• “Dad only drives to the grocery store.” • “A support group? I don’t need one.” • “My husband is not ready for day care.” • “Nursing home placement? Never!”
These and similar expressions of denial are often heard in families struggling with the difficult challenges of Alzheimer’s or dementia in a loved one. Denial may seem to be an acceptable coping mechanism when faced with a disease that has no cure. But in fact the failure to accept reality can work against the welfare of the person suffering from a disease that causes dementia, making a bad situation worse for the whole family. In this reassuring and very helpful handbook for families, experienced caregivers Evelyn D. McLay and Ellen P. Young suggest various behaviors, tools, and techniques for moving beyond denial. Real people who have faced the many problems brought about by Alzheimer’s speak out, with hope, from these pages. They share their journeys from denial to loving action and an improved attitude that helps them deal with their personal plights. Separate chapters address the issues of caregiver burnout, developing communication skills, challenging behaviors that “push your buttons,” when to remove driving privileges, day care for the elderly, deciding on long-term care, and the need for acceptance. Without minimizing the daunting challenges of Alzheimer’s and dementia, the authors stress the importance of remaining positive and appreciating the moment while acting in the best interests of loved ones.