Recommended Readings

Creating Moments of Joy – Jolene Brackey

Jolene Brackey has a vision. A vision that will soon look beyond the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease and focus more of our energy on creating moments of joy. When a person has short-term memory loss, his life is made up of moments. But if you think about it, our memory is made up of moments, too.

Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s – Joanne Koenig Coste

More than four million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, and as many as twenty million have close relatives or friends with the disease. Revolutionizing the way we perceive and live with Alzheimer’s, Joanne Koenig Coste offers a practical approach to the emotional well-being of both patients and caregivers that emphasizes relating to patients in their own reality.

Relentless Goodbye – Ginnie Horst Burkholder

Ginnie Horst Burkholder shares from the heart about caring for a spouse who is slowly slipping away to Lewy body dementia (LBD). Burkholder’s memoir reveals how she handles the constant challenges through humor, love, commitment, and faith. At the same time, she does not gloss over the loss, pain, and loneliness on this emotional roller coaster ride that invaded her marriage and family following her husband’s diagnosis.

Passages in Caregiving – Gail Sheehy

Sheehy identifies eight crucial stages of caregiving and offers insight for successfully navigating each one. With empathy and intelligence, backed by formidable research, and interspersed with poignant stories of her experience and that of other successful caregivers, Passages in Caregiving addresses the needs of this enormous and growing group.

Still Alice – Lisa Genova

In Lisa Genova’s extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel, an accomplished professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease learns that her worth is comprised of more than her ability to remember. Now a major motion picture from Sony Pictures Classics starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Kristen Stewart! Look for Lisa Genova’s next novel Inside the O’Briens.

Being Mortal – Atul Gawande

Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.

The Validation Breakthrough – Naomi Feil and Vicki de Klerk-Rubin

Validation is a practical way of communicating with and managing problem behavior in older adults with Alzheimer’s-type dementia. It helps reduce stress, enhance dignity, and increase happiness. Since its inception in 1989, Validation has helped thousands of professional and family caregivers improve their relationships with residents and loved ones with dementia. Caregivers who use these techniques validate older adults’ expressed feelings, rather than focusing on disorientation and confusion.

When Caring Takes Courage: Alzheimer’s/Dementia: At A Glance Guide for Family Caregivers – Mara Botonis

Top Tips for Common Care Challenges. . . From helping your loved one live well with Alzheimer’s/dementia to the secrets of capable caregiving, these easy to implement ideas give you a head start on creating the best possible day. When it comes to Alzheimer’s and dementia care, the only thing predictable about the experience is that it’s unpredictable. The more ideas and approaches you have, the better your chances are you’ll find something that works well for you.

Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer’s, My Mother and Me – Sarah Leavitt

What do you do when your outspoken, passionate and quick-witted mother starts fading into a forgetful, fearful woman? In this powerful graphic memoir, Sarah Leavitt reveals how Alzheimer’s disease transformed her mother Midge – and her family – forever. In spare black and white drawings and clear, candid prose, Sarah shares her family’s journey through a harrowing range of emotions – shock, denial, hope, anger, frustration – all the while learning to cope, and managing to find moments of happiness.

Alzheimer’s From The Inside Out – Richard Taylor

Offers a glimpse into the world of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease. The author, who was diagnosed at age 58, shares his account of his slow transformation and deterioration. Addresses complexity and emotions surrounding issues such as the loss of independence, unwanted personality shifts, struggle to communicate, and more.