In November 2009 Jana Panarites was scrambling to make ends meet in LA, despite a lifetime of working hard and having recently earned a master's degree from the University of Southern California. Her career spiraling out of control, she didn't think life could get any worse until she learned of her father's sudden death two days before Thanksgiving.
She flew east for the funeral, and was forced to confront her future head-on at the sight of her devastated eighty-year-old mother. After living her entire adult life in LA and New York City, the second generation Greek-American decided to move back into her childhood home in Maryland--determined to save her career and her one remaining parent. In Scattered: My Year As An Accidental Caregiver, Panarites takes readers on an unvarnished, hair-raising journey of reinvention, inspired by love and a dwindling bank account. Her tale of attempting to advance her career while attending to medical appointments, household chores, and a flood of grief-related emotions raises issues of family loyalty, the strain of caregiving, resilience, and the repercussions of a romantic marriage for those left behind after death.
Fast-paced, compelling, and filled with dark humor despite the seriousness of the subject, Scattered sheds a much-needed light on the plight of baby boomers everywhere, eager to thrive in their own lives but put to the test by aging parents--and often unprepared for what lays ahead.
What is neuroplasticity? Is it possible to change your brain? Norman Doidge's inspiring guide to the new brain science explains all of this and moreAn astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable, and proving that it is, in fact, possible to change your brain. Psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity, its healing powers, and the people whose lives they've transformed--people whose mental limitations, brain damage or brain trauma were seen as unalterable. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, blind people who learn to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, stroke patients learning to speak, children with cerebral palsy learning to move with more grace, depression and anxiety disorders successfully treated, and lifelong character traits changed. Using these marvelous stories to probe mysteries of the body, emotion, love, sex, culture, and education, Dr. Doidge has written an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.
"I know where I'm going. I'm still myself. I just can't remember things as well as I once did. So on short trips, I work hard not to be confused. I'll say to myself, What are we going to do? How long are we staying? It's like I'm talking to my other self--the self I used to be. She tells me, This is what we need to buy--not that. I'm conscious of that other self guiding me now."
Restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef, and nationally known lifestyle maven, B. Smith is struggling at 66 with a tag she never expected to add to that string: Alzheimer's patient. She's not alone. Every 67 seconds someone newly develops it, and millions of lives are affected by its aftershocks.
B. and her husband, Dan, working with Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Shnayerson, unstintingly share their unfolding story. Crafted in short chapters that interweave their narrative with practical and helpful advice, readers learn about dealing with Alzheimer's day-to-day challenges: the family realities and tensions, ways of coping, coming research that may tip the scale, as well as lessons learned along the way.
At its heart, Before I Forget is a love story: illuminating a love of family, life, and hope.
Research has shown that stimulating early memories can have positive effects for persons with dementia or related disorders and can energize the relationships between such persons and their families, friends, and caregivers. "Remembering Home" emphasizes the importance of home in the lives of memory-challenged adults, offers insight into the richness and variety of life experiences associated with the idea of "home," and suggests ways in which caregivers can encourage reminiscences to improve the quality of life for those with dementia or associated diseases.
This volume advances the goals of affirming the dignity of and reinforcing personhood in adults with debilitating memory loss. Environmental gerontologist Habib Chaudhury draws on research and fieldwork--along with the stories and actions of persons with dementia and their loved ones--to discuss dementia and the concept of "self." He shows how recollections of home can reach persons with compromised mental capacity, and he shares techniques designed to spark conversation and stimulate participation in group and one-on-one activities.
Chaudhury encourages health care professionals and activity leaders to embrace a personhood-affirming mode of care and provides tools and information for nonprofessionals who want to connect with, understand, and better appreciate people with dementia.
Memory loss can be one of the most terrifying aspects of a diagnosis of dementia. Yet the fear and dread of losing our memory make the experience of the disease worse than it needs to be, according to cultural critic and playwright Anne Davis Basting. She says, Forget memory. Basting emphasizes the importance of activities that focus on the present to improve the lives of persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
Based on ten years of practice and research in the field, Basting's study includes specific examples of innovative programs that stimulate growth, humor, and emotional connection; translates into accessible language a wide range of provocative academic works on memory; and addresses how advances in medical research and clinical practice are already pushing radical changes in care for persons with dementia.
Bold, optimistic, and innovative, Basting's cultural critique of dementia care offers a vision for how we can change the way we think about and care for people with memory loss.
Susan H. McFadden and John T. McFadden propose a radical reconstruction of our societal understanding of old age. Rather than categorizing elders based on their cognitive consciousness, the McFaddens contend that the only humane, supportive, and realistic approach is to find new ways to honor and recognize the dignity, worth, and personhood of those journeying into dementia. Doing so, they argue, counters the common view of dementia as a personal tragedy shared only by close family members and replaces it with the understanding that we are "all" living with dementia. The McFaddens' inclusive vision calls for social institutions, especially faith communities, to build supportive, ongoing friendships that offer hospitality to all persons, regardless of cognitive status.
Drawing on medicine, social science, philosophy, and religion to provide a broad perspective on aging, "Aging Together" offers a vision of relationships filled with love, joy, and hope in the face of a condition that all too often elicits anxiety, hopelessness, and despair.
"A compelling call to arms for a more caring, related society."-- "Journal of Gerontological Social Work
"Aging Together" offers a prophetic perspective by challenging our socially constructed versions of reality and our tendency to look for medical miracles and cures. Instead we should work to create communities that are hospitable to the cognitively impaired."-- "Christian Century
""This is not just a book about ageing, dementia, and friendship; it is a book that will take the reader on a journey that will, hopefully, leave them in a better place than where they started."-- "Ageing and Society
""This must-read volume will inspire the reader to contemplate the call to care for others with self-giving love."-- "Choice
""A serious, scholarly, and sensitive book."-- "PsycCRITIQUES""
More than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's disease or a related form of dementia. By the year 2030, experts estimate that as many as 66 million people around the world will be faced with this life-altering disease. Unfortunately, these staggering statistics impact millions of caregivers, too. Compared with all types of caregivers, those who assist someone with dementia experience the highest levels of burnout, depression, poor health, and premature death. A Dignified Life, Revised and Expanded offers hope and help with a proven approach.Ten years ago, the first edition of A Dignified Life changed the way the caregiving community approached Alzheimer's disease by showing caregivers how to act as a Best Friend to the person, finding positive ways to interact even as mental abilities declined. Firmly grounded in the latest knowledge about the progression and treatment of dementia, this expanded edition offers a wealth of immediately usable tips and new problem-solving advice. It incorporates practical ideas for therapeutic activities--including the latest brain-fitness exercises--stimulate the brain while adding structure, meaning, and context to daily routines. With new stories and examples as well as an updated resources section, A Dignified Life, Revised and Expanded gives caregivers the support and advice they need to be successful and inspired in their demanding roles. While medical treatment of the disease hasn't changed in the past ten years, our understanding and awareness of treating people in a more caring way has changed substantially. With no cure on the immediate horizon, respectful care by effective and compassionate care partners is the only real "treatment" available to people with dementia. The Best Friends(TM) Approach is successful because it sustains people's connection to their world, their loved ones, and themselves. It's a universal program which has been embraced by professional and family caregivers throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. In its revised form, A Dignified Life offers caregivers an antidote to the burnout and frustration that often accompanies the role of caring for a person with Alzheimer's and dementia. Rather than struggling through a series of frustrations and failures, A Dignified Life shows the new generation care partners how to bring dignity, meaning, and peace of mind to the lives of both those who have Alzheimer's and dementia and those who care for them.
Dr. Ruth, a trusted name in relationship therapy, presents effective coping strategies for both the practical problems and emotional stresses of Alzheimer's care. More than 15 million Americans are responsible for the care of a loved one with Alzheimer's disease, a situation that can quickly lead to feeling overwhelmed while trying to balance between the full-time needs of a dependent adult and the caregiver's own physical and mental health. The tactics and resources presented in this book build confidence in the caregiver and provide health-guided advice on how to avoid burnout, seek support from family and friends, resolve family disputes, maintain a loving relationship with a spouse or parent with Alzheimer's, manage behavior, and make the home a safe environment. Keeping the best interests of everyone involved in mind, the guide also details how to coordinate effectively with doctors, facilities, and other care providers.
Dr. Peter Whitehouse will transform the way we think about Alzheimer's disease. In this provocative and ground-breaking book he challenges the conventional wisdom about memory loss and cognitive impairment; questions the current treatment for Alzheimer's disease; and provides a new approach to understanding and rethinking everything we thought we knew about brain aging.
The Myth of Alzheimer's provides welcome answers to the questions that millions of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease - and their families - are eager to know:
Is Alzheimer's a disease?
What is the difference between a naturally aging brain and an Alzheimer's brain?
How effective are the current drugs for AD? Are they worth the money we spend on them?
What kind of hope does science really have for the treatment of memory loss? And are there alternative interventions that can keep our aging bodies and minds sharp?
What promise does genomic research actually hold?
What would a world without Alzheimer's look like, and how do we as individuals and as human communities get there?
Backed up by research, full of practical advice and information, and infused with hope, THE MYTH OF ALZHEIMER'S will liberate us from this crippling label, teach us how to best approach memory loss, and explain how to stave off some of the normal effects of aging.
"I don't have a magic bullet to prevent your brain from getting older, and so I don't claim to have the cure for AD; but I do offer a powerful therapy--a new narrative for approaching brain aging that undercuts the destructive myth we tell today. Most of our knowledge and our thinking is organized in story form, and thus stories offer us the chief means of making sense of the present, looking into the future, and planning and creating our lives. New approaches to brain aging require new stories that can move us beyond the myth of Alzheimer's disease and towards improved quality of life for all aging persons in our society. It is in this book that your new story can begin." -Peter Whitehouse, M.D., Ph.D.