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Dementia Caregivers Share Their Stories
A Support Group in a Book

Author(s): Lynda A. Markut, Anatole Crane

Replete with the powerful words of experienced caregivers, Dementia Caregivers Share Their Stories is an essential guidebook for anyone who must attend to the needs of a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia. In these pages, members of caregivers' support groups - representing twenty-six families and a variety of professions and income levels - speak candidly about the challenges they have faced at every step in the caregiving process, from recognizing early symptoms of dementia to dealing with its advanced stages.

Highlighting the ingenuity and resourcefulness of caregivers, the book brims with inspirational stories, practical advice, and creative approaches to problem-solving. Among the issues addressed are:

Becoming a caregiver, whether for a spouse or parent
Dealing with the personality changes caused by dementia, from anxiety and paranoia to hallucinations and impulsive behavior
Keeping dementia sufferers meaningfully involved in life
Handling the emotions and stresses of caregiving
Seeking help through support groups and other sources, including medical professionals, clergy, and other family members The authors, who have both been caregivers themselves, augment their interviewees' stories with connective commentary and their own personal stories. A useful resource section is included to refer readers to associations and help-lines.


Biography of Author(s)

Lynda A. Markut is the clinical director at Family Alliance, Inc., a not-for-profit comprehensive social service agency in Woodstock, Illinois. She conducts several support groups and was the caregiver for her parents, who both had vascular dementia.
Anatole Crane, a retired microbiologist, co-facilitates a spouse dementia support group and is president of the board of directors of Family Alliance. For fifteen years, he was the caregiver for his wife, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Reviews

  • ...an excellent addition to the resources available for students, professionals and family members...
    --Kathryn Betts Adams, PhD, LISW, Families in Society
  • By drawing upon the words of caregivers who have walked the journey of dementia, the authors cast much needed light upon this long and winding road. Through the experience of caring for loved ones, these unsung heroes have made the path less difficult for others who will follow in their footsteps.
    --Daniel Kuhn, MSW, Director of Education, Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging
  • Markut and Crane have brought to light the stories of family members and friends who have cared for their loved ones suffering from dementia. These stories teach what is possible, and remind us that we are not alone - a wonderful and vital contribution to an aging society.
    --Jim May
  • This book is needed by every family member that has a relative suffering from any of the dementia causing diseases.
    --Diana Pederson, Metapsychology Online Reviews