Memory Care Materials

This list includes books (organized by subject and alphabetically by title) that may be of assistance to you and your family with brief synopses. The books are related to memory loss, support networks and caregiving in general.

Understanding and Managing Alzheimer's Disease and Related Memory Conditions

A Dignified Life: The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer's Care
Bell, V., & Troxel, D. (2002). A dignified life: The best friends approach to Alzheimer's care. Florida: Health Professionals Press, Inc.

A Dignified Life provides a practical resource for those caring for others with Alzheimer's disease. In this book, readers learn that the best approach to caring for an Alzheimer's patient is through building friendships and working with their strengths. The model of care presented in this book applies to both professional caregivers and family members.

Alzheimer's from the Inside Out
Taylor, R. (2006). Alzheimer's from the inside out. Baltimore: Health Professions Press.

Richard Taylor, a former psychologist, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at the age of 58. In this book, Taylor shares the changes that he experiences over time through a collection of over 80 essays. He addresses topics such as communication difficulties, changes in relationships with family and friends, difficulty performing familiar tasks, and the loss of independence.

At the Heart of Alzheimer's
Simpson, C. (1996). At the heart of Alzheimer's. Toledo: Manor HealthCare Corp.

At the Hearth of Alzheimer's is a guidebook for understanding and caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease. This resource suggests goals for caregivers, provides information about challenges that may face the caregiver, and discusses the signs for burnout in caregivers.

Coach Broyles' Playbook for Alzheimer's Caregivers
Broyles, F. (2006). Coach Broyle's playbook for Alzheimer's caregivers. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas.

Coach Broyle's Playbook for Alzheimer's Caregivers is a how-to guide for those caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease. Frank Broyles, the former Athletic Director of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, lost his wife to Alzheimer 's disease. This book discusses Alzheimer's disease in three stages (early, middle, and late) and pulls from Broyle's personal experience.

Creating Moments of Joy
Brakey, J. (2008). Creating moments of joy. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press.

Creating Moments of Joy provides advice on how to communicate with those whom you are caring for who have Alzheimer's disease. This book is in an easy-to-read format and contains tips for getting both the patient and the caregiver to attain happiness. There are five sections to this book: understand the person with Alzheimer's, use powerful tools that create positive outcomes, communicate, Find memory enhanced environments, and discover enhanced moments.

Dancing with Rose: Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's
Kessler, L. (2007). Dancing with Rose: Finding life in the land of Alzheimer's. New York: Viking Penguin.

In Dancing with Rose, journalist Lauren Kessler reflects on her time working as a resident assistant (RA) at Maplewood, a nursing home for individuals with Alzheimer's disease. In order to learn more about Alzheimer's disease, Kessler conducts her research by immersing herself in her RA position and getting very close to the Alzheimer's patients as a caretaker. Kessler's low-level position within the home allows her to see how poorly employees are treated but also how much care is given to the patients despite the poor working conditions. This book also accounts for the deaths of several residents that Kessler worked with.

Hannah's Heirs
Pollen, D. (1996). Hannah's heirs. USA: Oxford University Press.

Hannah's Heirs is a look into the lineage of Hannah, a Ukrainian woman, who died from Alzheimer's disease in 1985. Pollen studied one of Hannah's heirs, Jeff, who seemed to be in an early stage of Alzheimer's. Through studying Jeff's family history, Pollen searched for a genetic link to Alzheimer's disease. In the latest version of this book, descriptions of Hannah's gene (a gene which accounts for the majority of mutations that cause early onset Alzheimer's disease), along with the major genetic risk factors are discussed.

Living in the labyrinth: A personal journey through the maze of Alzheimer's
McGowin, D. (1994). Living in the labyrinth: A personal journey through the maze of Alzheimer's. McHenry, IL: Delta.

This is an memoir that describes Diana McGowin's personal experiences with memory loss. It records her strength to cope with the disease and is an uplifting telling of the her journey with Alzheimer's.

Memory Lessons: A Doctor's Story
Winakur, J. (2008). Memory lessons: A doctor's story. New York: Hyperion.

Geriatric physician Winacur writes about his experiences of caring for his father when he suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Winacur discusses the various stages of his father's worsening condition and provides a great deal of information about Alzheimer's. Memory Lessons also provides insight to the health system and points out its problems.

Partial View: An Alzheimer's Journal
Henderson, C. S. (1998). Partial view: An Alzheimer's journal. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press. 

This is a personal account of Cary Smith Henderson's struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Henderson kept a tape recorded journal from the fall of 1991 to the summer of 1992. He discusses his losses in work, relationships, movement, and memories.

Still Alice
Genova, L. (2009). Still Alice. New York: Pocket Books.

In this realistic novel, Alice Howland, a successful psychology professor at Harvard, is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. Howland slowly loses her ability to remember even the simplest things, such as the location of her cell phone and where she is in her own town. The novel follows Howland as her ability to retain her memory continues to dwindle, and she can no longer remember the rooms in her house or even her own children.

The 36-Hour Day
Mace, N. L., & Rabins, P. V. (2006). The 36-hour day. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 

The 36-Hour Day is considered to be the "Bible" for families caring for those with Alzheimer's. It provides tips on caring for those with Alzheimer's disease during its different stages and discusses the various types of help that are available. Many different topics regarding Alzheimer's are covered, including a definition of the condition, its symptoms, the types of living arrangements, and financial and legal issues involved in providing care.

What's Happening to Grandpa?
Shriver, M. (2004). What's happening to Grandpa? New York: Little, Brown Young Readers.

What's Happening to Grandpa? is a children's book to help younger readers understand their older relatives' memory loss. In this story, Kate is determined to find out what has happened to her grandfather when he forgot her name. Her mother explains to her what her grandfather is going through, and Kate decides to figure out ways to help both herself and her grandfather cope with his condition. Kate and her grandfather create a scrapbook together using a box of photographs and his intact memories. This is a book with a positive message for coping and coming to terms with the reality of elder memory loss.

When Alzheimer's Disease Strikes
Sapp, S. (2002). When Alzheimer's disease strikes. Omaha: Desert Ministries.

When Alzheimer's Disease Strikes is a reference for those who are the primary caregivers for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. It also applies to those who assist Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

When Someone You Love Has Alzheimer's
Murphy, C. (2004). When someone you love has Alzheimer's. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press.

This book provides spiritual help for those whose loved ones suffer from Alzheimer's disease. It contains devotionals to help readers focus on God during their struggle to care for their loved ones.

The Importance of Formal and Informal Social Networks

Caregiving and Loss: Family Needs, Professional Responses
Davidson, J. D. (2001). Caregiving and loss: Family needs, professional responses. Washington, DC: Hospice Foundation of America.

Caregiving and Loss is a 12-chapter book that discusses the needs of family caregivers and how health care professionals can better work with them. It also discusses losses felt by patients and their families.

Caregiving Contexts: Cultural, Familial, and Societal Expectations
Szinovacz, M., & Davey, D. (2007). Caregiving contexts: Cultural, familial, and societal expectations. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Caregiving Contexts is a resource for caregivers that focuses on caregiving in a way that encompasses many different contextual frameworks (i.e., sociocultural, familial, etc.). By taking a broader perspective, caregiving related programs and policies will be able to be beneficial to a greater spectrum of individuals.

Fourteen Friends' Guide to Elder-Caring
Fourteen Friends. (1999). Fourteen Friends' guide to elder-caring. Sterling, VA: Capital Books.

The Fourteen Friends are a group of friends that include business owners, teachers, a neurologist, a drug and alcohol counselor, and a psychiatric nurse practitioner. In this book, the friends share their personal experiences and solutions for caregiving problems based on their own experiences with loved ones.

The Art of Dementia Care
Kuhn, D., & Verity, J. (2007). The art of dementia care. Florence, KY: Delmar Cengage Learning.

This book by Kuhn and Verity is a practical guide for those who provide care and support for people with dementia. The style of care utilized by this book is a relationship model of care, where the reader learns to make a positive difference in the lives of those with dementia. There are discussions and examples to keep the reader engaged and to allow him or her to reflect on his or her attitude and behavior towards individuals with dementia.

The Cultures of Caregiving: Conflict and Common Ground Among Families, Health Professionals and Policy Makers
Levine, C., & Murray, T. (Eds.). (2004). The cultures of caregiving: Conflict and common ground among families, health professionals and policy makers. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

The Cultures of Caregiving examines the conflicts between health care professionals and family caregivers. Since family caregivers are oftentimes ill prepared for their new roles and responsibilities, their views and priority on caregiving may greatly differ from that of professionals. The topics that are discussed in this book include cultural diversity and family caregiving; the ethical dimensions of professional and family responsibilities; family caregivers and the health care system; long-term health care policy; and the changing relationship between nurses, home care aides, and families. This resource is directed towards a professional audience.

Validation Breakthrough
Feil, N., & De Klerk-Rubin, V. (2002). Validation breakthrough. Baltimore: Health Professions Press.

Validation Breakthrough provides simple techniques to use to reduce caregiver burnout and also to improve the quality of life of the individual with dementia. This is a resource for everyone who works with those with dementia, including family members and professionals.

The Living-at-Home Program: Innovations in Service Access and Case Management
Bogdonoff, M. D., Hughes, S. L., Weissert, W. G. (1991). New York: Springer Publishing Company.

This book highlights living-at-home programs around the country, from respite programs to the use of technology to neighborhood outreach.

Research on Elder Care

Handbook of Aging & the Family
Blieszner, R. & Bedford, V. (Eds.). (1995). Handbook of aging and the family.

This is a reference that provides an overview of theory and research on important topics related to aging including turning points in late-life families, family relationships, and the contexts of family life. There are many applications for future research, and this reference is geared towards practitioners, teachers, and graduate students.

Profiles in Caregiving: The Unexpected Career
Aneshensel, C. S., Pearlin, L. I., Mullan, J. T., Zarit, S. H., & Whitlatch, C. J. (1995). Profiles in caregiving: The unexpected career. St. Louis: Academic Press.

Profiles in Caregiving: The Unexpected Career is a resource for those who are caregivers, those who study caregiving, and those who teach caregiving. This book presents research on the factors that are linked to effective caregiving of dementia patients and was compiled after the investigation of experiences of family members who have the caregiving role.  The research presented is based on a three-year longitudinal study of principal caregivers. This book goes into depth about five major phases of caregiving: acquisition of role as caregiver, in-home care, institutional care, bereavement, and social reintegration of the caregiver.

Women in the Middle: Their Parent-Care Years
Brody, E. M. (2004). Women in the middle: Their parent-care years. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Women in the Middle discusses the feelings, experiences, and problems of two daughters in their role as caregivers of their elderly parents. This book discusses how the two women's roles as caretaker affect their lifestyles, mental and physical health, and careers. There is focus on changing social, economic, and environmental factors as well.

 

Compiled June 2009, by Riverside Health System and the Center for Excellence in Aging and Geriatric Health, Williamsburg, Virginia.


 

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