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What My Grandchildren Taught Me about Alzheimer's Disease

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How does a polar bear pooping on a rug turn into a lesson on Alzheimer’s behaviors of paranoia and hallucinations? Or a pregnant aunt turn into a lesson about long-term care decisions?

The innocent dialogue and anecdotes the author has recorded for years between her and her grandchildren serve as introductions---and lessons learned-- to managing the daily responsibilities in Alzheimer’s care. These poignant stories and insightful perspectives from the author serve as a fresh approach in understanding the disease. Thought-provoking, humorous, and endearing, the content in the chapters will have you experiencing the journey of Alzheimer’s disease in a most light-hearted and non-threatening way, so much so that you will hardly realize how much knowledge and skills you are acquiring along the way. From understanding the components of the disease, to discovering various ways to communicate, to coping with difficult behavioral expressions; from weaving through all the emotions experienced by the caregiver, to understanding person-centered care, to the importance of social engagement, and much, much more, this book is a vital and very handy resource for all those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

Published: Aug 1, 2022


Section Chapter Authors
Prelims
Acknowledgements Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Foreword
Foreword Jack York
Preface
Preface Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 1
A Year of Learning Everything; Years of Losing Everything Learned Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 2
“I Know EVERYTHING, NoNo!”: Getting Educated about the Alzheimer's Disease Journey Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 3
“It's Not A Hamburger Without a Bun”: Getting the Correct Alzheimer's Diagnosis Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 4
“I'm Pretty Good” - The Practice of Caregiving Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 5
“Is That a Horsie in Your Hand?”: Communication and Listening Skills Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 6
“LIAR, LIAR!”: When What They Say Hurts Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 7
“The Polar Bear Poops on the Rug”: Paranoia and Hallucinations Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 8
“You Gotta Sleep With Your Friend”: Alzheimer's Sleep, Sundowning and Wandering Patterns Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 9
“I Don’t Take a Bottle”: Agitation and Aggression & Person-centered Alzheimer's Care Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 10
“Let's Dance, YaYa!”: The Importance of Activities for Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 11
“It’s Their Business" - Dignity and Respect and the Dining Experience Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 12
And Then There's Collin's little sister, Brynn: The Decision for Long-Term Care Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 13
“You Should Be Spending More Time with Me”: Overcoming Guilt (and other emotions of caregiving) Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 14
“Needing a Little Something More”: Respite Care and Alzheimer's Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 15
“Did the Horses Do Something Wrong?”: Environment Matters in Alzheimer's Care Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 16
“God Never Prays Back” Spirituality: God IS "Praying back" with the Individual with Alzheimer's Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 17
“Mommy Will be Back!”: Necessary Attachments and Detaching Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 18
“It Doesn't Work That Way”: There’s a Fixer in all of us! Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 19
“There's More to Alabama than Football!”: Looking at the Person with Alzheimer's Disease Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 20
“After Everything I've Done for You...”: A thank-less job Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 21
“A Funeral is a Really Sad Party!”: The dual experiences of Alzheimer's disease and death Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 22
“THIS IS ME!” - The Greatest Showmen are Individuals & Caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s Disease Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 23
“You Gotta Use Your Brain!”: Reducing the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 24
“Life is Unfair!” - The Injustices of Alzheimer’s disease Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Chapter 25
“What's Next, Daddy?”: The Future of Alzheimer's disease Dana Olivia Dunn Territo
Epilogue
Epilogue Dana Olivia Dunn Territo

Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It reminded me of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series as well as those “what to expect when you’re expecting” novels for new parents, except the focus here is on people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
Fayron Epps, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, NHCGNE Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University

The author paints such beautiful personal stories and ties it all together so well with the concepts she is conveying. She knows the challenges of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver. It would be a beautiful resource to those tackling this difficult struggle. I can see it even being utilized as a companion resource for Alzheimer’s support groups.
Robert M. Brouillette, MS, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

[Dana] takes a complicated, detailed topic of Alzheimer’s, and humbly teaches us that through a more simplistic viewpoint profound lessons can be learned. Dana can make you laugh and she can make you cry, but above all she will prepare you to confront dementia head on, and you’ll be the better for it. Read on, and share what you discover.
From the Foreword by Jack York, President and Co-Founder, IN2L - “It’s Never Too Late"