Alzheimer’s Association, 800.272.3900, www.alz.org
California Department of Aging, 800.510.2020, www.aging.ca.gov
National Center for Creative Aging, creativeaging.org
Early Stage Suggested Reading:
Living Your Best with Early Stage Alzheimer's: An Essential Guide
By Lisa Snyder, 2010
Today, when a person is diagnosed, they may have many years ahead with only mild symptoms. The result is that a growing number of people with early-stage Alzheimer's are seeking information about how to take charge of their lives, manage symptoms, and cope effectively with the disease.
Speaking Our Minds
By Lisa Snyder, 2009
Gain exceptional insight into the world of the person with Alzheimer's through this enlightening collection of first-hand accounts. Speaking Our Minds provides an unparalleled view into the day-to-day experience of Alzheimer's through the reflections of seven diverse individuals with the disease.
Alzheimer's Early Stages: First Steps for Family, Friends, and Caregivers
By Daniel Kuhn,
If someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, you may not know where to turn. The early stages can be the most difficult time for relatives and friends because they often don't know much about the disease, or how they can be of help. This compassionate and practical book fills the information gap. It is divided into sections on how Alzheimer's begins, how to help a loved one with the disease, and how families and caregivers can help themselves.
Alzheimer’s a Love Story, One Year in my Husband’s Journey
By Ann Davidson, 1997
The wife of a Stanford University medical professor shares personal vignettes of she and her husband’s ability to cope and live with early onset Alzheimer’s.
Partial View An Alzheimer's Journal
By Nancy Henderson, Cary S. Andrews, and Nancy Andrews (editor), 1998
A photographic journey of a retired history professor, Cary S. Henderson, who develops Alzheimer’s and shares personal and eloquent descriptions of his day to day struggles and triumphs that are part of his life.
Alzheimer’s from the Inside Out
By Richard Taylor, PhD, 2006
Offers a glimpse into the world of individuals living with Alzheimer's disease. The author, who was diagnosed at age 58, shares his account of his slow transformation and progression with the disease. Addresses complexity and emotions surrounding issues such as the loss of independence, unwanted personality shifts, struggle to communicate, and more.
Middle Stage Suggested Reading:
A Dignified Life: The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer's Care, A Guide for Family Caregivers
By Virginia Bell, MSW & David Troxel, MPH, 2002
The keystone book describing the Best FriendsTM approach to Alzheimer’s care - using caring, heartfelt responses to daily situations, bringing dignity to the lives of people with dementia and their caregivers.
Connecting the Dots
By Judith London PhD, 2009
In more than sixteen years of work with Alzheimer's patients and their families, author Judith London has learned how to 'connect the dots' of scattered information offered by people with Alzheimer's so that loved ones can understand the depth of feeling still present in them.
Learning to Speak Alzheimer's
By Joanne Koenig Coste and Robert Butler, 2004
A practical approach to the emotional well-being of both individual living with memory loss and caregivers that emphasizes relating to persons with memory loss in their own reality. Her accessible and comprehensive method, which she calls habilitation, works to enhance communication between care partners and individuals with memory loss, and has proven successful with thousands of people living with dementia. Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s also offers hundreds of practical tips, including how to · cope with the diagnosis and adjust to the disease’s progression · help the patient talk about the illness · face the issue of driving · make meals and bath times as pleasant as possible · adjust room design for the individuals comfort · deal with wandering, paranoia, and aggression.
The Best Friends Book of Alzheimer's Activities, volume 1 and 2
By Virginia Bell, David Troxel, Tonya M. Cox, Robin Hamon, 2004
Bring out the best in each person with dementia each day with more than 140 versatile, easy-to-implement Best Friends activities. Thousands of caregivers around the world know that providing Best Friends' care improves the quality of life of people with dementia by building on the essential elements of friendship; respect, empathy, support, trust, humor, and sharing time together.
Understanding Difficult Behaviors: Some Practical Suggestions for coping with Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Illnesses
By Anne Robinson, MA, Beth Spencer, MSW, Laura White, MSW, 2007
This material is intended to help caregivers understand the many possible explanations for why challenging behaviors may occur. Practical coping strategies for responding to challenging situations such as agitation, wandering, incontinence and resistance to care are also offered.
The 36-Hour Day, sixth edition: The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss
By Nancy L. Mace MA and Peter V. Rabins, MD MPH
Now in its Fifth edition, The 36-Hour Day has been an essential resource for families who love and care for people with Alzheimer disease. Whether a person has Alzheimer disease or another form of dementia, he or she will face a host of problems. The 36-Hour Day will help family members and caregivers address these challenges and simultaneously cope with their own emotions and needs.
*This book is very comprehensive and my advice is to use it as a reference book, as you may encounter various concerns. Due to its thorough content, it may feel overwhelming to family members if read from beginning to end.
In a Tangled Wood: An Alzheimer's Journey
By Joyce Dyer, 1996
A touching yet painfully honest book about a daughter’s search for, and eventual decision to move her mother to a skilled nursing home. It shares day to day stories, and “in the moment” observations of resident interactions, expressions, and behaviors, as well as learning to embrace what cannot be changed.
Creating Moments of Joy for the Person with Alzheimer's or Dementia
By Jolene Brackey, 2000
Jolene Brackey has a vision. A vision that will soon look beyond the challenges of Alzheimer's disease and focus more of our energy on creating moments of joy.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Living with Alzheimer's & Other Dementias
By Amy Newmark, 2014
With 101 encouraging and inspiring stories by others like you, this book is a source of support and encouragement throughout your caregiving journey.
Alzheimer’s Activities that Stimulate the Mind
By Emilia Bazan-Salazar, 2005
Based on its author's four-year study and 15 years of experience in Alzheimer's and dementia-related care, Alzheimer's Activities That Stimulate the Mind is the only book offering exercises appropriate to each of the four stages of the disease. It features hundreds of exercises across an array of areas and disciplines, including arts and crafts, community outings, physical activity, religion and spirituality, grooming, gardening, music, and many more.
Late Stage Suggested Reading:
The End of Life Namaste Care Program for People with Dementia
By Joyce Simard MSW
This innovative care program blends nursing care and meaningful activities to promote peaceful and relaxing end-of-life experiences for older adults with late-stage dementia. The first program created specifically for this hardest-to-serve population, Namaste care also meets the latest regulatory guidelines for person-centered activity programming. With this practical guide, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living settings, memory care communities, and hospices can easily and affordably implement a Namaste Care program to not only improve resident quality of life but also to increase family involvement and strengthen staff morale.
“Other” Related Dementia Books:
A Caregiver's Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
by Helen Buell Whitworth MS BSN, 2010
This is the ideal resource for caregivers, family members, and friends of individuals seeking to understand Lewy Body Dementia.
What If It's Not Alzheimer’s? A Caregiver's Guide to Dementia
by Gary Radin and Lisa Radin, 2014
Although the public most often associates dementia with Alzheimer’s disease, the medical profession now distinguishes various types of “other” dementias. This book is the first and only comprehensive guide dealing with fronto-temporal degeneration (FTD), one of the largest groups of non-Alzheimer’s dementias. The contributors are either specialists in their fields or have exceptional hands-on experience with FTD sufferers.
PLEASE NOTE: The majority of these resources can be found on amazon.com or may be available for loan via your local Alzheimer's Association. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, there are many more resources available than are listed here.. If you have a personal favorite, email me with a few lines of review as to why you like it and I’ll consider sharing it with others.
Thankfully, there are far more books and resources available than when I started 30 years ago!