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Day In Day Out Alzheimers
by Karen Lyman
Temple University Press, 1993
Cloth: 978-1-56639-097-2 | Paper: 978-1-56639-098-9
Library of Congress Classification RC523.L85 1993
Dewey Decimal Classification 362.198976831

" insightful and constructive view of persons with dementia and their caregivers."

--Carroll L. Estes, Institute for Health & Aging, University of California, San Francisco

Stress for care providers and distress for clients with varying degrees of dementia--these are the dynamics Karen A. Lyman discovered in her study of eight Alzheimer's day care centers in California. Speaking as an advocate for both day care providers and people with Alzheimer's disease, the author presents a model of "what works" in Alzheimer's care.

Many strategies developed by caregivers are self-defeating, Lyman found. Drawing on personal reflections, interviews, and anecdotes, she demonstrates how caregivers' struggle to maintain order through often unnecessary control contributed to patients' increased sense of self-doubt, anxiety, and incompetence. Negative expectations by caregivers brought on depression and rapid intellectual decline in patients, a "sense of hopelessness" that has been called "therapeutic nihilism."

Lyman identifies unsupportive institutional policies, restrictive environments, and poorly organized programs as chronic sources of stress. The alternatives she offers meet caregivers' needs and permit clients a degree of self-determination and identity. Her model for care will be of great interest to gerontological professionals, policy makers, and family members dealing with victims of Alzheimer's disease.

"[A]n insightful, comprehensive analysis of the unique reciprocal relationship between people with Alzheimer's disease and people who care for them. The author's compassionate concern emphasizes the need for innovative methods of care which alleviate stress for the care-giver and distress for the important book for policy makers, health care administrators, medical and nursing students, and all others who care."

--Maggie Kuhn, Founder and National Convener of the Gray Panthers

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