As caregiver, you accept a role that requires a lot of patience, effort, time, and most importantly, love. The devotion to a senior’s care that’s affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia entails a lot that many caregivers learn as they go. Every individual is affected by each of these memory loss conditions differently, and there are a number of must-reads that caregivers can really benefit from. 

As a progressive condition, each stage of Alzheimer’s and dementia will present new challenges. Knowing how to work through them and keep the senior happy, healthy, and engaged with the world around them is going to lead to fulfillment by the caregiver, and comfort for the senior. Take a look at three reads we recommend for guidance, wisdom, hope, and encouragement:

1. Surviving Alzheimer’s: Practical tips and soul-saving wisdom for caregivers, by Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott dives into family caregiving, and what each member should know when helping a loved one in the family with dementia. What’s great about her recommendations are that they emphasize the ability to do the best for that loved one, without the caregiver having to sacrifice their wellbeing.

Inside this book you’ll find:

  • Present day knowledge on improving quality of life and safety, but minimizing stress load for the caregiver and the family involved
  • What to do when difficult behavior becomes hard to navigate – introducing the “Why This, Try This,” approach to help understand the underlying causes
  • How to work through family conflict, guilt, and elevated frustration
  • Expert insights from professionals in psychiatry, social work, geriatrics, and memory loss therapy
  • Relatable stories and helpful ideas from other families in the same circumstances

What fellow caregivers are saying in Amazon reviews:

“If you are a caregiver to a loved one who is afflicted with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or any form of cognitive impairment I highly recommend this book. Being a caregiver I can attest to the importance of the statement, ‘Knowledge is power in the fight against memory loss and Alzheimer’s Disease.’ Her book provides you with excellent advice, helpful hints, options in dealing with concerns. The format is an interesting one, so easy to follow and understand.”

“As a long time geriatric social worker specializing in dementia and now as a family caregiver, I looked at this book from two perspectives. It’s beautifully written, covers a great deal of ground and has many practical ideas for coping with the many changes that occur during the dementia journey as well as with the emotional upheavals of caregiving. I highly recommend it.”

See more reviews or buy Surviving Alzheimer’s

2.  Thoughtful Dementia Care: Understanding the Dementia Experience, by Jennifer Ghent-Fuller

In this book, the author goes into detail on the various types of memory loss and cognitive processes associated with each. Jennifer Ghent-Fuller describes how they specifically affect daily life and how seniors in each stage conceptualize the world around them.

In addition, practical suggestions based on real-life experiences are presented to help make sense of common situations. 

Here are what other caregivers are saying in Amazon reviews:

“Parts of it are written from the point of view of the person inflicted with the disease – which is very unique. This helps an outsider really ‘get it’ and while dementia can be cruel to the carer (caregiver) “too,” this book helps us caring understand what a person is going through – so we can put our own reactions aside and extend compassion.”

“I recently became a caregiver for my father who has Alzheimer’s and didn’t understand what he is going through cognitively, or why I was getting so stressed out until I began reading this book. I highly recommend it to others who have loved ones with dementia or who, like me , find themselves suddenly thrust into the role of caregiver for a parent with Alzheimer’s.”

See more reviews or buy Thoughtful Dementia Care: Understanding the Dementia Experience

3.  Activities to do with Your Parent who has Alzheimer’s Dementia, by Judith A. Levy EdM OTR

When taking care of a loved one, watching them change from the person you spent years of memories with is not easy. You want to remain connected to that loved one and still get quality time together, but may not know how. The need for finding activities that resonate with their cognitive ability is just what this book provides. 

These activities assist with mobility, daily care, and giving them the change to be socially engaged. Opportunities for smiles, laughter, boosted confidence, and compassion are highlighted throughout this book.

The book also has:

  • Well over 50 activity ideas and instructions on how to arrange them
  • Tips for preventing caregiver burnout
  • Resources for seeking Alzheimer’s and dementia support
  • Best practices for maintaining safety in every room of the home
  • An assessment that allows the caregiver to evaluate the current safety of the home and themselves
  • Medical terms listed by definition

Caregivers have been raving in the Amazon reviews:

“From personal as well as professional perspectives, I have found Judith Levy’s book to be very encouraging and very practical. It meets a largely unmet need for guidance in coping with an extremely challenging and often heartbreaking situation faced by many families.”

“I’m a memory care director at a nursing home. As such, I’m often looking for clear directions to give to staff and volunteers providing individual activities for our residents. This book hits the nail on the head! I can’t wait to share it with staff, families, and volunteers. I’ve personally tried some of these activities and found them to be uplifting in meeting the abilities of those with memory loss. I would also recommend this book to those who care for someone in their home, including paid care partners.”

See more reviews or buy Activities to Do with Your Parent Who Has Alzheimer’s Dementia

How Continued Learning Makes Caregiving Easier

A lot of the family members that step in as the caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia are not often ones that have had prior experience. It can be a daunting role to take on, with many unknown challenges. 

If you or a loved one is coping with caregiving for a senior with memory loss, feel free to pass this list on or perhaps even start a book club! Reading guides and continuing to learn more about these memory loss conditions will help the caregiver and everyone else involved feel more informed, prepared, and more in control of the circumstances. 

These books may also help in the decision for a possible move to a memory care community. By getting familiar with these conditions and what the family can handle, it is then possible for them to make a care plan early on. At The Kensington White Plains, we vow to be your partners in memory care. If you or a loved one have questions about what makes our communities different, 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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