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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David O. Staats, MD (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Description: This book about caring for persons with Alzheimer's disease also addresses caring for the caregiver.
Purpose: Its purpose is to describe the journey of Alzheimer's disease from the perspective of both the person needing care and the person giving the care. These are worthy objectives and the authors cover them nicely.
Audience: Although this book is written for a lay audience, medical professionals, nurses, and social workers will find this a useful reference for their patients' caregivers. The authors are experienced caregivers and writers on these topics.
Features: The book is divided into two parts, with the first covering caring for persons with Alzheimer's disease. The five chapters in this section define the diseases and its stages. There is a fetching chapter that describes the enduring self — that is with the person long into the illness. There is a chapter on what to do about finances with a person whose judgment is changing and a concluding chapter on how to interpret what the affected person means. The second section is on caregivers and covers topics such as caregiving practices, stages of caregiving, styles of caregiving, pitfalls, and keeping your head up.
Assessment: This is an interesting approach. The analogy of the stages of the disease to the quarters of a football game is apt. The discussion of caregiving styles is very useful. The clinical vignettes and stories woven throughout to illustrate the issues are well edited and annotated. The description of the shift in family constellations and dynamics is very good. There are many appealing novel approaches in this thoughtfully prepared book that recommend it.