Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s. And 16.1 million Americans work as unpaid caregivers for a family member or someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is a tough disease to manage and an even tougher disease to understand.
Luckily, there are all sorts of great resources out there to help ease the caregiver’s burden. And some of those great resources are books. But there are so many to choose from! Luckily, we’ve narrowed it down for you.
Read on to discover 10 books on Alzheimer’s that every caregiver should add to their bookshelf.
1. The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People With Alzheimer’s Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life
Written by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins, this book is basically the bible for anyone caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.
It was originally published in 1981, but has undergone several revisions and is now in its fourth edition. It is the definitive guide for caring for any loved one who suffers from some form of dementia – including Alzheimer’s
This book includes tons of practical advice on all aspects of care. It covers everything from emotional issues, financial issues, and day-to-day coping mechanisms for caregivers and patients alike.
2. Mayo Clinic Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease: The Essential Resource for Treatment, Coping and Caregiving
One of the quintessential books on Alzheimer’s disease, this book explains how Alzheimer’s (and other types of dementia) impact the patient’s brain without all of the super confusing medical mumbo jumbo. Written by Ronal Peterson, this book explains Alzheimer’s in a way that a non-medical professional can easily understand.
In addition to the outline of how the brain works and what constitutes signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, this book also includes a caregiver plan. This plan includes tips on everything from how to navigate medication administration to behavior management.
3. The Alzheimer’s Action Plan: The Expert’s Guide to the Best Diagnosis and Treatment for Memory Problems
Written by P. Murali Doraiswamy and Lisa Gwyther, a social worker and a physician respectively, this title offers a nice balance between the emotional aspects of caregiving and the medical aspects of caregiving.
This book covers everything from diagnosis to treatment methods to how to cope with life after diagnosis.
4. Alzheimer’s Early Stages: First Steps for Family, Friends, and Caregivers
Authored by Daniel Kuhn and David A Bennett (another book written by both a medical professional and a social worker), this book is unique in that it focuses specifically on the early stages of Alzheimer’s. It also focuses on helping families to better learn how to cope with the cognitive and behavioral changes that come with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
Additionally, this book offers a great section of first-person accounts by other family members and caregivers who have dealt with and are dealing with caring for loved ones who suffer from this disease.
5. The Forgetting. Alzheimer’s: Portrait of an Epidemic
Written by David Shenk, a journalist and NPR commentator, this book takes a look at both memory as a whole and the history of Alzheimer’s disease specifically from its discovery to the present.
He also discusses the roles that scientists, doctors, caregivers, and policymakers play and have played in the way the disease is viewed, understood, and treated.
6. Alzheimer’s Disease: Unraveling the Mystery
This book is a free National Institute of Health publication and can be downloaded as a PDF or ordered in print copy from the National Institute on Aging’s website.
This document covers the differences between a healthy brain and a brain with Alzheimer’s disease. It also details the most recent (as of 2008) research in Alzheimer’s diagnosis and treatment. And finally, it covers the need to improve caregiver support – which may help give you some ideas of ways that you can seek support from your friends and family.
7. Understanding Difficult Behaviors: Some Practical Suggestions for Coping with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Illnesses
Written as a team effort by A. Robinson, B. Spencer, and L. White, this resource is viewed as a wealth of hard-to-find information on the disease and its treatment options. It is also viewed as a practical guide on how to deal when faced with a wide variety of different behaviors from the patient.
It helps families and caregivers understand why different challenging behaviors may happen, what they mean, and how to communicate with their loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It also touches on how to cope with living with being a caregiver for someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
This book comes highly recommended by the Family Caregiver Alliance and the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
8. Activities to Do with Your Parent Who Has Alzheimer’s Dementia
This book, written by Judith Levy, helps caregivers to bond with and interact with their charge. It offers activities friendly for those with Alzheimer’s. And it also offers a means of objectively assessing if the activities helped or if they need to be changed or somehow modified for the future.
Through this book, you’ll be able to keep your loved one’s brain working and can learn to engage with them through a variety of activities.
9. Creating Moments of Joy for the Person With Alzheimer’s or Dementia: A Journal for Caregivers
Created by Jolene Brackey, this book teaches caregivers and family members how to make the most of the time they have with their loved one who has Alzheimer’s. It also helps to educate caregivers on the needs of the patient, focusing on how to help the patient have more good days and how to keep them engaged and happy.
10. Inside Alzheimer’s
By Nancy Pearce, this book is specifically and directly aimed at caregivers. It goes out of its way to stress the importance of connecting with the patient. Doing this, the book points out, can help create a more supportive care community.
And a good, supportive care community means more good days for both caregivers and their patients.
Looking For More?
Books on Alzheimer’s are great, but sometimes they’re not as good as talking to someone who knows what you’re going through. Caretaking can be a lonely business.
If you’re looking for more help on caring for your loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease then contact us. We can help you discuss options, find resources, and decide on the next steps.