The Last Childhood: A Family Story of Alzheimer's

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Overview

When Carrie Knowles and her siblings learned that their mother was suffering from Alzheimer's, they joined more than 50 million other Americans who are providing long-term care to an Alzheimer's victim in their family. In The Last Childhood, Knowles presents the first realistic voice on what it's like to be in this position. She speaks frankly about the emotional toll the disease can have on caregivers, explains what to expect as the disease progresses through its stages and illustrates through her own experience...
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Overview

When Carrie Knowles and her siblings learned that their mother was suffering from Alzheimer's, they joined more than 50 million other Americans who are providing long-term care to an Alzheimer's victim in their family. In The Last Childhood, Knowles presents the first realistic voice on what it's like to be in this position. She speaks frankly about the emotional toll the disease can have on caregivers, explains what to expect as the disease progresses through its stages and illustrates through her own experience the numerous decisions families must make along the way

Written with compassion and empathy, and recognizing that the battle with Alzheimer's is never an easy one, The Last Childhood will leave you feeling comforted, enlightened, and hopeful. Whether you are a child, spouse, relative, or friend of a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's, whether you are the primary caregiver or not, this book will be an invaluable source of inspiration and support.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
An estimated 50 million Americans are responsible for caring for a relative with Alzheimer s disease either at home or in a nursing home. Knowles, a freelance writer from North Carolina, offers a thoughtful account of how she and her three siblings dealt with the practicalities of finding appropriate care for their mother after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer s: making difficult decisions about nursing-home placement, financial arrangements, and treatment options and coping with insensitive medical experts. The strength of her story lies in her honest account of watching her mother decline into an angry, violent person who no longer recognizes her daughter and bears little resemblance to her once loving and capable parent. As her mother s condition deteriorates, Knowles ponders how to bring happiness to a parent s life when memory is gone and only the senses remain. We can touch. We can hold hands and hug. We can provide the best we have. Just as we would for a child. Complementing Charles Pierce s own memoir, Hard To Forget (LJ 4/15/00), this is suitable for aging collections. (This title appeared previously in a different form as Alzheimer s: The Last Childhood, Research Triangle Publishing, 1997.) Karen Ann Bensing, Benjamin Rose Inst. Lib., Cleveland Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Paul Chance, PhD
If you are among the 50 million Americans caring for someone with Alzheimer's, you will want to read The Last Childhood. Author Carrie Knowles, and award-winning journalist, tells the absorbing story of her own mother's inexorable and horrific deterioration at the hands of this debilitating disease.
Psychology Today
JOHN BAYLEY
"This is a brilliantly sympathetic and touching study of a classic Alzheimer's case . . . The Last Childhood is of immense help and value to anyone who is in the position of having to look after a sufferer."
Ruth Sheehan
"In The Last Childhood, Carried Knowles weaves a story none of us wants to live through -- but many of us must. With wise words and telling detail, Knowles captures the pain, the sense of loss, and the moments of hilarity in dealing with a loved one who has Alzheimer's. Reading The Last Childhood was like talking to a friend who has been through it all -- and understands."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609806487
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/29/2000
  • Edition description: 1ST THREE
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

CARRIE KNOWLES is an award-winning author who received a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council that enabled her to write this book. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and gives talks around the country on caring for an Alzheimer's patient, based on her personal experience.
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Table of Contents

Prologue xi
Introduction 1
1 Questionable Alzheimer's: The Early Stages 13
2 From Mild Alzheimer's to a Crisis 26
3 Finding a Home 44
4 The Long Stretch of Middle Years 55
5 Looking for Miracles 77
6 Trapped in the Middle Years: You're Always Looking Back 84
7 August 1994 93
8 Sorting Through the Medical Model 98
9 Mothers and Daughters and Grandmothers 107
10 From Moderate to Severe Alzheimer's 115
11 The Physical Decline 124
12 The Distance Between Our Lives 131
13 Listening to Experts 158
14 The Beginning of the End 169
15 We Have So Much to Learn from Each Other 182
16 Things You Can and Should Do 190
Postscript 213
Index 215
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2009

    Helpful Book for AD Caregivers/Families

    As a caregiver of a father with AD, I found this to be an excellent book for learning about the experience of AD. It emphasizes the importance of the caregiver/s and prepares them for the realities of life with their loved one. The book reads easily but, if you are living with AD in your family, depending on the stage you may be at with your loved one, some of the details may be difficult to read. My suggestion is you skip over anything you are not ready for and come back to it later. Overall, I highly recommend the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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