Book Review – 5 September 2016

A leaders Manual for Senior’s Discussion Groups

Diversional Therapist Lauretta Kaldor has published a new manual which every Diversional Therapist, Recreational Activities Officer and staff working in Aged Care, and Community and Day centres will find useful and a valuable addition to their resources.

Lauretta, who has been working as a Diversional Therapist for over 30 years has used not only her skills but her extensive experience to put together the manual entitled “Life’s Little Lessons” – A leaders Manual for Senior’s Discussion Groups. Whilst it is aimed at group work, each topic is equally suitable for 1-1 sessions with individual clients.There are 21 topics for discussion and all allow for varying levels of education. They are designed to encourage intelligent debate and engagement.
In reviewing this publication I found the directions set out in the first pages helpful.

Lauretta has written each topic as a mini lecture, some of which come with a trivia quiz which provide mental stimulation and encourage social inter-action. This is particularly valuable for clients attending a day centre who may require social stimulation.The topics promote and stimulate memory recall, so important for those who are ageing and whose social opportunities and activities may be reduced due to poor mobility, cognitive impairment an/or sensory loss.

Lauretta points out “your audience will probably be people from 60-95 (or Older) and have varying cognitive abilities. People with early memory loss may have some problems joining in but it is essential to make the session inclusive…….”
All of the topics in the manual are relevant to most if not all clients and are sure to stimulate memories.

Reminiscence is an effective tool when used in group situations. Sharing their life experiences and wisdom validate lives of older people and enhances self-esteemThese clients have much to share and deserve the opportunity to be heard
This manual and the selected topics provide this opportunity and is a valuable resource for anyone leading a group or who is working 1-1 with an individual client.

Reviewed by
Janet Godsell Diversional Therapist

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