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Monday, October 8, 2007

Landmark Self-Help Book "Living With Progressive Memory Loss"

A new type of book about dementia is the self-help book "A Personal Guide to Living With Progressive Memory Loss" written by two gerontological nurses, Sandy Burgener and Prudence Twigg. Because this book is a self-help book, it's different from other books about memory loss. There is information to help people with memory loss regarding communication, self-esteem, and overcoming the stigma of memory loss.

The book is recommended by top experts including Linda L. Buettner, Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Alzheimer's Association Early Stage Task Force. Linda says this book is "a landmark self-help book that focuses on the needs of the person with the diagnosis."

It was also recommended by John Keady, Ph.D., RMN, Professor of Older People's Mental Health Nursing at The University of Manchester/Bolton and Trafford Mental Health NHS Trust, and Co-Editor of Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. He said this book "empowers people living with dementia, signposting hope, choice, and a life to be lived."

Stories of real people who have coped with the challenges of progressive memory loss are included in the book. Good and bad ways of coping are discussed and illustrated with examples. The experience of living with memory loss is described, and the authors recommend "staying active and engaged in society."

Caregivers experience the ways that progressive memory loss effects every part of a senior's life, including activities and relationships. It's interesting that once again the eldercare experts are recommending that people stay active and engaged in society. Becoming passive, withdrawing from people, and sharing fewer activities with others is something that caregivers see frequently with elderly seniors who have memory loss.

Enabling seniors with memory loss to participate in group activities at a senior center, senior day care, family activities, senior classes, and senior clubs can help them to stay active and connected socially.

Arts and crafts groups, bingo, healthcare classes, and clubs such as woodcarving are available at our local senior center. Many of the activities are fun for everyone, and having some memory loss will not interfere with participating.

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