Alzheimer's Disease: A Handbook for Caregivers

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

Alzheimer's disease is often referred to as the "disease of the century." It afflicts approximately 4 million Americans, mostly those over the age of 65. It is the harshest of all incurable diseases because it hits its victim twice. First, the mind dies, slowly and irrevocably, until even the simplest tasks become insurmountable. Then, after many years, the body dies.Alzheimer's disease is even more devastating for the families and caregivers of its victims. The caregivers often drive themselves to physical and emotional exhaustion while rendering continuous care and experiencing the anguish of seeing a loved one turn into a person who no longer remembers who he or she is.This is the third edition of a book that was first published in 1990 in response to requests from caregivers in our community following courses and a series of lectures developed in our area. The attendance at these lectures was staggering. Many caregivers braved inclement weather to attend them. We were impressed by the eagerness of caregivers to better understand the disease and how it affects its victims. The time allotted to questions at the end of each lecture had to be greatly expanded. Caregivers wanted to know how best to help and continue helping loved ones or patients under their care.We recognized the need for a comprehensive book that addresses many of the issues faced by caregivers, which we will define as follows: individuals who care for victims of Alzheimer's disease at home and health care professionals who care for patients in nursing homes. Although a great deal of information is available for professionals and the lay public, we felt there was a need for this particular book. We were very pleased by the reception it received and the opportunity we were given to revise it in the next two editions.Most of the authors we have selected to write the chapters are actively involved in the care of patients with Alzheimer's disease and are also involved in various local, regional, and national organizations that serve patients and families of patients with Alzheimer's disease. As in the previous two editions, we are emphasizing the need to keep the information on a down-to-earth, practical level.While preparing the third edition of our book we have taken into account various comments and suggestions made by our readers. We feel these have increased the practical usefulness of the book. We made the following changes in the third edition in content, organization, and features based on our readers' and reviewers' comments in an effort to make the information more accessible to all professionals, laypersons, and family caregivers:
Chapter 1, "Alzheimer's Disease: An Overview," is a new chapter that sets the stage for the rest of the book and provides a broad overview of the disease and related issues.
Chapter 20, "Terminal Care of the Patient," is a new chapter designed to provide an understanding of the special issues involved in caring for patients in the end stage of the disease.
Chapter 23, "Stress in Caregivers," combines two separate chapters on stress for caregivers and stress in nursing care from the second edition to identify the


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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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