At Wit?s End: Plain Talk on Alzheimer?s for Families and Clinicians, Second Edition

At Wit?s End: Plain Talk on Alzheimer?s for Families and Clinicians, Second Edition

by George Kraus


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At Wit?s End: Plain Talk on Alzheimer?s for Families and Clinicians, Second Edition by George Kraus

At Wit's End is a straightforward summary of leading advice for caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease, written without technical jargon and impractical nuance. About 33 percent of the population eventually will provide care for someone with Alzheimer's. The strain of caring for a loved one with this disease can be enormous, yet the reward of enhancing a loved one's quality of life is beyond measure. So, where to begin? Many books delve into other specific areas of Alzheimer's care, emphasizing the financial and legal challenges, as well as myriad medical treatment needs of those experiencing the disease. Unique among these offerings, At Wit's End explains the psychiatric and psychological aspects of Alzheimer's, and does so in a holistic and practical manner. Kraus focuses on the whole person across his or her full social, psychological, physical, and spiritual life to provide as complete a picture as possible of the changes that are in play. With this broad, thoughtful, and grounded approach, family members, clincians, and caregivers are better able to discover and make wise choices from a wealth of effective interventions in all areas of care. It also allows them to care for themselves and their families in the dynamic, supportive care process. Find out how Alzheimer's can be distinguished from normal aging and other diseases that mimic its symptoms; how the disorder affects changes in functional abilities and how the daily competence of a person with Alzheimer's is viewed by psychiatric and legal communities; how rational thinking is distorted, leading to a wide array of unusual and often uncharacteristic behaviors like agitation, impatience, wandering, and inappropriate expressions of sexuality; and what medical, psychiatric, and psychological treatments are available to help. At Wit's End gives families, clinicians, and caregivers a new outlook on Alzheimer's disease.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781557537676
Publisher: Purdue University Press
Publication date: 10/15/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 260
Sales rank: 981,690
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

George Kraus is a psychologist specializing in the care of the elderly, especially those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. He is on the faculty of John F. Kennedy University’s Department of Clinical Psychology (Pleasant Hill, California) and is in private practice. He has published in a variety of professional and online journals including Clinical Psychology Review, Small Group Research, Psychological Reports, Small Group Behavior, and

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xiii

Second Edition Introduction xvii

Part 1 What is Alzheimer's?

1 The Basics 3

2 Normal Aging 11

3 Alzheimer's Is a Type of Dementia 17

4 Evidence of Alzheimer's 27

5 Distinguishing Between Delirium, Alzheimer's, and Other Dementias 39

6 Two Case Studies: Applying the Basics 47

Part 2 How to Evaluate for Alzheimer's

7 This Person I Used to Know: Measuring the Status of Mental Functioning in Alzheimer's 55

8 Measuring Alzheimer's in Action 77

9 The Question of Competence 81

Part 3 Disturbances in Mood and Perception

10 Geriatric Depression and Alzheimer's 97

11 I Know She Has Alzheimer's, But Why Is She Acting Like This? Recognizing Psychotic Symptoms in Alzheimer's 103

Part 4 Medical and Psychological Treatment Approaches

12 Treatment of Alzheimer's with Medicines 111

13 Changing the Person's Surroundings 129

14 Talking to People with Alzheimer's 137

15 Preventive Activities for Ourselves and Others: Lowering Our Odds of Getting Alzheimer's 155

Appendix A Additional Resources and Information on Alzheimer's Dementia 161

Appendix B What to Do about Aggressive Behavior 163

Appendix C Effective Uses of Psychological Interventions in Long-Term Care Facilities 167

Appendix D Additional Tables and Figures 169

Table 1 Emotional Signs and Symptoms That Accompany Alzheimer's 169

Table 2 Distinctions between Alzheimer's and Delirium 170

Table 3 Distinctions between Cortical and Subcortical Dementia 171

Table 4 Features Useful in Differentiating Alzheimer's Disease from Dementia Syndrome of Depression 172

Table 5 Medications That Commonly Cause Confusion 173

Figure 1 How Clinicians Can Differentiate between Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Dementia 174

Figure 2 The Standard Comprehensive Workup for Delirium and Alzheimer's Dementia 175

Figure 3 Categories of the Full Mental Status Exam 176

Figure 4 The Hopkins Competency Assessment Test 177

Figure 5 The Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia 178

Notes 181

Bibliography 199

Index 215

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