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6 Must-Read Alzheimer's Books

No matter the amount of time spent studying medicine and learning about different conditions, it can sometimes be difficult for healthcare professionals to truly understand their patients. This is especially true for patients suffering from mental deficiencies as a result of their ailments, such as those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease face unique issues with their memories that can be tough to empathize with for many family members and caregivers, according to Aging Care. Sometimes firsthand accounts and books can provide a special look into the minds of these patients.

These are five great books for nurses caring for Alzheimer’s disease patients:

1. Mayo Clinic Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease: The Essential Resource for Treatment, Coping and Caregiving

Compiled by Ronald Peterson for the world-renowned care facility, this book offers explanations for the ways in which Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect patients’ brains in plain terms that can be understood by a wide audience. The definitive list of signs, symptoms, diagnoses and potential treatment options provides a handbook for nurses who are the primary caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. Whether a facility specialist or an at-home nurse, this book provides actionable plans and tips for behavior management, safety and medication administration.

2. The Alzheimer’s Action Plan: The Experts’ Guide to the Best Diagnosis and Treatment for Memory Problems

Co-written by a physician, P. Murali Doraiswamy, and a social worker, Lisa Gwyther, this book provides both a medical and an interpersonal look at the advancement and care of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Nurses can refer to this work for diagnosis and treatment information as well as tips for coping strategies and daily life. The book is an action plan, as indicated in the title, outlining methods for gaining access to clinical trials, dealing with the effects of the disease and finding the most effective medical treatments and behavioral strategies.

3. The Forgetting: Alzheimer’s: Portrait of an Epidemic

From the point of view of journalist and frequent NPR commentator David Shenk, this book explores the ongoing history of Alzheimer’s disease from its discovery to the present-day understanding. Tracing the lineage of the condition in this manner is necessary for nurses to fully understand how much and yet how little is known about Alzheimer’s today. The research, analysis and storytelling style of the book provides a more detailed explanation of the continuing evolution of the disease that nurses should not miss.

4. Understanding Difficult Behaviors: Some Practical Suggestions for Coping with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Illnesses

Authors Anne Robinson, Beth Spencer and Laurie White explore the practical steps necessary for those afflicted by Alzheimer’s and those affected by their proximity to understand new behaviors and take practical steps to create a more useful daily routine. Nurses who learn to appropriately communicate and cope with difficult behaviors will be much more successful in dealing with their Alzheimer’s patients who may be confused and contrary.

5. Inside Alzheimer’s: How to Hear and Honor Connections with a Person Who has Dementia

Intended for caregivers, although not specifically nurses, this book, written by Nancy Pearce, stresses the importance of creating special connections with their Alzheimer’s patients who may be feeling many different emotions as they begin to lose control of their memories. Forming thoughtful networks with the patients and fostering relationships between the patients leads to a more supportive community of care for everyone, including nurses. Having a community prevents patients and caregivers from feeling isolated or overwhelmed and no longer in control of the situation.