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When Someone You Know Is Living in a Dementia Care Community: Words to Say and Things to Do

by Rachael Wonderlin Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 224 pages
AU$73.00 NZ$76.52
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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Life changes dramatically for the entire family when the decision is made to move a person who has dementia from home to community care. Rachael Wonderlin, a gerontologist, dementia care expert, and popular dementia care blogger, helps caregivers cope with the difficult behaviors, emotions, and anxieties that both they and their loved one may experience.

Writing from her own practice and drawing on the latest research in gerontology and dementia, Wonderlin explains the different kinds of dementia, details the wide range of care communities available for people who have dementia, and speaks empathetically to the worry and guilt many families feel. "Do not let anyone make you feel like you have taken the ‘easy way out’ by choosing a dementia care community," she writes. "You are still going to deal with a lot of challenging behaviors, concerns, and questions regarding your loved one’s care."

When Someone You Know Is Living in a Dementia Care Community is an accessible guide offering answers to such questions as:

· How do I choose a place for my loved one to live?· What can I find out by visiting a candidate memory-care community twice?· What do I do if my loved one asks about going home?· How can I improve the quality of my visits?· What is the best way to handle conflict between residents, or between the resident and staff?· How can I cope with my loved one’s sundowning?· What do I do if my loved one starts a romantic relationship with another resident?

An indispensable book for family members and friends of people with dementia, When Someone You Know is Living in a Dementia Care Community touches the heart while explaining how to make a difficult situation better.


Part 1: Basics of Dementia Care and Care Community Life1 What Is Long-Term Care?2 What Is Dementia?3 What Type of Dementia Is It, and Why Does It Matter?4 When It’s Time for a Dementia Care Community--and When It’s Not5 Caring for People Is an Imperfect Science

Part 2: Communicating with Someone Who Has Dementia6 Embrace Their Reality: When Loved Ones Are Confused7 Why Reorienting People Who Have Dementia Doesn’t Work8 Why Quizzing Isn’t Effective9 Become a Dementia Detective10 Car Keys, Cell Phones, and Wallets

Part 3: Living in a Care Community11 The Importance of Meaningful Activities 12 Baby Dolls, Artificial Pets, and the Importance of Environment13 A Quick Note about Visitation 14 Personal Preferences15 The Cost of Good Hygiene 16 Dropping Your Loved One off on Move-In Day17 Saying Goodbye for the Day

Part 4: Relationships and Dementia18 The Importance of Friendship for People Who Have Dementia19 Sex and Partnership in a Dementia Community20 Trouble with Other Residents21 Evening Agitation—How to Prevent and Cope with Sundowning 22 The Importance of Day Trips and Outings23 She Doesn’t Recognize Me

Part 5: Challenges and Changes in Advanced Dementia Care24 Why the Right Approach Makes All the Difference When It Comes to Aggression25 Hallucinations and Delusional Thinking26 Aphasia, Second Languages and Word Salads27 Dietary Changes28 Patience and Caregiver Stress29 Preserving Hope

NotesReferencesIndexAbout the Author

"A thorough, informative, and detailed discussion."

— Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, coauthor of The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss

Rachael Wonderlin holds an MS in gerontology from the University of North Carolina–Greensboro. The memory care director of Senior Services of America, she is the author of the blog Dementia By Day.