April 29, 2014

2 book reviews by our staff

The Madonnas of Leningrad

by Debra Dean

The story follows two timelines, the current and past life of Marina, wife, mother and grandmother.  Marina’s earlier years are set in WWII Russia when, as a tour guide at the Hermitage Museum, she was responsible for the removal and transportation to safety of the valuable oil paintings.  In her current life, Marina is struggling with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease which is robbing her of her memory of recent events, but bringing to life these distant memories.  From chapter to chapter, the author intertwines past and present, all woven within the fantasies of dementia and the realities of the siege of Leningrad.  Dean is very insightful and manages to convey, with compassion,  how the disease affects not only the person living with dementia, but  the entire family.


Managing Alzheimer’s and dementia behaviours :  common sense caregiving

By Gary Joseph LeBlanc

I would recommend this book as it is quick to read with easy to read large print and cavers many topics in the care of someone with Alzheimer’s in a respectful straightforward way which many carers would relate to and sometimes is quite humorous.

Gary Joseph LeBlanc also has written

Staying afloat in a sea of forgetfulness : common sense caregiving

Gary Joseph LeBlanc is a columnist  from Florida. He was the primary caregiver of his beloved father stricken with Alzheimer's disease for nearly the past decade. LeBlanc's weekly column appears in the Hernando Today, a Tampa Tribune Publication. His writings offer insight and hope through his own 3,000 days plus of caregiving, dealing with the memory-impaired, given in a caregiver friendly manner... "When my father was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's, I read everything I could get my hands on about the disease. Right off the bat I could tell if it was written by a physician, pharmaceutical company or even a nursing home. When caregivers are looking for help, the last thing they need is medical text so complex they already forgot what they read by the time it's laid back down. This is what got me started on writing about common sense caregiving, which turned into a weekly column and now into this book. My goal is to make this book as "caregiver friendly" as possible. Sharing my triumphs and hardships from my plus three-thousand day campaign in dealing with the disease of Alzheimer's and the world of memory-impairment.
These resources are available for loan to members of AANSW - if you would like to reserve them please email the Library on nsw.library@alzheimers.org.au

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