No one likes to hear the news that a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. Suddenly you are the caregiver of someone with a neurocognitive disorder and you have no idea what that means. What is dementia? What do you need to do in order to take care of your loved one? If you are in this situation and you have questions that need answers, then you should check out The Dementia Caregiver by Marc Argonin.
Even though the title of this books states that it is a guide, I would call it a manual. This well researched book, (with well documented notations in the back of the book) explains what you need to know about neurocognitive disorders. There are chapters that describe the different disorders on the spectrum, such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and dementia with lewy bodies. Other chapters describe caregiving during mild stages, moderate stages and advanced stages. The author also addresses known side effects such as depression, anxiety, apathy, sleep problems, agitation and psychosis.
Even though there are a lot of chapters devoted to learning about dementia, there is also a lot of information for the caregiver. This book details information on long-term care and legal issues. There is a wealth of information on resources such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Medicare, Geriatric Care and Elder Law. And most importantly, there is information for caregivers on how to take care of themselves! Caregivers need to be healthy too!
As stated in the book: “Becoming a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another neurocognitive disorder can be an unexpected, undesirable, underappreciated-and yet noble-role. It is heart-breaking to watch someone lose the very cognitive capacities that once helped to define them as a person. But because of the nature of these disorders, the only to become an effective caregiver and cope with the role’s many daily challenges is to become well-informed about the disease. With the right information, resources, and tips on caregiving and working with professionals, you can become your own expert at both caring for your charge and taking care of yourself.”