Grief, Loss, Death & Dying
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
A Brief History of DeathA Commonsense Book of DeathA Message from JakieAfter SuicideAfter You'd GoneAfterwardsAliveAll Alone in the UniverseAll Rivers Flow to the SeaAll Seasons PassAnd a Time to DieAt the End of WordsBeing with DyingBequest and BetrayalBereftBeyond GoodbyeBeyond the Good DeathBodies in Motion and at RestCatalystComfortConfessions of a Grieving ChristianContemplative AgingCoping With TraumaCrispinDarwin's WormsDeathDeath and CompassionDeath BenefitsDeath in the ClassroomDeath Is That Man Taking NamesDeath of a ParentDeath's DoorDefining the Beginning and End of LifeDon't Go Where I Can't FollowDriving My FatherDying in the Twenty-First CenturyElegy for IrisErasing DeathEthical WillsEvenings at FiveFacing Death: Elisabeth Kubler-RossFatal AttachmentsFortress of My YouthGhost at the WindowGoing Through Hell Without Help From AboveGood GriefGoodbye RuneGraceful ExitsGrave MattersGrieving for ChildrenHealing ConversationsHello from Heaven!History of SuicideHonoring GriefHonoring the Dead and Facing DeathHow We GrieveI Remain in DarknessI Wasn't Ready to Say GoodbyeIn the Wake of SuicideIt Takes a Worried ManLayoverLearning to FallLiberating LossesLife after LossLiving and Dying WellLosing Mum and PupLossLost in the ForestLove Is a Mix TapeLove That DogMaking Sense of SuicideMars and Venus - Starting Over.Michael Rosen's Sad BookMortal DilemmasNight Falls FastNobody's Child AnymoreOlive's OceanOn Life After DeathOne Last Hug Before I GoOne More WednesdayParting CompanyPeaceful Death, Joyful RebirthR.I.P.Reason's GriefRemembering GeorgySaying It Out LoudSeeing the CrabShooterSome Thing BlackSpeak to MeStandbyStayStill HereSuicidal ThoughtsSurviving HitlerThe Art of LosingThe AwakeningThe Boy on the Green BicycleThe Cambridge Companion to Life and DeathThe Case of Terri SchiavoThe Color of AbsenceThe Dead Fathers ClubThe Death of a ChildThe DisappearanceThe End-of-Life HandbookThe Forgotten MournersThe Healing Journey Through GriefThe Loss of Self: A Family Resource for the Care of Alzheimer's Disease and Related DisordersThe Lovely BonesThe Measure of Our DaysThe Mercy PapersThe MiracleThe Modern Art of DyingThe Other Side of SadnessThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of DeathThe ScarThe TravelersThe Trick Is to Keep BreathingThe Truth About GriefThe UndertakingThe Way of TransitionThe Work of MourningTo Die WellTuesdays with MorrieUnderstanding GriefWakeWhat Dying People WantWhen Breath Becomes AirWitWrinklesYoung@Heart

Related Topics
The Loss of Self: A Family Resource for the Care of Alzheimer's Disease and Related DisordersReview - The Loss of Self: A Family Resource for the Care of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders
Revised and Updated Edition
by Donna Cohen and Carl Eisdorfer
W.W. Norton, 2001
Review by Diana Pederson
Nov 19th 2003 (Volume 7, Issue 47)

The diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease is one of the most devastating a family can receive about a family member. It ultimately means that unless some other problem kills the person sooner, eventually that person won't even know who his family members are. As Alzheimer's patients say, they lose their "self."

The book has an emphasis on family care giving. It states:

After the diagnosis is made, an individual may live five, ten, or fifteen years or more. These are long human years. Therefore, it is important to set realistic goals, involve appropriate family members to make plans together, find appropriate professional help, and prepare for the future and all the changes it will bring. If the patient and family as well as fictive kin and close friends are able to prepare themselves to deal with the future, there is time to live and love, despite the ravages of a progressive brain disease. [Page 23]

The authors provide fifteen fact filled chapters. The first 3 deal with "The Loss of Self", "The Diagnosis of Dementia" and "Reactions to the Diagnosis". The steps to diagnosing this disease are carefully outlined. Since there is no medical test that can diagnose this disease, the doctor must rule out other possibilities before coming up with this particular diagnosis. Unfortunately, it can take time and be frustrating for the family members trying to provide necessary care for the patient.

Chapter 4, "Setting Goals after the Diagnosis," provides 8 guidelines for coping with the future. These guidelines are (quoted from section titles):

  1. Find Competent and Compassionate Mental Health Professionals.
  2. Find a Confidant.
  3. Hold Regular Family Meetings to Discuss How the Patient is Functioning and Try to Anticipate Future Changes.
  4. Do Not Blame the Patient or Yourself When Things Go Wrong and Your Frustration Level is High.
  5. Try to Sustain or Develop a Sense of Humor.
  6. When You Talk with Your Relative, It Is Sometimes More Important to Listen and Observe Than to Speak.
  7. Honesty is the Only Basis for a Relationship with Your Relative.
  8. Just as Parents Provide Consistency, Love, Security, and a Sense of Order for Children, So Do Family Members Provide a Stable Emotional Environment for the Patient.

Following these guidelines will help the family survive this medical crisis. If they combine these guidelines with the suggested sixteen goals, both the patient and the family can continue to thrive in spite of the mental difficulties.

The remaining chapters talk about the drugs that may possibly help these patients and explains the pros and cons of such treatment. Then several chapters provide an indepth discussion of family care followed by chapters on nursing homes and their cost if that should prove necessary. The final chapter deals with death and dying, the ultimate end of all human beings.

Recommendation: This is a comprehensive book that should be on your shelf or at your fingertips if you have a family member with Alzheimer disease or one of the other dementia disorders. It suggests things you can do to help you be prepared to help with everything from bill paying to finding a nursing home.

 

2003 Diana Pederson


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7700 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716