Welcome to day 3 of book week! Today we’re looking at books that may be useful to caregivers. While many of you will recognize the first book on our list, please continue to scroll down for other books that may be useful to you or people you know as well. As always, feel free to send us your recommendations, or share them in the comments section below!
The 36-Hour Day: by Mace, Rabins: When someone in your family suffers from Alzheimer disease or other related memory loss diseases, both you and your loved one face immense challenges. For over thirty years, this book has been the trusted bible for families affected by dementia disorders. Now completely revised and updated, this guide features the latest information on the causes of dementia, managing the early stages of dementia, the prevention of dementia, and finding appropriate living arrangements for the person who has dementia when home care is no longer an option.
Coach Broyles’ Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers: A Practical Tips Guide: The author is the former Athletic Director for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, and this “playbook” grew out of from his experience of caring for his wife who passed away from the effects of Alzheimer’s in 2004. This comprehensive guide with a helpful pocket brochure covers a number of important topics, including communicating with doctors as well as communication tips with your loved one as the disease progresses. Also included is advice regarding dressing, wandering, home safety, eating and general survival.
Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making: Viki Kind: Wouldn’t it be a relief to know you are making the right decisions and doing right by the person in your care? Whether you have a loved one who can’t make his or her own decisions or you are a healthcare professional, you know how difficult–even heartbreaking–it can be to make decisions for others. Feeling confident that you’re made the right decision would be a welcome relief from the worry and guilt you may be feeling.
Understanding Difficult Behaviors: Anne Robinson, Beth Spencer, Laurie White, Eastern Michigan University: This book was written for caregivers of persons with dementia. Caregivers may include family members as well as staff working in nursing homes, assisted living programs, adult day center programs, home care agencies, hospitals, hospice care and other settings providing care to persons with dementia. This material is intended to help caregivers understand the many possible explanations for why challenging behaviors may occur. Practical coping strategies for responding to challenging situations such as agitation, wandering, incontinence and resistance to care are also offered. These suggestions have been compiled from a number of sources including conversations with famlies, Alzheimer’s Association newsletters, books and journal articles. This book was first published in 1989 and has been a valuable resource for caregivers and dementia educators. Thousands of books have been sold nationally and internationally. The 2007 edition includes updated resource listings and color headings.
The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care: Bell & Troxel: A Dignified Life helps combat the burnout and frustration that often accompany the task of caring for an Alzheimer’s patient. Author David Troxel, an Alzheimer’s expert and executive director of the California Central Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, maintains that at its simplest this approach is based on treating the person like a best friend and working from their strengths, not their weaknesses. He explains: “As family members, caregivers and professionals, we have to try to connect with them. People with this disease in some way need someone to be . . . attentive and empathetic–someone who really tries to walk a mile in their shoes.” A Dignified Life goes beyond the typical tips offered by most books and takes advantage of readers’ instinctive desire to build friendships and taps into the intuitive aspect of caregiving that is part of our very nature. It provides a complete model for care built around creative and effective communication and meaningful activities and includes touching stories that demonstrate how the Best Friends method continues to improve the lives of both those who have Alzheimer’s disease and those who care for them.
For additional resources or information, contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 1-800-272-3900.