Management of Challenging Behaviors in Dementia, Ellen K. Mahoney, Ladislav Volicer, Ann C. Hurley (2000), Health Professions Press, Inc., P.O. Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285-0624, $34.00, www.healthpropress.com. The authors propose practical strategies for dealing with the challenging behaviors that often accompany dementia. The latest research regarding drug and medical treatment is covered in a very comprehensive manner, although emphasis is placed on the use of non-pharmacological methods. The authors advocate for a new approach in the treatment of dementia patients in which caregivers are encouraged to address the underlying cause of a challenging behavior. Wandering, food refusal, and combativeness are just some of the behaviors that are discussed. The book is intended for professional caregivers in a healthcare setting, however, family caregivers may also find it helpful.
Meeting the Challenge of Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, Patricia K. Coyle, M.D. and June Halper, M.S.N., A.N.P., F.A.A.N. (2001), Demos Medical Publishing, 386 Park Avenue South, Ste. 201, New York, NY 10016, (800) 532-8663, $19.95, demosmedpub.com. The authors provide a sophisticated description of Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, its diagnosis and treatment. Practical chapters follow the detailed scientific introductory chapters. A transitional chapter provides helpful and practical advice on the management of the most common symptoms including bladder dysfunction, pain, tremors and sexual problems. The following chapters include information on the social, legal and economic issues; coping emotionally with disease progression and family issues such as fertility and parenting. This book is ideal for someone looking for more detailed information than many consumer publications offer.
Elder Rage or Take My Father…Please! How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents, Jacqueline Marcell (2001), Impressive Press, 25 Via Lucca, Suite J-333, Irvine, CA 92612-0604, (949) 975-1012, $19.95, www.Elderrage.com. This is Jacqueline's personal story of caring for her parents in the early stages of dementia and her struggles with a fragmented system of care and a family history of abuse. It is a poignant, yet often funny, story of how difficult it is to find appropriate geriatric care and how important it is for medical professionals to listen to family caregivers and to connect them to appropriate services in the community. Despite the fact the Jacqueline was caring for her parents in an area with many caregiver resources, she was never informed about community services by her parents' physicians, social workers, the local police department or Adult Protective Services. Her parents finally were evaluated appropriately and treated only after she found the Alzheimer's Association, nearly two years into her struggle. Her story illustrates a common predicament: why someone who is articulate, educated and resourceful was left to struggle on her own and not connected to the community programs that could have prevented a lot of her struggles and mitigated her frustration. (Note: This book contains strong language).
Huntington's Disease: The Facts , Oliver Quarell (1999), Oxford University Press, New York, NY, (800) 445-9714, $19.95, http://www.oup-usa.org. This is a wonderful little book for individuals that want to know more about the biology of Huntington's Disease. Quarell, a clinical geneticist, provides an in-depth look at the genetics of Huntington's and the biological changes that occur in the brain. These chapters are further expanded in his explanation of genetic counseling and in his exploration of potential treatments for HD. The appendix, although brief, contains a list of patient organizations around the world.
Pressure Points: Alzheimer's and Anger, Edna Ballard, M.S.W., A.C.S.W., Lisa Gwyther, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., and T. Patrick Toal, M.S.W. (2000), Duke Family Support Program, Durham, NC, (800) 672-4213, $8.00. Although only 68 pages long, this booklet is a valuable resource for caregivers dealing with their own anger or that of their loved one. Readers may see themselves in the stories shared by other caregivers and find comfort in the fact that their reactions are not uncommon. Without support and training, anger and frustration can lead to the caregiver's feeling out of control and burned out. In the long term, if these feelings are not dealt with and solutions not sought, the potential for abuse is high. This book can be used as one tool in battling the anger that comes with caring for a loved one with dementia as well as the anger that arises from the being the person with dementia.
Brainlash, Gail L. Denton, Ph.D. (1999, 2nd Edition), Demos Medical Publishing, New York, NY, (212) 683-0072, $24.95, www.brainlash.com. This book is written for post-concussive syndrome or mild traumatic brain injury survivors and their families and may seem intimidating at first glance. Survivors struggling with memory impairment may have trouble with concentration and reading, so picking up a 354-page book may seem overwhelming. Luckily, this book is readable in small, manageable doses. It is filled with hope and encouragement and, best of all, an acknowledgement that symptoms are real even if one looks fine on the outside and brain scans show no injury. Some of the chapters may not appeal to everyone, for example, the chapter on alternative medicine and treatment. The author, a brain injury survivor and therapist, shares her own methods for recovery as well as her own experiences and frustration during that recovery. Caregivers may find that through reading the book they gain a better understanding of their loved one's symptoms and ways that they can help the recovery process.
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