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Thoughtful Dementia Care™: Understanding the Dementia Experience

In this book (published April, 2012) the author has expanded and deepened the original paper. Written in plain language, Thoughtful Dementia Care™: Understanding the Dementia Experience explains the changes in memory and other cognitive functions, and how these changes alter the way people, who have Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases causing dementia, understand the world around them.

The aim of this book is to help family members and others caring for people with dementia to understand their world. With this understanding, families have been able to anticipate situations which people with dementia will find upsetting, and thoughtfully, help them develop and maintain a sense of security and calm.

Thoughtful Dementia Care™: Understanding the Dementia Experience is available as an ebook at Amazon and Smashwords (who distribute to Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Scribid and ten other distributors).

In print, Thoughtful Dementia Care™ can be ordered online from Amazon as a paperback, or if you prefer to order by telephone, Wordsworth Books (519-884 2665 or 888-241-7546; 96 King St. South, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) will do mail orders. (The difference in price of the sources for the paperback is due to different printing costs.)

Readers’ Comments on Thoughtful Dementia Care™: Understanding the Dementia Experience

This book gave me something to hold onto – I don’t feel like I am in a rudderless boat with no control.

I found this book to be a 5 star resource as I navigate the dementia path with my husband. Each section has valuable information that is affirming, insightful and seems to be written for my situation. I have read and reread each section, highlighting and tabbing throughout the book so I can locate passages easily. It explains so many behaviors I didn’t understand and gives practical ideas for avoiding problems. It is easy to read, gives lots of thoughtful information without too much medical terminology. This is definitely the most useful resource on dementia that I have read. Many thanks to the author!

This book is very easy to read and understand. I bought several copies to pass around to our family members. My mother-in-law is suffering with dementia and this book helped us to understand how to respond to her and how to understand our feelings about the situation as well as what she may be feeling. I would recommend this book to anyone who is giving care to someone with dementia.

Best book on the subject I’ve found so far. The 36-Hour Day was recommended by the geriatric psychiatrist and it has some advantage in that it covers more topics. But Thoughtful Dementia CareTM does a better job of explaining the nature of dementia and a better job of guiding the approach to care. Everyone who has had a loved one diagnosed with dementia should read this book as soon as possible. It is a relatively short read and well worth your time.

 “Thoughtful Dementia CareTM” is a must read, an excellent read and an easy read. This book has a wonderful way of explaining what it is like to travel this journey through dementia. (1) as the person dealing with dementia and (2) for the person who has taken on the role as the caregiver. I only wish that this book had been available for me, while I was taking care of my husband who suffered from early onset Alzheimer’s. The personal stories in this book, gives us all great insight into living life with dementia. Its challenges, its heart aches and on occasion it’s sense humour. Most of all, I feel the one thing Jennifer has done so well, is pull together the education and the experience, to help one cope to the best of their ability. Lastly, this book is written with such compassion and understanding that one does not have to feel that they are on this path all alone.

I have read this book twice; I will continue to reference it, recommend it and use it when I am training staff who deal with residents of long term care homes who suffer from dementia. The primary purpose of my work is to prevent elder abuse. The ideas and advice offered in this book have enabled me to provide numerous examples for helping staff to “get into the heads” of dementia patients. When staff learn how to do that – many of the issues creating conflict are resolvable. If every care provider read and used this book, I believe it would go far to preventing elder abuse.

I work in health care, and specifically in dementia care. I’m always looking for a way to better understand and relate to people with dementia and found the insights in this book very helpful to illustrate and explain to other care givers and family members what might be causing some of the behaviors seen in our residents. I’ve referenced this book several times to other people, and haven’t even finished reading and studying it myself, yet.

As I read this book it is giving me some insight as to just how dementia effects our loved ones. I am dealing with how my reactions to various situations has caused problems in my household. If nothing else, it is opening my eyes as a care giver to search for ways to not force my way of thinking on my significant other who just isn’t in my reality. It is a tough call and I do so want to keep him home and not place him in a care facility.

It Isn’t Common Sense: Interacting With People Who Have Memory Loss Due to Dementia

The initial step for carers of people who want to give Thoughtful Dementia CareTM, is to accept that there are real changes taking place inside the brain of the person who has been diagnosed with a disease causing dementia. These changes cannot be seen by looking at the person.

Many people have said that their first true acceptance of the fact that the dementia was real, was when they saw pictures of the changes that take place in the brain as dementia progresses. This book leads the reader to explanatory illustrations and descriptions by providing carefully designed on-line search terms embedded in a brief, easily understood orientation to the causes and effects of dementia.

The next step in developing the ability to give Thoughtful Dementia CareTM is to develop a simple understanding of the different memory processes we all have, and what happens when one or more of those processes is no longer available to a person.

In this book, the changes that happen to memory processes are described. Self-reflective exercises are provided, in order to help the reader interact with the information provided to them. These exercises will also help the reader build and expand their empathetic understanding of the emotional context within which the person with dementia dwells, and to practise that new understanding.

The reader is guided through imaginary everyday situations that a person with dementia might experience so that they are able to understand the emotions that the person with dementia might feel when they have difficulty in those situations. Fundamental helpful interaction patterns are also explained. Exercises provided in this book could be used in group or classroom discussion.

As a result of their changing understanding of the world around them, people with memory loss due to dementia may develop persistent high anxiety. Having someone with them who is trying to understand the source of their anxiety and help them navigate through their day is very helpful.

When carers learn how to interact with the person with dementia to keep them feeling secure and calm, both they and the people with dementia benefit.

It Isn’t Common Sense: Interacting With People Who Have Memory Loss Due to Dementia is available on Amazon.com. Purchasers who wish to use the exercises in a group may make only as many copies of the exercises as there are group members.

Available on Amazon

Anticipating Death: The Experience of Anticipating Death of Self in Healthy Later Life

The book, Anticipating Death, describes and analyzes interviews with eight healthy older adults about their thoughts when anticipating their own future death. There are extensive quotations from the interviews in the section entitled ‘Findings,’ which will be of interest to many readers. The book was written and published as a thesis for the degree of Master of Science in Nursing in 1996 by the author. This ebook is identical to the original book, with the exception of placing the ‘Findings’ section at the beginning, as it will be of most interest to readers. The methodology used for the study was phenomenology. The interviews were taped, transcribed and analyzed according to the methodology, as described in the book. During the course of the analysis, the author found that the participants were engaging in two mental processes, ‘creating readiness’ and ‘achieving purpose.’ These processes of thought were taking place across five ‘spheres of being,’ or perspectives: ‘internal being,’ ‘existence in the world as a solitary being,’ ‘relationships with other individuals,’ ‘existence in the world as a part of humankind,’ and ‘existence after death.’ Previous related research in the literature prior to the initial publication is described.

Available on Smashwords