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Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease Paperback – September 8, 2004


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Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease + The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss + Creating Moments of Joy for the Person with Alzheimer's or Dementia: A Journal for Caregivers, Fourth Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (September 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618485171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618485178
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fine addition to Alzheimer's and caregiving collections." ---Library Journal Starred Review --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Joanne Koenig Coste, a nationally recognized expert and an outspoken advocate for patient and family care, is a board member of the American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Currently in private practice as an Alzheimer's family therapist, Koenig Coste also serves as president of Alzheimer's Consulting Associates. She lectures around the country and is the recipient of a National Award for Health Heroes from Reader's Digest. She was named a "Woman to Watch in the 21st Century" by NBC Nightly News

Customer Reviews

Book is very informative.
Olive Nichols
I would recommend this book to anyone dealing with a loved one with Alzheimers or dementia.
Donna G.
This book is very helpful for caregivers for someone with Alzheimer's disease.
anne ahland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

176 of 177 people found the following review helpful By texellence on December 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you are experiencing this disease with a loved one, then you know the loneliness and frustration of trying to be all the person you care for needs. My sister bought this book, read it overnight, highlighted and post-it tabbed the most important parts, mailed it to me priority mail, and i have used it at night as a touchstone for salvation. It is indeed a bible for HOW to treat your loved one. I use it to get what I need to know in terms of sensitivity to what my cared for relative needs. I would be lost without it...it will help keep you on a path of the right relationship with your loved one that you will want to live up to. I promise you ,read it, highlight it, and you will not ever look back and regret anything you did, if you follow its advice. A true gift.
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105 of 105 people found the following review helpful By gilly8 on August 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very readable book written by the wife of a man who developed Alzheimer's disease at a young age, when their children ranged from infancy to age 12. She taught herself to cope with his condition, and now lectures and advocates for the patients, the caretakers of the patients, and their families. The book is strong on the day to day care of the demented patients, how to help them stay engaged with the world, how to help them retain speech and their remaining abilities as long as possible. She sees them as people for as long as they live, and wants their families, caretakers and society to see them that way too. It is very strong in its compassion and loving good heartedness, and in seeing these demented, often paranoid, confused, sometimes combative persons as the person he or she once was, not as they seem to be now.
She brings up excellent points: that no longer do experts try to bring the disoriented or confused person "back to reality", for example, if a patient thinks her father who died in 1950 visited her don't argue or try to "re-orient" her on this subject. It is not worth upsetting the person, has no long term value, and needlessly confuses and worries the person. The same with combative behavior, in most cases a change in subject, or distraction, rather than physical over powering or medical sedation is better,more kind and gentle, and keeping a log of what triggers such behavior can defuse it in the future.
This book does have some problems for me, as a caretaker for a parent with early dementia. The author seems to assume the caretaker has no other job, or life for that matter, and that there are others to pitch in and help with the caretaking chores, and funds to hire helpers.
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63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Bae Hyun on November 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I think it's incredibly rare these days to encounter someone whose life hasn't been affected by Alzheimer's in one way or the other. I know that my father dealt with the disease before his death in 2010, and my mother and I were his primary caretakers. The experiences we had were difficult and you never really realize how the disease affects you until someone close to you incurs it. This book takes a very sensitive and knowledgeable approach to the subject of Alzheimer's patients and caretakers and their families. I read it during the course of my father's illness, and I recently revisited it, and many of the ideas and tips still ring true to this day. I applied many of the precepts that Joanne Koenig Coste delves into in the book, and, although dealing with Alzheimer's is never easy, she certainly made it easier.

My experience with my father's illness led me into a depression. I recently found a book called 21 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy. Let me state that this is not a book about Alzheimer's, but I think it's something that can help caretakers better manage their feelings of shame, guilt, and sadness during their process. I have applied many of the tips and pieces of advice to my own life. You never really how transformative giving things up can be until you try it. Of course, the book doesn't advocate giving up all your material possessions. Instead, it focuses largely on mental processes that you should give up. For instance, complaining or making excuses will get you nowhere. While venting has its purposes, it doesn't help for you take on a "woe is me" mindset.
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83 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Kuhn on November 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Those new to Alzheimer's disease will find this book to be a helpful guide. Even those who are familar with caring for someone with the disease will find nuggets of wisdom in the middle section, "The Five Tenets of Habilitation." It is here where Joanne Koenig Coste is at her best in describing how to preserve the personhood of those with dementia. This section alone makes the entire book worthwhile. It's about time Joanne put her thoughts into a book--she has been helping people navigate their way through the choppy waters of Alzheimer's for over 20 years!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By D. L. Macduff on June 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
As many other reviewers have noted this book seems to be the most aware of the realities of the lives of caregivers.

I am an only child. My mother passed away in 1998 and my father has been slowly spiraling down alzheimer's since then to the point where he requires 24-hr-care.

May other books assume a family perspective and are not sensitive to those who find themselves to be the sole caregiver.
I have also been helping my father through this since my early 20s and many other books are also not sensitive to the fact that those who are not of the boomer or "sandwich generation" may still find themselves in the role of caregiver.

This book offered actual strategies I was able to use to improve communication with my father. It also is the only book of the many Alzheimer's books I have read that made me feel better, not worse, after reading it.
My copy is so creased and dog-eared after about 4 years of use that I may need a new one soon!

I wish love and strength and energy to all those who find themselves seeking this book.
If you are seeking for someone else, please get them this book.
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More About the Author

Joanne Koenig Coste, a nationally recognized expert and an outspoken advocate for patient and family care, is a board member of the American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Currently in private practice as an Alzheimer's family therapist, Koenig Coste also serves as president of Alzheimer's Consulting Associates. She lectures around the country and is the recipient of a National Award for Health Heroes from Reader's Digest. She was named a "Woman to Watch in the 21st Century" by NBC Nightly News.

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Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease
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