Since getting the wake up call last month and realizing that my mother needs to be in AL sooner than later and visibly seeing her limitations, I’ve done a considerable amount of reading on dementia and Alzheimer’s via books, newsletters and blogs. I’m trying to soak up as much information as I can.
I’ve taken advantage of Border’s unfortunate “going out of business” situation and have stockpiled a couple of books.
I’m currently reading “The 36-Hour Day.” It came highly recommended and is basically a guide to caring for persons with Alzheimer’s, related demented illnesses, and memory loss in later life. It’s comforting to know that I’m already engaged in some of the things recommended.
Two other books that I picked up are “A Cup of Comfort for Families Touched by Alzheimer’s” and Gail Sheehy’s “Passages in Caregiving.”
The first book is an edited collection of inspirational stories of unconditional love and support; the other is Sheehy’s personal account of her own care-giving journey, offering advice and encouragement.
A third book that I’m waiting to arrive from Amazon is, “I’m Still Here: A New Philosophy of Alzheimer’s Care.” It focuses on connecting through a person’s abilities that don’t diminish with time, such as music appreciation, art, facial expressions, and touch.
I’ve always been interested in books covering medical issues and first-person accounts in the practice of medicine. One of my favorite doctor-writers is Atul Gawande (“Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science,” “Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance”). If you have a similar interest you should check him out.
An excellent book that I recently finished that is not about dementia and Alzheimer’s but is brain related is “My Stroke of Insight.” It’s the incredibly courageous and inspiring story of a brain scientist who suffered a stroke in her left hemisphere when she was only 37 years old and completely healed eight years later. The brain is a miraculous organ!
Also on my reading list is “The Brain That Changes Itself.” I’ve had this for a while but haven’t gotten around to it yet. This book delves into the brain’s plasticity using a mix of case studies to illustrate its extraordinary capacity to recover. It has nothing to do with dementia, it’s just a topic that interests me.
Needless to say, it’s going to be a busy couple of months of reading.