Three recent books offer help for families and insights for professionals caring for an elder with dementia.
Navigating the Alzheimer's Journey: A Compass for Caregiving by Carol Bowlby Sifton (Baltimore: Health Professions Press, 2004); paperback, 652 pages.
Although this volume is bulky, it is very readable and chock full of well-organized information for family caregivers and professionals in health and aging. Sifton, founder and editor of the journal Alzheimer's Care Quarterly, is an occupational therapist and care consultant who provided care to her mother.
Printed with large, well-spaced type that should be easy on older eyes, the book includes 10 sections containing from two to nine chapters each. Among the sections are "Care for the Caregiver," "Basic Information on Dementia," "Maintaining a Familiar Lifestyle" and "Care Planning." Besides an extensive resource list, the book also includes an appendix titled "All About Me" that has space for a range of material, such as medical information, details about family and friends, lifestyle preferences and employment history.
Dementia Caregivers Share Their Stories: A Support Group in a Book by Lynda A. Markut and Anatole Crane (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2005); hardback and paperback, 253 pages.
Markut, clinical director of the nonprofit Family Alliance in Woodstock, Ill., and Crane, a retired microbiologist and president of the Family Alliance board of directors, have both been caregivers, she for her mother and he for his wife. …