On my last plane trip, I had the pleasure of reading the book, Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease, by Ron Kauffman. Mr. Kauffman’s experience in caring for his mother, who had Alzheimer’s Disease, led to his writing this book.
It isn’t a long book, only 62 pages, which is nice for those who need the information but don’t have much time. It is full of useful information and easy to read, both big pluses.
The first chapter includes the Alzheimer’s Disease Association’s 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. Very useful and handy to have at your fingertips if you have an elderly parent you are concerned about.
Chapter two provides a great explanation and comparison of dementia in general and Alzheimer’s Disease specifically. It also gives various statistics for Alzheimer’s. The one I found most staggering was that individuals 85 and older have a 50% chance of developing this disease. With people living longer, we can expect more and more Baby Boomers to become caregivers and if a cure is not found, the number of Baby Boomers with Alzheimer’s Disease in just a few decades could be huge – as many as 16 million by 2050!
Chapter three goes into suggestions for getting a true diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and discusses the difference between Alzheimer’s Disease and other possible causes of symptoms you may be seeing, such as depression.
The different types of Alzheimer’s Disease, including inheritance patterns and early onset Alzheimer’s Disease, is discussed in Chapter 4
Chapter 5 goes into the seven major forms of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s Disease is responsible for 66%. These forms include Parkinson’s Disease, which has impacted my family, vascular and brain attack dementia, Huntington’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Pick Disease, Alcohol-related dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, head trauma, HIV/AIDS, and normal pressure Hydrocephalus.
Activities of daily living (ADLs), both basic and instrumental, are listed in chapter 6. I found this especially interesting as many insurance programs are based on these.
Chapter 7 has a very useful list of the symptoms of each of the seven stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.
What Alzheimer’s Caregivers Need to Know, chapter 8, is full of excellent hints and helps. It covers communications, behavior management, wandering, long term care insurance, preparation and caregiver health.
A list of resources completes this book in chapter 9. It provides several links which were new to me, something I am always on the lookout for.
Overall, I believe this book would be a useful addition to a caregiver’s library if they are dealing with or expect to deal with a loved one with any form of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s Disease. It retails for $12.95 plus shipping and handling and you can purchase it at his website, http://www.seniorlifestyles.net/ . You can also read his blog there as well as get information about his podcasts.