The Nursing Team owner, Kathleen Chastain is an avid reader, so we asked her to share her book recommendations for Alzheimer caregivers. They’re definitely worth checking out.
- “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant” by Roz Chast
When I was neck deep in taking care of my Mom who was at that point in the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s, a friend of mine surprised me with a book. At first, I thought it was a super kind gesture, but as I read the book, I was amazed at the insight of my friend to find a book that got to the heart of the chaos I was experiencing. This book that when viewing resembles more of a comic book, is a memoir of the authors own experience in being the caregiver for her parents. It is done in such an authentic yet humorous manner – it truly touched home for me. If you’re looking for a fabulous gift to give someone who finds themselves in the truly honorable yet overwhelming role of caring for their parents, I’d highly recommend this book.
2. “The Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver’s Handbook” by Dr. Sally Willard Burbank and Sue Pace Bell
Remember that book, “What to Expect The First Year”? Seemed all my friends (and me!) used that book to navigate the first year of being parents. Well, I think “The Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver’s Handbook” comes as close to that as any book I’ve read so far to being a “go-to” when you find yourself as a caregiver to a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Written by both a medical professional who attended to the medical concerns of patients suffering from this disease and a wife who cared for her husband diagnosed at an early age. The book covers all the pertinent topics including an overview of the science of the illness; the stages; and how it’s diagnosed. But, more importantly to me, it gives some great practical advice on the various challenges of caring for the individual and also stressing the importance of caring for yourself.
3. “Where The Light Gets In” by Kimberly Williams-Paisley
This is just a beautiful memoir about a relationship between mother and daughter. It elegantly describes the raw pain of traveling this journey with a loved one and helps you find a way to love this new personality that has taken over your loved one. Grace, anger, humility, frustration, strength…. it has it all. And then some.
4. “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova
This is a story about a professor at Columbia University who ends up suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. The book gives great insight to how Alzheimer’s affects a person and their family. Alice has a husband and three children who learn how to cope with Alice’s prognoses. There were many times during the book when Alice forgot what she was doing or got lost. A specific time would be when she went for a run, which she did almost every day, but then could not figure out how to get back home. Her husband learned how to have a lot of patience with her. Alzheimer’s is often seen as a horrible disease that only affects one person but it affects everyone around that person as well. Overall, this book does a great job illustrating what it’s like to have a family member with Alzheimer’s. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who knows someone with Alzheimer’s or for someone who just wants to know how this disease affects other people.
Whether you have just found out about a diagnosis or are well into the progression with your loved one, these book recommendations for Alzheimer’s caregivers can help you see that you’re not alone, provide you inspiration and guidance and maybe just give you a much needed laugh.
The Nursing Team has experience and expertise in caring for those with Alzheimer’s. If you or a loved one needs in-home care, please reach out to us for a free consultation. Let us help you transform a stressful caregiving situation into one of JOY.