The moments leading up to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can feel like the most devastating moments of your life. Whether you are the person suffering from Alzheimer’s or you are a family member of a loved one with the disease, the overwhelming feeling of wondering what’s next is crushing.
With resources all over the place ranging from the internet to inspirational books, it can be difficult to find the right sources for your unique situation.
We’ve gathered the 5 best books on Alzheimer’s that you’ll want to read if you’re facing this diagnosis in your life (one way or the other). These books are meant to help you along the process of dealing with the diagnosis, coping with life afterward, and taking care of yourself as the caregiver if that’s who you are.
There is no doubt that Alzheimer’s is a challenge in and of itself, especially as a caregiver. And the even more challenging part is that your loved one is often unable to communicate with you how they’re feeling or what they need/want. However, these 5 books on Alzheimer’s have proven to be helpful in many different life stages ranging from early diagnosis to life after life-altering decisions.
Here are our top picks for books on Alzheimer’s that can help you walk through the darkest of times and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
1. The End of Alzheimer’s by Dr. Dale Bredesen
We highly recommend this book. We’ve done a great deal of research to help our patients feel safe, loved, and cared for on a daily basis at any of our facilities. The End of Alzheimer’s by Dr. Dale Bredesen is a book that we’ve used to base our Alzheimer’s treatment protocol because it has been proven to work and has also proven to be the most beneficial for everyone involved. We believe strongly in Dr. Bredesen’s philosophy and protocols and recommend taking a deeper look into this book as soon as you can.
The End of Alzheimer’s explores the idea that Alzheimer’s doesn’t have to be a disease that is “incurable.” In fact, Dr. Bredesen looks at Alzheimer’s as something to be hopeful about. Instead of focusing on the negatives that have been associated with the disease for far too long, Dr. Bredesen takes his readers on a journey to discover his practical plan that could possibly reverse Alzheimer’s completely and allow for all brains to work exactly how they should!
2. The 36-Hour Day by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins
If there was ever a book that gave families of those suffering from Alzheimer’s a guide to helping them cope and handle everyday life, The 36-Hour Day is it. Focused highly on the caregivers themselves, the book aims to help those who care for sick family members by providing helpful tips and information to navigate the new, muddy waters that is Alzheimer’s.
Caregivers need to focus on their emotions and needs, too. Without this focus, the caregiver will find themselves burnt out and living a life they might resent at times. But, The 36-Hour Day gives caregivers guidelines to follow as well as realistic expectations for what’s to come and how to deal with the new challenges they will face.
The 36-Hour Day also provides readers with useful strategies to deal with behavioral issues as well as how to handle changes to medical coverage. The range of information covered in this book is wide and gives caregivers a better idea of what life after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis looks like for everyone involved.
3. Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s by Joanne Koenig Coste
Communication is the hardest part of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis as it is practically non-existent. The reality is that a person suffering from Alzheimer’s cannot communicate effectively with anyone. Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s is a book on Alzheimer’s and how to deal with it as a person with the disease and a caregiver.
Joanne’ Koenig Coste’s practical approach to dealing with the disease is exactly how caregivers and patients learn to communicate effectively with each other. Improving communication and allowing the persons suffering from the disease to become accustomed to their new reality is crucial when it comes to finding a neutral ground to work from for everyone.
Tips and strategies are included to help caregivers and Alzheimer’s patients alike in this book. Some of those include how to cope with the diagnosis, how to get the patient to talk about the disease with you, taking away “privileges” for the patient (such as driving, cooking, baths, etc.), and finding a safe solution to wandering and/or aggression.
4. Creating Moments of Joy by Jolene Brackey
The first 3 books on this list dealt with the diagnosis and how to cope in life with family members who suffer from Alzheimer’s. However, this book is a different approach to the topic and one we know you will enjoy.
No matter what is happening in life, it is important to find the joy in it! Jolene Brackey’s book, Creating Moments of Joy, is a transformative book that will help you find moments of joy in those really difficult times when dealing with Alzheimer’s in your life. While Alzheimer’s patients can’t remember much of their new memories, the feelings they get when they experience happiness and joy will stay with them forever.
Brackey takes her readers on a self-discovery adventure to help caregivers find even the smallest sprinkle of hope in a dark, grim time of their life. She shares stories, laughs, and even encouragement throughout the book that helps readers see that life doesn’t have to be so dark after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
5. Activities to do with Your Parent who has Alzheimer’s Dementia by Judith A. Levy EdM OTR
After a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is handed down by a doctor, the ideas start swirling. The reality is that the activities you once loved doing with your loved one may or may not still be feasible. That doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy time with them in other ways, though.
Activities to do with Your Parent who has Alzheimer’s Dementia is a book on Alzheimer’s that helps encourage and entertain the reader at the same time! The activities mentioned in the book can help patients continue to build their self-care, mobility, and socialization skills, no matter what they may be experiencing.
With over 50 activity suggestions, burnout prevention tips, support resources, safety suggestions, and medical terms defined, this book will leave you feeling prepared and ready to enjoy life with your loved one regardless of their diagnosis. Everyone deserves to have fun!