Staying Connected While Letting Go: The Paradox of Alzheimer’s Caregiving, Sandy Braff, M.F.T. and Mary Rose Olenik (2003), M. Evans and Company, Inc., New York, NY, $21.95. Honest and insightful stories told by family caregivers about their journeys caring for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Caregiver vignettes are interwoven with useful information about the disease stages and the challenges these stages pose for caregivers. Braff’s and Olenik’s years of professional work with caregivers in support group and research settings have helped them create a book which may transform the way caregivers and the medical and social services communities view the day-to-day experiences of Alzheimer’s caregiving.
Solving Bathing Problems In Persons with Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders, Terra Nova Films, Inc. Chicago, IL (800) 779-8491, www.terranova.org. 22 minutes. Purchase: $139.00, Rental: $45.00. This video uses real footage of people with dementia in residential facilities to demonstrate common bathing problems and potential solutions to those problems. While the video is geared towards the paid caregiver, family caregivers should find it helpful as well. The use of actual footage of bathing situations allows caregivers to see and learn in a real-world context strategies to help people with dementia overcome fear and anxiety while bathing.
Caring for People with Alzheimer’s Disease: A Manual for Facility Staff, 2nd edition, Lisa P. Gwyther, 2001, American Health Care Association and the Alzheimer’s Association, Washington D.C., www.ahca.org. This 116 page booklet packs a lot of useful information into a small, easy-to-read format. While the book is clearly geared towards professional caregiving staff working in nursing homes, family caregivers caring for loved ones with dementia will also benefit from the practical information provided. Nearly two-thirds of the book discusses challenging behaviors related to dementia. Real-life scenarios are presented, along with advice on how to deal with difficult behaviors.
Coping with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A guide to Living with the Problems Associated with Brain Trauma, Diane Roberts Stoler & Barbara Albers Hill, 1998, Avery Publishing Group, Garden City Park, NY. $19.95 order from www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-
sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/102-8602451-5402567?v=glance&s=books&n=507846. This book is written by a psychologist who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, or MTBI. The book focuses on this less severe form of brain injury, which often has long-lasting and severe consequences. In fact, it is often misdiagnosed, because the person frequently looks fine physically following the injury. The author shows how devastating the impact of an MTBI can be, and offers rehabilitation options for the debilitating fatigue, mood swings and difficulty with concentration.
Brain Attack: Danger, Chaos, Opportunity, and Empowerment, Paulina Perez with Marsha Rehns, 2001, Cutting Edge Press, Johnson, VT. $15.95. Written from the point of view of someone who has suffered a stroke, Brain Attack gives the reader a fascinating and often frightening glimpse into the world of a person who has lost the ability to speak and can no longer trust her own mental abilities. The author, a successful public speaker prior to her stroke, candidly describes the grueling process of regaining her ability to speak and becoming herself again. She reveals the many frustrations that accompany an incapacitating illness. Perez’s personal and brave story will be of great interest to anyone who would like to understand a stroke survivor’s journey.
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