Alzheimer’s disease is a growing public health crisis. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 5.4 million victims of this disease; by 2050, there will be close to 15 million people who suffer from this debilitating disorder of memory, thinking, personality, and functioning. The disease profoundly affects immediate family members, close friends, and neighbors. These peoplethe Alzheimer’s familyundergo tremendous psychological and emotional change as they witness the cruel and relentless progression of the disease in their loved one. Incorporating over thirty years of experience with Alzheimer’s patients and their families with current medical knowledge, the authors chart the complex emotional journey of the Alzheimer’s family from the onset of the disease through the death of the loved one. They discuss the anger that rises in the face of discordant views of the disease, the defenses that emerge when family members are unwilling to accept a dementia diagnosis, and the common emotions of anxiety, guilt, anger, and shame. They focus especially on grief as the core response to losing a loved one to dementia, and describe the difficult processes of adaptation and acceptance, which lead to personal growth. Final chapters emphasize the importance of establishing a care community and how to understand and cope with personal stress. This volume will be useful to medical professionals and ordinary people close to or caring for a person with dementia.
|Publisher:||Dartmouth College Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
ROBERT B. SANTULLI, MD is honorary associate professor of psychiatry, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. He is the author of The Alzheimer’s Family: Helping Caregivers Cope. KESSTAN BLANDIN, PhD is a research psychologist at the Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments • Introduction: The Importance of Understanding the Family’s Emotional and Psychological Experiences • Coping with Discordant Views of the Illness • The Defenses of the Alzheimer’s Family Care Partner • Common Emotions Experienced by the Family Care Partner • Understanding Grief in the Family Care Partner • Stages of Grief in the Family Care Partner • Acceptance and Moving Forward • Connecting with the Alzheimer’s Community • Understanding and Coping with Stress in the Family Care Partner • Epilogue • References • Index
What People are Saying About This
“Much has been written about Alzheimer’s disease and the family, but surprisingly little has been said about the emotional journey along which people travel from the early symptoms of the disease to its ultimate ending in death. In The Emotional Journey of the Alzheimer’s Family, Santulli and Blandin address these struggles and triumphs in a straightforward and accessible way. People with early dementia, family care providers, and health-care professionals will all gain from the wisdom they provide.”