books for alzheimers disease caregivers

3 Best Books for Alzheimer’s Disease Caregivers

Not only Alzheimer’s Disease can take a toll on its patients but also on their caregivers, family members, co-workers, and friends. To ease your mind a bit, I have shared some books for Alzheimer’s Disease caregivers. 

These books will help you understand this condition even better. It’s always good to be in control so you can relax, take it easy and continue to add value to the lives of your loved ones or patients. Let’s have a quick look at some books for Alzheimer’s Disease caregivers.

Here Are the 3 Best Books for Alzheimer’s Disease Caregivers

1) Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver’s Handbook – What to Remember When They Forget

books for Alzheimer’s Disease caregivers

“What to Remember When They Forget” is a complete handbook for those who take care of a family member with Dementia–in particular, Alzheimer’s Disease. Taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s Disease is quite challenging due to the varying nature of this condition.

Depending on what stage the patient or your loved one is, you must anticipate the symptoms and learn how to overcome each hurdle that comes your way. As the disease progresses from mild to moderate and from moderate to the last stage, you must change your strategy. 

Caregiving for Alzheimer’s Disease Patients is all about being able to think on your toes and make critical decisions that could shape the patient’s and his/her family member’s future life.

This handbook is written by Sally Burbank and Sue Bell. Sally grew up in a small dairy farm town called Derby in Vermont. She completed her medical studies at the University of Vermont and since has been practicing medicine. 

On the other hand, Sue comes from a conservative family based in Waverly, Tennessee. Her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2006. She took care of him until he died in 2013. Seven years of experience as a caregiver has made her attune to how a person with Dementia thinks and feels.

I like how this book is structured. It is not a typical handbook for caregivers. There are a total of 35 chapters all written in an engaging and captivating way. Sue has shared her personal stories in the most natural manner. Plus, this is also a picture book. Expect a lot of pictures, charts, and depictions. 

2) Alzheimer’s Through the Stages – a Caregiver’s Guide

books for Alzheimer’s Disease caregivers

Are you fed up reading massive brick-sized books only researchers and PHDs understand? Most books for caregivers are written by medical professionals who may or may not be very good at painting a picture with words. 

Also, these brick-sized books are meant for academic studies–usually referred by nursing students. This is where Alzheimer’s Through the Stages comes into the picture.

This is by far one of the books for Alzheimer’s Disease caregivers. The book is divided into three parts:

  • Introduction to Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Caregiving during the Early and Mid stages.
  • Dealing with the terrible symptoms of later stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The book begins with the easiest introduction of Alzheimer’s Disease you will ever read. Mary Moller, the author of this book also gets you acquainted with the early stages of this disease. 

For someone who has never had a relative suffer from dementia can find it challenging to diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease. They might think their loved one is acting up or just behaving badly. Whereas, in reality, the poor person has no idea what’s wrong with them and continues to struggle with the routine of daily life.

Furthermore, in the mid-stages–as a caregiver–you are going to be dealing with rapid changes in the behavior and habits of your loved one. This book gives you a heads up so you are better prepared for what’s about to come. Although dementia is an erratic condition, it is possible to predict–up to a certain degree–problems beforehand. 

In the later stages of this condition, the patient becomes totally reliant on his/her caregiver. Someone needs to keep an eye on them 24×7. Dementia reaches up to a point where your loved one may or may not remember their co-workers, friends, and relatives. This is the stage where a caregiver needs to follow step-by-step instructions given by an expert.

3) The 36-Hour Day

books for Alzheimer’s Disease caregivers

An admirably realistic guide to caring for people with Alzheimer’s.” —New York Review of Books

Does your loved one verbally abuse you? Do you feel angry or sad as a result? 

This book explains the exact process an Alzheimer’s patient goes through in the mid and later stages of the disease. The author has shared enough examples to let you know that the strange, awkward, and sometimes violent behavior exhibited by your loved one is not to be taken personally. 

After reading real-life stories of other Alzheimer’s Disease patients, your heart will be filled with empathy and love for your family members. Doesn’t matter even if you are a professional caregiver or a nurse, feelings like empathy towards the other person–who are experiencing intense pain, at the moment–can shift your perspective about them and this line of work, in general.

This book is not written by a caregiver. It is written by two top experts in the field of mental health and caregiving. Nancy L. Mace worked as a consultant to the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association, whereas Peter V. Rabins teaches subjects on Dementia and Brain Disorders in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 

You can expect to learn the following key concepts in this book. Also, note that this book is more of an eye-opener to someone dealing with Dementia for the first time. So, expect to encounter some heart-wrenching stories.

Here are the key topics discussed in this book:

  • Your first course of action when you encounter a person with symptoms like memory loss, violent behavior, etc.
  • Common symptoms exerted by a person with Dementia.
  • Changes in lifestyle of a Dementia patient. How to anticipate them and stay prepared beforehand.

When looking for books for Alzheimer’s Disease caregivers, it is essential to pick the one that offers loads of examples and makes you aware of the possible situations you might have to face in the near future. Unless you are a professional caregiver, you don’t want to go deep in the science behind dementia. Just read enough to be able to take proper care of your loved one and yourself.

Why is it important for a caregiver to research and stay on top of the game while taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient?

I am going to say something contentious here. As a caregiver myself, I know that when you willingly try to help someone in need or are caught in a circumstance where you have to take care of a diseased person, there is going to be some sacrifice involved from your side. You will have to take a hit for the betterment of your loved one.

Unless you are working as a nurse, you want to make sure that you are not getting used or abused by a friend or a family member. “In 2019, caregivers provided an estimated 18.5 billion hours of care valued at nearly $234 billion,” says a report by the Alzheimer’s Association. Your time is valuable. Make sure you invest in the right person. 

I apologize for sounding skeptical but as caregivers, we have to stay on top of the game by knowing as much as possible for Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Taking care of Alzheimer’s patients requires you to cook for them, clean them, represent them when needed, take them for regular medical checkups and provide them a shoulder to cry on when the horrible symptoms kick in. 

For instance, a caregiver has to make sure the Alzheimer’s patient does not hurt themselves by picking their skin or by wandering off on their own. 

So, how do I research more on Alzheimer’s Disease? 

Read books for caregivers, keep yourself updated with blogs, and follow the Twitter accounts of top Alzheimer’s Disease experts. Learning about caregiving is the easy part. The real struggle begins when you have to take care of Alzheimer’s Disease patients without being egotistical, prejudiced, or conditional.

Leave a Comment