Sunday, June 19, 2011

The 36-Hour Day, 4th edition (PDF)

"It has been estimated that five percent of older people suffer from severe intellectual impairment. So these two eloquent and readable guides will be much in demand as the number of families facing the challenge of caring for a relative with some form of dementing illness continues to grow. First published in 1981, The 36-Hour Day follows the format of the previous two editions but has been thoroughly updated to incorporate new information on the latest research, several drugs that hold promise, and genetic aspects of Alzheimer's. The heart of the guide remains unchanged, focusing on helping families cope with this progressive and irreversible disease. Besides tips on how to care for the demented during the various stages of the disease (for example, place a picture of a toilet on the bathroom door), the text discusses the different kinds of help available and how to seek it. Financial and legal issues are well covered, while sections on nursing homes and other alternative living arrangements provide advice and practical suggestions. Appendixes list recent books, videos, web sites, and U.S. and international organizations. The thrust of GentlecareR is a well-argued plea for a radical change in the way we care for Alzheimer's patients. In outlining her program, Jones states that this rethinking involves people, physical space, and individualized programs. Everyone in the physical plant, from maintenance worker to director, belongs to the care-giving team, as do family members and volunteers. Only when impaired persons can no longer perform for themselves a task like feeding themselves or dressing should it be done for them. Care should concentrate on what can be done, not what cannot. Because her emphasis is on the need for a comprehensive program of care and concentrates more on the institutional setting, Jones does not provide as many practical suggestions or the depth of advice for home care that Mace and Rabins do. Rather, her book describes how facilities can be designed and staffs trained to optimize the quality of life for patients. Both titles are highly recommended: Rabins and Mace for the practical help and advice, Jones for her eloquent presentation of a comprehensive program that treats patients with dignity."


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