save you time in finding cognitive exercises for those
patients with good visual acuity and literacy skills. Some of my patients can
work the puzzles more independently, while others need step-by-step guidance. I
never let them "fail" at a puzzle, so if we start one, I make sure we have time
to complete it. I also present the same exercise more than once with many
For evaluating and assessing current cognitive levels, I suggest new
clinicians become familiar with the work of Claudia K. Allen, MA, OTR, FAOT, and the Allen
which is a superb resource in determining treatment goals based on the
cognitive level at which the patient is functioning.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of cognitive therapy
materials, and these are resources that I have purchased or that have been
available at facilities where I work. I know there are many, many more
workbooks and texts available to us, and I'd love to hear your suggestions for
purchases new graduates and new clinicians might want to consider.