Take some time this month to learn more about this illness, to understand what it means to those who love someone afflicted, to those who dedicate themselves to seeing they are cared for, and ensuring that their lives continue to have meaning and dignity.
There are many ways to become educated about a condition or disease. With Alzheimer’s, there are hundreds of books available to explain it, advise what to do about it, how to handle it, and offer solutions and support for caregivers. These are excellent resources.
However, stories that enlighten through the careful balance of useful facts and a cast of relatable and realistic characters may be a better way to shed light on this and many other medical issues. This type of presentation enables the reader to get inside the head of the Alzheimer’s patient, their caregivers, spouse, children, and other loved ones. It’s up close and personal, not clinical and removed.
Here are five titles to get you started. Three are memoirs, two are novels. Two are written by women who did double duty at the same time, caring for both mother and father as they suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s. Another is the story of a woman healing her relationship with her mother after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. One is written by a novelist wanting to pay tribute to those who rise to the difficult challenge of serving as caregiver to a loved one with this disease. One is written by a nurse who worked with hundreds of Alzheimer’s patient and their families.
Alzheimer’s is a frightening possibility, but to meet it without knowledge or an understanding of its implications increases despair and hopelessness and strips one of the power to make competent decisions and access necessary supports and resources. Knowledge gained through literature can be as practical and useful as any self-help or how-to manual.
By Marianne Sciucco, author
We have attached some great reading references for Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month. If you would like to learn more information about these books log onto:http://somebodystolemyiron.com/2015/06/alzheimers-awareness-month/