Alzheimer's Disease: A Guide for Families

By Lenore S. Powell; Katie Courtice | Go to book overview

Preface

Most of the victims of Alzheimer's disease will never read this book; those who do will probably not remember or absorb much because of their failing memory.

An illness that is increasing in large proportions as our elderly population expands, Alzheimer's disease is the fourth leading cause of death. Despite this alarming statistic, in hundreds of communities throughout the nation, physicians and families alike are bewildered by the behavior of the memory-impaired person with Alzheimer's disease. Those who become the caregivers have a difficult time managing their patients at home. Feelings about themselves and their situations range from upset to anger, guilt to fear of what the future holds. The loving husbands, wives, children, siblings, cousins, in-laws, and life-long friends who watch their family members decline daily are victims also. These are the people for whom this book is written, but professionals will also benefit from its contents.

Alzheimer's Disease: A Guide for Families covers the most current researched knowledge available and medical facts about Alzheimer's disease. Symptoms, behavioral changes, and diagnostic procedures are discussed. First-hand experiences of families who have received psychotherapeutic counseling are described in an effort to provide a supportive frame of reference to the caregivers who will be reading this book.

In an attempt to help caregivers to come to terms with attitudes and feelings of helplessness, shame, frustration, fear, loneliness, and hopelessness, practical solutions to everyday problems are offered. The dilemma of placing a relative in a nursing home is dealt with frankly, and advice is given to the caregiver about how to keep himself mentally and physically in good health.

-xi-

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