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

4.7 out of 5 stars 262 customer reviews

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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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (September 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1864710632
  • ISBN-13: 978-1864710632
  • ASIN: 0618485171
  • 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 (262 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
No where else can one find such an eloquent and simplistic approach to such a devastating disease. Families, cargivers, health care professionals and anyone "dealing with the disease" will wear the pages down finding a plethora of anectodes and approaches based on years of Koenig Coste's philosophy and experience with Alzheimer's patients and their families. Bravo, Joanne for opening up this marvelous new world to all of us!
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By A Customer on October 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I ran out and bought this book after hearing the author on NPR's Talk of the Nation last week. I have a family member who was recently diagnosed with early Alzheimer's and have been very scared about it. This book, though, makes me feel that there is something I can do to keep my aunt in my life for as long as possible. The author's simple tips and ideas for continuing to relate to patients are great, and I know this will help a lot in the coming months for our family. This is the only book I've seen that gives me real hope.
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