Gerontologist Wonderlin provides a helpful guide to residential long-term care for dementia patients. Dementia care communities (DCCs), commonly part of facilities with assisted-living and skilled nursing units, are staffed 24–7 to deliver care. The author explains that dementia is an umbrella term for many different diseases with different but related symptoms, including Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal lobar dementia, Korsakoff’s (amnestic syndrome), and Huntington’s disease. In part one, Wonderlin covers long-term care options, dementia diagnoses, and deciding when a DCC is appropriate; part two covers communicating, acknowledging a patient’s confusion, and understanding why the patient may be happier in the past or an imaginary world. Part three highlights daily activities and considerations about setting, diet, and hygiene. Part four discusses managing friendship, romance, and sexuality, plus coping with “sundowning,” or evening agitation. Part five deals with some thorny issues: aggression, delusional thinking, aphasia, and stress. Every chapter features personal stories about patients and their families, welcome insights, and strategies for assessing the benefits and drawbacks of placing a parent, partner, sibling, adult child, or friend in a DCC. Oddly, the volume lacks lists of resources, recommended reading, or support groups. (Oct.)
Writing from her own practice and drawing on the latest research in gerontology and dementia, Wonderlin explains the different kinds of dementia, details the wide range of care communities available for people who have dementia, and speaks empathetically to the worry and guilt many families feel. "Do not let anyone make you feel like you have taken the 'easy way out' by choosing a dementia care community," she writes. "You are still going to deal with a lot of challenging behaviors, concerns, and questions regarding your loved one's care."
When Someone You Know Is Living in a Dementia Care Community is an accessible guide offering answers to such questions as:
How do I choose a place for my loved one to live?
What can I find out by visiting a candidate memory-care community twice?
What do I do if my loved one asks about going home?
How can I improve the quality of my visits?
What is the best way to handle conflict between residents, or between the resident and staff?
How can I cope with my loved one's sundowning?
What do I do if my loved one starts a romantic relationship with another resident?
An indispensable book for family members and friends of people with dementia, When Someone You Know is Living in a Dementia Care Community touches the heart while explaining how to make a difficult situation better.
"It is an interesting book and has helpful information for all types of readers."