Book Review with the Editor

Title: Smart Brain Healthy Brain How to improve your memory and brain health.
Author: Louise Hallinan
Publisher: The Hallinan Memory Clinic, NSW, Australia.
Date: 2013
ISBN: 978-0-9922688-0-0
RRP: $24.99

Louise Hallinan is a qualified nutritionist and homeopathic practitioner. Louise has had personal experience with brain health when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Louise has being researching memory issues for the past decade and has opened a clinic dedicated to memory testing in honour of her mother.

From a professional perspective the book is an interesting read and Louise has taken the time to research back her information and theories which are interesting. The book starts off with an overview of why the author wrote the book followed by a second session on Memory problems and what is seen as normal everyday memory issues e.g. putting your car keys down and forgetting where to more serious memory issues such as not being able to retrace your steps to find an item you put down or trouble conversing such as repeating one self, forgetting what you were talking about in midsentence and not being able to continue. This section also discusses the importance of prevention vs cure.

The book is then based on 5 key areas to promote a smart and healthy brain. These are:
Step 1: Identifying the causes of memory problems
This section discusses the medical causes of memory loss from brain diseases, hormones, chronic pain, medication induced memory loss to anaesthetics. Numerous areas are covered in this chapter followed up with research and case studies. The second half of this section covers lifestyle causes that contribute to memory loss such as mental health –anxiety and depression, dehydration, diabetes, falls, heavy metals, smoking and vitamin deficiencies.

Step 2: Avoid these foods
This section is based on the usual warnings of what not to eat but also includes aspartame which has recently being discussed in medical circles in regards to the health issues concerned with it’s use.

Step 3: Testing
This section discusses the three main testing procedures – blood tests, memory tests and bio-energetic screening.

Step 4: Prevention
These chapters talk about good nutrition, vitamin and mineral intake, what are currently seen as the brain foods and what they can do for you and supplements that can help with brain memory and health. The book discusses the importance of giving the brain a workout and has quite a few case studies to go with the information.

The final chapter in this section is one of the areas Louise specialises in Homeopathy which is a treatment designed for each individual person is taking into consideration the mental. Emotional and physical illness the person is presenting with.

Step 5: Lifestyle
This chapter for us as Diversional Therapists and Recreational Activity Officers is more a reminder or an overview of what we should consider in our programming. As it covers physical exercise, meditation, yoga, socialising and stress management.

The end of the book has information and links to the research Louise has used to build not only her knowledge but to pass it on to the readers of her book. The book is clearly split into sections, is informative and easy to read and I would recommend it to anyone in our field either a new graduate wanting to have their thoughts challenged and understand a little more about memory loss or to a long term professional who just would like to review what is happening in industry and with current research.

Louise Hallinan also has a website which you can read up more –

To tie in with the above book review this month I have a second book review this will be one of four written by a Diversional Therapist which some members will know – Pam Bell.
Title: Challenging our knowledge can be fun
Author: Pamela Bell
Publisher: P.I. Bell
Date: 2001
ISBN: 0-9579282-0-3
RRP: $24.00 plus $3.50 postage

In this book Pam gives an overview of her life and an interest in aged care. The book is all based on quizzes from Who am I? , true or false questions, general knowledge of Australian places, themes such as sport, cars, garden and Easter. There is room to also write in written answers to some questions in some sections of the book.

At the end of the book there are three cruises that you can set up for your residents or clients these include – New Zealand, Hawaii and Tasmania. Each cruise has a full activity outline and based on a number of days. This includes ideas for meals, entertainment, crafts, mental stimulation activities and armchair travel.

This book would suit anyone wanting more mental stimulation quizzes or activity ideas and is a great activity resource at a reasonable price to own.

Pam can be contacted by phone on 02 9899 7996 or email

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