By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember
A few weeks ago I received A Pocket Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver by Daniel C. Potts, M.D. and Ellen Woodward Potts. I finally had the opportunity to read this wonderful book.
These new care partners have so many questions.
There are many questions that care partners may be reluctant or embarrassed to ask. There may be questions about the future trajectory of the disease that are too difficult to ask. There may be financial questions that feel to selfish to ask.
Yet, these care partners desperately need answers.
In A Pocket Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver, the Dr. and Mrs. Potts provide answers to these questions, and they provide them in an organized, meaningful, kindly, and helpful manner.
The book is divided into 24 chapters, each explaining and giving advice for such common problems as wandering, paranoia, eating issues, sleep issues, bathroom issues, violence, and how to create a living space most conducive to the health and safety issues of an Alzheimer’s patient. Each of the 24 chapters is then summarized at the end.
The book is a manual that every care partner should have available. It is not something that just gets read once. It is a book that can be referred to over and over again, providing information in times of need.
In this helpful guide, Dr. and Mrs. Potts never stray from their conviction that the Alzheimer’s patient is NOT an empty shell who is no longer there.
Their advice is to
“begin training yourself to have an attitude of hope --- to learn to love and appreciate your loved one as he is in his ‘now’. This ‘now’ will be a moving target: he will have good days and bad days, and his overall condition will slowly decline. However, this person is still the one you love, and deep down, he still has gifts and talents and a life story and the ability to give and receive love and affection. Learn to look past loss and see opportunity – opportunity to experience life with you loved on in a different way.”
This book can help the care partner achieve an attitude of hope.