to the Revised Edition
Alzheimer's disease affects more than four million people in North America, but when this book was first published in 1983, few people knew that. Since then public awareness of Alzheimer's has grown dramatically through news reports, magazine articles, and television dramas such as the movie Do You Remember Love? starring Joanne Woodward and Richard Kiley (a show that suggested this book for further reading). By presidential proclamation November is National Alzheimer's Disease Month in the United States. This attention has prompted new services for patients and their families and increased funding for scientific research.
All of these promising developments are reflected in this new, expanded edition of Alzheimer's Disease: A Guide for Families, the first since 1986. We describe the most up-to-date findings on the causes of the disease, as well as the latest information on nursing homes, day care, legal matters, and other resources for caregivers. A new chapter helps caregivers deal with their fears, especially the anxiety that later in life they may develop Alzheimer's disease themselves.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many readers who have written to express their gratitude and appreciation for this book. People have written from all over the world to tell us how helpful it is to have someone understand their problems and how important it is to find such useful information. The reaction of these readers has been deeply moving. Perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of writing this book is to hear that we've made a contribution both to the work of professionals who have gained insight from the book and to the lives of caregivers who have utilized it more personally. We welcome comments and letters from all readers so that we can continue to keep this book as helpful and vital as possible.