Alzheimer's Disease: A Handbook for Caregivers

By Ronald C. Handy; James M. Turnbull et al. | Go to book overview

Foreword from First Edition

The full tragedy of Alzheimer's disease, which affects one out of every ten Americans over the age of 65, was impressed upon me during a series of Congressional hearings I chaired in 1984. At a hearing in Tennessee, a woman whose husband suffers from Alzheimer's offered testimony I will never forget. "A few months ago," she began, "my husband asked me to go into the bedroom—we needed to talk privately," he said. I went to the room and closed the door. Turning to me with tears in his eyes he asked, 'Am I losing my mind, honey? Am I going crazy?"' She went on: "My life can be described as a funeral that never ends . . . I want my husband back."

That woman is not alone. Two to three million "never-ending funerals" are sapping the strength of both victims and their families across America. A concerted effort is long overdue to defeat this disease, which erodes the mental and physical health of the patient before his or her time. Part of the solution lies in research to uncover the causes of the disease and develop treatments for it. Just as crucial, however, is ensuring that those who take care of patients with Alzheimer's know as much about the problem as possible.

That is one reason I am so pleased with Alzheimer's Disease: A Handbook for Caregivers, which contains a wealth of practical information about the effects of Alzheimer's on the patient's day-to-day life. The book offers detailed descriptions of the stages of the disease, the options for treatment, and the effects of other mental and physical characteristics upon the expression of Alzheimer's. It also offers valuable suggestions for approaching issues such as nutrition, sleep habits, and therapy. The book is a perfect bridge between those who know most about the disease—and those who know most about the patient.

Congress, by establishing regional centers devoted to the research and treatment of Alzheimer's, has taken one step in the right direction. The medical faculty at East Tennessee State University, by creating this fine book, has taken another. Perhaps, through more efforts like these, we can begin to lift some of the fear and uncertainty that surround this national tragedy.

Albert Gore, Jr.
Vice President of the United States

-xiii-

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Alzheimer's Disease: A Handbook for Caregivers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Alzheimer's Disease - A Handbook for Caregivers *
  • Contributors v
  • Reviewers ix
  • Foreword from First Edition xiii
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Contents xix
  • Chapter 1 - Alzheimer's Disease: an Overview 1
  • Unit One *
  • The Normal Brain *
  • Chapter 2 - Higher Brain Functions 11
  • Chapter 3 - Neuropsychological Assessment of Dementia 27
  • Chapter 4 - Imaging the Brain in Alzheimer's Disease 41
  • Unit 2 *
  • Alzheimer's Disease *
  • Chapter 5 - Historical Perspectives 51
  • Chapter 6 - Etiology and Pathogenesis: Current Concepts 60
  • Chapter 7 - Clinical Presentation 74
  • Chapter 8 - Clinical Diagnosis 87
  • Chapter 9 - Factors That Aggravate the Symptoms 104
  • Chapter 10 - Other Dementias 117
  • Unit Three *
  • Management *
  • Chapter 11 - General Principles of Management 143
  • Chapter 12 - Management of Difficult Behaviors 150
  • Chapter 13 - Psychopharmacology in Dementia 171
  • Chapter 4 - Specific Drug Therapy 183
  • Chapter 15 - Urinary and Fecal Incontinence 199
  • Chapter 16 - Management of Urinary Incontinence 213
  • Chapter 17 - Safety and Accident Prevention 227
  • Chapter 18 - Daily Care and Management 243
  • Chapter 19 - Developing a Day's Activity 259
  • Chapter 20 - Terminal Care of the Patient 276
  • Unit 4 *
  • Special Issues *
  • Chapter 21 - Ethical Issues 293
  • Chapter 22 - Legal Issues for Caregivers 306
  • Chapter 23 - Stress in Caregivers 316
  • Chapter 24 - Elder Abuse 328
  • Unit Five *
  • Community Support *
  • Chapter 25 - Caregiver Education and Support 341
  • Chapter 26 - Social Services 354
  • Chapter 27 - The Alzheimer's Association 367
  • Chapter 28 - Dementia Care Units 377
  • Unit Six *
  • Future Prospects *
  • Chapter 29 - Promising Areas of Research 393
  • Appendix A - Some Useful Addresses and Phone Numbers 399
  • Appendix B - Additional References 415
  • Glossary 423
  • Index 441
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