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Books for Dementia Caregivers: Recommended Reads

Dementia and Occupational Therapy - Home caregiver and senior adult woman

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has found that “family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias are at greater risk for anxiety, depression, and poorer quality of life than caregivers of people with other conditions.”

Reading about others’ experiences and learning a variety of effective caregiving techniques can help you manage your emotions, feel less alone and more empowered, and improve your mental health as you care for your loved one.

Many different kinds of people have written books about Alzheimer’s and dementia, providing a variety of perspectives; medical professionals and social workers can offer a clinical viewpoint, while others who have simply walked a path similar to yours can provide a more personal approach to navigating your situation.

Here are five books you might find helpful as you care for your loved one.

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

The 36-Hour Day is often considered the best reference for Alzheimer’s or dementia caregivers. Not only does it provide practical advice for improving the lives of people with dementia, but it also addresses the emotional needs of caregivers.

This book discusses:

  • delaying behavioral symptoms,
  • understanding medicare and changes in health insurance laws,
  • coping with dementia caused by traumatic brain injury, and
  • finding caregiver support groups.
  1. 2. Creating Moments of Joy Along the Alzheimer’s Journey: A Guide for Families and Caregivers, by Jolene Brackey

One of the most helpful things caregivers can do for their loved ones is create moments of joy. A smile on their face can alleviate worry, grief, and frustration. Even if they don’t remember the moment, the joy they felt from it lingers.

This book provides practical caregiving advice and shares stories of hope from other caregivers with a humorous approach to encourage you to push through during the most challenging moments.

  1. 3. Surviving Alzheimer’s: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers by Paula Spencer Scott

Caring for a loved one often feels like a significant personal sacrifice, but this doesn’t have to be the case. In this book, you’ll learn how to enhance your loved one’s quality of life and keep them safe while minimizing your stress.

The book also offers insights from dementia-care experts, advice and stories from other families, and strategies for allaying resentment, anger, guilt, and family discordance.

  1. 4. Somebody I Used to Know by Wendy Mitchell

This book, a memoir about a woman living with dementia, serves as an insightful, meaningful window into what your loved one is feeling. Seeing dementia from the eyes of someone who shares your experience can be life-changing and help you cope.

  1. 5. When Reasoning No Longer Works: A Practical Guide for Caregivers Dealing with Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care by Angel Smits

One of the greatest struggles for a caregiver is trying to reason with their loved ones. Early on, it can be easy, but eventually, it becomes unmanageable. This book gives you tools to reframe questions, deal with disruptive or aggressive behaviors, and handle your loved one’s penchant for wandering.

Dementia caregivers often struggle with not knowing how to communicate effectively with their loved ones. Learning about the disease, however, can equip you with information to provide safe, loving care while maintaining your own health and wellness too.

The professional care team at The Oaks at Denville’s retirement community is dedicated to helping residents lead lives of purpose, engage in the here and now, and feel joy no matter where they may be in the aging process.

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