Taking on the role as caregiver is not an easy undertaking. Alzheimer’s and dementia are progressive memory loss conditions that cause substantial changes in behavior and cognitive health. Navigating the behaviors and troubles one their own, caregivers can easily find themselves overwhelmed. 

This stresses the importance of getting educated and informed as much as possible. A caregiver book has the ability to open the door to knowledge, wisdom, and hope. Here are three of the top books for a caregiver to enjoy, or perhaps introduce to a book club!

1. The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer’s Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss, 6th edition, by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins

Often referred to as the ultimate guide book for families, anyone who is caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia can find answers to the many questions and concerns that surface.

It contains practical tips and information in order for the caregiver to learn how to maintain quality of life for a senior with dementia. In addition, it gives caregivers ways to cope with their own emotions and individual needs.

There is a new edition which includes the latest info on:

  • Devices out there than can simplify life for those with dementia, and keep them safer
  • Techniques for managing symptoms and difficult behavior
  • The ins and outs of palliative and hospice care
  • The various types of dementia, i.e. due to brain injury
  • Guidance for the transition to a residential care facility
  • How to access support groups for caregivers, friends, and family members

Many caregivers are finding peace of mind and clarity with this book. Here is what some are saying in Amazon reviews:

“My primary care doctor recommended this book to help me with my mother who has vascular dementia. It is truly a lifesaver. The information about the types of dementia, symptoms, behaviors you can expect, support resources and on and on and on are just amazing.”

“This is a MUST for anyone caring for a person with dementia at any level. Also recommend this for anyone who wants to understand this condition and what people are experiencing as they live their lives with this. This gives you a lifeline to loving that person through this process and caring for yourself as a caregiver.”

See more reviews or buy The 36-Hour Day

2. Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease, by Joanne Koenig Coste

In this helpful guide, the emotional well-being of both the senior with dementia and the caregiver is put into focus. Joanne Koenig Coste introduces a practical approach that highlights communication and understanding dementia, as well as the reality that the seniors affected actually face.

On top of this innovative approach, this caregiver book also covers a wide range of tips on how to:

  • Accept the diagnosis, cope with feelings, and adjust as the disease progresses
  • Help communicating with the senior about their condition
  • The issue of driving and how to face conflict
  • Ways to make meals and bathing as pleasant as possible
  • Room design and how you can adjust it to provide more comfort
  • How to prevent wandering and handle paranoia, distress, and aggression

From Amazon reviews, here’s what fellow caregivers have to say about this book:

“I have so many wonderful things to say about this caregiver book, that all I can say is that I do not know what I would have done without it while taking care of my mom these last 2 years. Even though I have been a RN for many years, there were so many things I learned, both about Alzheimer’s and how to react and respond to our loving family members, and or patients.”

“This book has been a saving grace! It is full of practical suggestions on how to help the Alzheimer’s patient feel more competent, less anxious and in general, and enjoy life. But the additional gift that I did not expect was the ease that it provided to me. It has given me the tools to be a better caregiver and allows us to enjoy quality time with one another!”

See more reviews or buy Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s

3. Creating Moments of Joy Along the Alzheimer’s Journey: A Guide for Families and Caregivers, 5th edition, by Jolene Brackey

For seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s common for them to not remember what has been said of some of the memories spent together with a caregiver, but getting them to enjoy that one moment of happiness and create a smile – that’s what the focus should be. Jolene Brackey’s book focuses on how to make moments of joy appear and spread positive feelings to the senior.

A new edition has been released for this caregiver book that contains more helpful advice that gives hope and encouragement, interesting and thought-provoking stories, and a nice touch of humor.

In the Amazon reviews, caregivers are providing these comments:

“This book has really helped me and my wife with Alzheimer’s disease. Although I was learning about the disease through trial and error and becoming better at comforting and caring for my wife, I wish I had read this book sooner. This book tells you why some people behave the way they do, but more importantly, it’s a “how to” book on what to do to make things better. I think I’m getting pretty good at providing “moments of joy” not only for my wife, but also for some of the other residents of the care community.”

“This book really did bring me JOY. It has been stressful and heartbreaking to live with a loved one who has dementia. The information in the book helped me to be more patient and understanding, and to actually find JOY in my relationship. The author demonstrates warmth, wisdom and wit. She shares practical ways to talk to someone with dementia who has difficulty communicating.”

See more reviews or buy Creating Moments of Joy

Learning About Dementia and Alzheimer’s

If a caregiver is prepared for what is to come and learns how to work through situations before they happen, they can be better suited up for whatever will be thrown their way. Knowing how to continue to communicate and connect with that loved one diagnosed will help maintain comfort for both the caregiver and the senior.

The decision to move a loved on to an Alzheimer’s or dementia care community is also not an easy consideration. But by soaking up as much information and resources as possible, concerns can be alleviated. If you have questions about memory care communities and how The Kensington can assist families with their journey, give us a call today to learn more. 

Further Reading:

Memory loss is life changing for all involved. At The Kensington, we provide a state-of-the-art memory care program, a higher staff-to-resident ratio than industry standards, and more advanced care services. Our promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.

For additional resources regarding your loved one’s condition, please read on about our Memory Care, Alzheimer’s Care and Dementia Care.

Additional Recommended Reading:

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