7 months ago · Leah Fogt · 0 comments
You know how they say children don’t come with an instruction manual? The same this is true for diagnosis of Alzheimers or Dementia. However, this book comes pretty close!
With the Baby Boomer generation officially entering the Senior Citizen category, many in younger generations are finding themselves navigating the murky waters of caregiving. Understanding a diagnosis and disease progress is the first step, but the very nature of Alzheimer’s and Dementia is progressive, meaning caregivers are constantly in a state of monitoring and adjusting as changes occur. “The 36 Hour Day” has been called by many “The Caregiver’s Bible” as it goes beyond understanding the disease and its progression and treatment. It explores the impact the disease has on the family unit, strategies for caregiver respite and support, making difficult decisions (e.g. when Mom or Dad should no longer be driving), treatment options, and caregiver self-care
While this book is fairly comprehensive and widely recognized a go-to resource for caregivers, I do not recommend reading this book cover-to-cover. Especially for those who are new to caregiving, the multitude of topics and problems addressed in the book can be overwhelming or even a little scary. I advise using this book more as a reference, using the sections that apply to you, your loved one, and your family at the time, to avoid catastrophizing or excessive worry. Don’t get ahead of yourself!
There are many additions to this book since it’s original publication in 1981. The book has grown and evolved over the years, as our knowledge of Alzheimer’s and Dementia has also grown and evolved. I recommend the more recent editions for the most up-to-date information and resources. The 6th Edition was published in 2017. Below you can hear one of the authors, Dr. Peter Rabins talk about the latest edition.
I give this book an A.
It’s comprehensive, honest, and compassionate. Be prepared that reading it may stir up some strong emotions, however you will come away from reading informed, equipped, and self-aware.
Mace, N. L., & Rabins, P. V. (2011). The 36-hour day: A family guide to caring for persons with alzheimer disease, related dementing illnesses, and memory loss in later life. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Categories: Book Review