by Dave Pulsford and Rachel Thompson.
For friends, family members and carers of people with dementia, understanding the condition and coping with the impact it has on their lives can be extremely challenging. This book, written specifically for these groups, explores each stage of the journey with dementia and explains not only how it will affect the person with the condition, but also those around them, and how best to offer support and where to get professional and informal assistance. It focuses on the progressive nature of dementia and the issues that can arise as a result, and gives practical advice that can help to ensure the best possible quality of life both for the person with dementia and the people around them.
by Lisa Snyder
Recent medical advances have made it possible to diagnose Alzheimer's when symptoms are mild and new drugs are under investigation to help slow progression of the disease. Today, when a person is diagnosed, they may have many years ahead with only mild symptoms. The result is that a growing number of people with early-stage Alzheimer's are seeking information about how to take charge of their lives, manage symptoms, and cope effectively with the disease. This book is a working guide to help the person with Alzheimer's feel empowered to move forward in life in light of this challenging diagnosis.
Loving someone who has dementia : how to find hope while coping with stress and grief
by Pauline Boss
Research-based advice for people who care for someone with dementia. When Someone You Love Has Dementia is a new kind of caregiving book. It's not about the usual techniques, but about how to manage on-going stress and grief. Dr. Boss helps caregivers find hope in "ambiguous loss" having a loved one both here and not here, physically present but psychologically absent. Outlines seven guidelines to stay resilient while caring for someone who has dementia. Discusses the meaning of relationships with individuals who are cognitively impaired and no longer as they used to be. Offers approaches to understand and cope with the emotional strain of care-giving. Boss's book builds on research and clinical experience, yet the material is presented as a conversation. She shows you a way to embrace rather than resist the ambiguity in your relationship with someone who has dementia.
One day it happens: the dreaded event that will change your life forever. For Alix Kates Shulman, it happened in a remote seaside cabin on a coastal Maine island--where the very isolation that makes for a perfect artist's retreat can also put life at risk. She woke to find that her beloved husband had fallen the nine feet from their sleeping loft and was lying on the floor below, deathly still. Though Scott would survive, he suffered an injury that left him seriously brain impaired. He was the same--but not the same. In this elegant memoir, describes the ongoing anxieties and risks--and surprising rewards--she experiences as she reorganizes her world to care for her husband and discovers that what might have seemed a life sentence to some has evolved into something unexpectedly rich.
Given Hob and Olivia Hoblitzelle's rich background in psychology, Buddhist meditation and the wisdom traditions, they were in a unique position to help others by sharing how they negotiated this heart-breaking illness. This memoir is the fruit of their shared experience. Olivia not only writes about the inspirations and spiritual perspectives that sustained them, but gives us an intimate account of how they faced loss, crisis, and eventually death.
Accept that this is one of the most difficult challenges you’ll ever face.
When you realize that you’re their lifeline in a dissolving world, every supportive and loving gesture is a gift to them.
For me, when one of my spiritual teachers suggested that caregiving was an opportunity for me to practice the positive qualities of compassion, patience, generosity, and kindness, it helped give meaning to the humblest of tasks.
Have compassion for yourself when you feel frustrated, impatient, or angry, because caring for an Alzheimer’s patient is a Herculean task.
Ask friends and family for help! People want to help out, and there’s a real risk in becoming isolated. Know what gives the patient comfort or reassurance. For us, it was always touch, physical closeness, music and beauty.
"...Eventually, Petersen made a decision that is often privately made but rarely discussed. He felt his only chance of survival was to find new love..."
Barry Petersen, long-time CBS news correspondent, has an impressive list of endorsements for his book, including testimonies from Katie Couric, Brian Williams, and Rosalynn Carter.
This is a love story with a controversial and important ending.
Petersen and his wife met and quickly fell passionately in love. Their marriage was enduring and happy as they shared his life as a traveling correspondent. Then came the diagnosis that would explain Jan’s changing behaviour. Beautiful, vivacious, smart Jan was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Jan and Barry faced the challenge bravely, holding hands literally and figuratively as they fought this intruder. Eventually, it became obvious he couldn’t keep Jan safe and still work. With the blessing of Jan’s family, Petersen found an excellent assisted living centre for Jan in. The decision to move her was agonizing.
Jan continued to deteriorate and no longer knew “her Barry.” She knew a man called Barry, but he was a younger man whom she had loved. This man visiting her was a stranger. Depression gripped Petersen so severely that family and friends were concerned about his mental health.
Eventually, Petersen made a decision that is often privately made but rarely discussed. He felt his only chance of survival was to find new love. He met a widow who had loved her spouse as much as he loved Jan. They became a couple, with the blessings of most of Jan’s family and friends.
The author was able to devote himself to caring for his wife at home until her death, so the nursing home in the title was never reached. This is far from the common experience, but was made possible by his own determination and capabilities, and the amazing support he received from family, the Alzheimers Association support group, and community services. The author's methods of managing his wife's difficult behaviour are excellent examples of lateral quick thinking. Dealing with an imagined visit from a duchess at 2 am, or the urgent need to plant a tree in the middle of the dining room floor, requires a good imagination and fast footwork.
For general practitioners with a number of older patients, this is a good little book to read and then have on the bookshelf in your surgery for lending to carers. For geriatricians it contains some useful ideas for dealing with some of the more difficult behaviours associated with the dementing process. Although aimed primarily at the lay reader, it contains a lot of useful, and at times entertaining, material for the medical profession.