Books on dealing with Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, and included changes in behavior and cognition. This included memory loss, mood changes and problems with communication. It is a devastating disease not only for the patient for those around the patient as well. We already listed books that speak more generally to dealing with mental illness, books that claim to reduce your chances of getting Alzheimer’s, and a list of fiction books that discuss mental illness. Here we provide a list of books that specifically relates to Alzheimer’s disease. We hope you find it useful!

1. The 36-Hour Day, 5th edition: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss by Peter V. Rabins at Johns Hopkins

Dementia doesn’t strike out of the blue. It builds up over a period of years, and in the beginning there is an understandable tendency to consider a loved one’s unusual behavior to be just another sign of aging. However, when Alzheimer’s or other dementias are at play, sooner or later you may well find yourself in need of some help when trying to deal with your loved one’s needs. Indeed, until you understand more about Alzheimer’s you may not fully appreciate the struggles your loved one is dealing with. It is a very scary thing to gradually lose some of your important mental capabilities, and there is a resulting tendency among those with dementia to either act out or to withdraw from normal family communications. This book offers a step to step guide to family and friends on how to deal with a relative or friend with Alzheimer’s disease.

2. I’m Still Here: A New Philosophy of Alzheimer’s Care by John Zeisel

This is an excellent resource for families and people with Alzheimer’s. The earlier in the journey you read it, the more valuable it will be to you. It advocates a change in stance towards the patient, and discusses the many things you can do for the person who seems so lost. A careful and illuminating book that might provide a refreshing look on a difficult situation..

3. The Best Friends Book of Alzheimer’s Activities, Vol. 1 by Virginia Bell

This book is a great resource for families, friends, and professionals working with elderly individuals in general and especially those with dementia and other memory disorders. It provides excellent activity ideas along with great suggestions for modifying activities to increase the impact and benefit for both patients and caregivers.

4. The Complete Guide to Alzheimer’s-Proofing Your Home by Mark Warner

This book is a must for caregivers and professionals facing the challenges of Alzheimer’s. Caregivers need information, options and where to access tools and resources before they can make informed decisions about their choices or their role as caregiver. This book provides this in a pragmatic way.

5. Caregiver’s Guide to Dementia by Lisa Radin

This book talks about other causes of dementia besides Alzheimer’s. It focuses more heavily on Frontotemporal Dementia or FTD. There is growing evidence that a large percentage of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s actually have FTD. Both kinds of dementia are debilitating and have no cure; however, their treatment can be very different. So whereas the other books focus primarily on Alzheimer’s Lisa Radin provides a complementary view that also encompasses FTD.

6. The End-of-Life Namaste Care Program for People with Dementia by Joyce Simard

Using this practical manual, nursing facilities can easily implement a Namaste Care program with minimal resources and training. Step-by-step advice for staffing, budgeting, and marketing a program is included. Detailed information for creating a Namaste Care room is provided, as well as alternative options for facilities with limited space. Plus, real-life vignettes illustrate the program in practice. Namaste is a wonderful inspiring book that gives you the knowledge and tools needed to make a difference in End of Life care for people with dementia as well as ideas and support that families need to enable them to remain connected to their loved ones during the last stages of their journey. The book chronicles setting up an end-of-life dementia area in a residential facility, but can easily be adapted to guide families in their own home.

7. Dementia: The Journey Ahead – A Practical Guide for In-Home Caregivers by Susan Kiser Scarff

This book is a caregiver’s Bible, dictionary, and best friend. Most caregivers learn through trial and error, mostly error. Then, in error, they find out what it’s like to be a burned-out caregiver. Anyone caring for a person suffering from dementia should have this book near them. Every doctor who deals with dementia, should have this book. Every facility dealing with dementia, should have this book, as well as their staff. All through the book, the author recommends the caregiver not only care for the patient but also themselves. A very pragmatic approach for the very real challenges faced by caregivers.

8. Love, Loss, and Laughter: Seeing Alzheimer’s Differently by Cathy Greenblat

Similar to John Zeisel’s re-appraisal of Alzheimer’s, Cathy Greenblat attempts to change the common perception that Alzheimer’s disease makes people into an empty shell. She provides an alternative medicine approach to the disease, focusing on music, arts, and touch. This thoughtful book provides new ways for friends and family to connect with the patient, and his ideas were recently showcased on the TV programme ‘Hopeful Aging’.

9. Mayo Clinic Guide Alzheimer’s Disease by Mayo Clinic

The book is divided into sections that provides brief explanations of the various symptoms of various types of dementia as well as potential therapies. In other sections there is advice to caregivers, how to tell a family member about the disease, and other useful advice about how to prepare if one is diagnosed with dementia. The Mayo Clinic itself is a not-for-profit research group from Minnesota and they have published many guides on health and disease.