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A Personal Guide to Living with Progressive Memory Loss


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Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. What Progressive Memory Loss Means to You: Claiming the Diagnosis. 2. Maintaining Personhood. 3. Maintaining Important Roles in Your Life. 4. Understanding the Stigma of Progressive Memory Loss: Managing Your Responses to the Behaviors of Others. 5. Communicating with Others. 6. Staying Active and Functional. 7. Staying Physically Healthy: Managing Physical Illnesses, Medications, and Self-Care Needs. 8. Staying Mentally Healthy: Managing Memory Loss and Impaired Thinking. 9. Finding Hope. References. Bibliography. Index.

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Practical guidance for coping with progressive memory loss, including examples from real people who have faced similar challenges

About the Author

Sandy Burgener, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at University of Illinois College of Nursing and a certified Gerontological Nurse Practitioner with a clinical and research focus on increasing quality of life for persons with progressive memory loss or dementia. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Gerontological Society of America Prudence Twigg, Ph.D., is a Visiting Lecturer at Indiana University School of Nursing.


This book provides practical guidance for coping with progressive memory loss and includes examples of real people who have faced such challenges. These stories highlight both good and bad ways to deal with the problems that arise and are also useful for describing the experiences of memory loss to friends and family. The authors suggest ways of maintaining physical and mental health by staying active and engaged in society. They also offer techniques for improving, communication, preserving self-esteem and overcoming the stigma associated with memory loss.
*Human Givens*

This book presents us all with a challenge to see that we have a real part to play in helping dementia suffers maximize the quality of their lives. They emphasise this in commending hope. "Hope lets you continue to celebrate who you are as a person. Hope is worth striving for and keeping in your life". Amen to that, I warmly commend this book which can enlarge our understanding and encourage us in our care of all who suffer from Progressive Memory Loss.
*Plus Magazine (Christian Council on Ageing)*

The information is concise and easy to read with the use of individual experiences from support groups to help others in similar situations. It enables people to understand the process of loss that occurs and how an individual can remain in control of their lives, with support, for as long as possible. Not only does this help sufferers, but also those who care for them, to understand the experience from the perspective of the person with the diagnosis. Maintaining the individual's personhood requires not stepping in early to take away roles too quickly. By reading this book, you are able to get a sense of a positive outlook on what could be such a negative experience; it is quite uplifting. It is not end but just the beginning of a new and very different chapter in the lives of that person, their family and friends.

The book speaks to people diagnosed with diseases that cause progressive memory loss, a resource guide to help them to manage the disease and consider different treatments... The core of this manual are the four chapters on staying active and functional, staying physically healthy, staying mentally healthy and, most importantly, finding hope. The chapters include constructive discussions about medication and non-medical treatment and meeting self-care needs. The emphasis is on normal living. Utilising social support and emphasizing the health benefits of non-medication treatments. Checklists, non-sentimental illustrations and a comprehensive bibliography complement this excellent text. Strongly recommended.
*London Centre for Dementia Care*

This book empowers people living with dementia, signposting hope, choice and a life to be lived. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
*John Keady PhD RMN, Professor of Older People's Mental Health Nursing The University of Manchester/Bolton, Salford and Trafford Mental Health NHS Trust and Co-Editor of Dementia: the International Journal of Social Research and Practice*

Expert gerontological nurses Burgener and Twigg have collaborated to produce a uniquely-focused, incredibly informative and thoughtful book to assist persons primarily in the early stages of dementia better adjust to and manage their disease. Although the contents are clinically and empirically based, the book is highly readable and practical, and provides broad-based treatment options and hope to newly diagnosed persons with dementia and those who love and care for them.
*Kathleen C. Buckwalter, PhD, RN, FAAN, Sally Mathis Hartwig Professor of Gerontological Nursing and Research Director of The University of Iowa John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence*

A Personal Guide to Living with Progressive Memory Loss serves as a commitment to inclusive education and is a landmark self-help book that focuses on the needs of the person with the diagnosis. It expands what is currently offered to people with memory loss in a sensitive and contemporary way. A must have for every memory clinic and health and human service agency.
*Linda L. Buettner, Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Alzheimer's Association Early Stage Task Force*

This book is rare, if not unique, in that its stated audience is people diagnosed with diseases that caure progressive memory loss and difficulty with thinking.

In the developing culture of wellbeing and recovery for older with mental health needs this text clearly gives examples of how people with progressive memory loss can take control (with or without the assistance of those around them) to shape their own lives. For this alone I would recommend this book.
*Older People and Occupational Therapy*

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