Saturday, June 28, 2008

Book Review: The 36-Hour Day

When we placed our mother in a nursing home, a friend of mine gave me a book that turned out to be the best resource I have yet seen. My friend was the Director of Nursing at that home and a friend from church.

The book was The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life, by Nancy L. Mace, M.A., and Peter V. Rabins, M.D., M.P.H.

The content turned out to be timely and exactly what my family needed as we made decisions that would affect Mom’s care. As difficult as it was to leave her at the nursing home, we knew we had her best interests at heart.

The 36-Hour Day turned out to be a goldmine of information beginning with a clear and detailed explanation of dementia to recent research outcomes and recommended reference tools for further study.

Chapters include discussion regarding medical and behavioral problems, obtaining outside help, caring for the caregiver, and locating nursing homes and other outside help. The thorough index listing was easy to use and additional information given regarding related national organizations and nursing home residents’ rights.

This book answered every question we had and was a great source of comfort to all of us as we traveled through the maze of choices and decisions necessary in the last years of Mom’s life.

I strongly recommend The 36-Hour Day to anyone whose family member shows signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia. It will be an invaluable resource to guide one through the difficulty of caring for someone with this devastating disease.

Do you have a favorite book or article that has helped you with elder care? How about an inspirational book, article or poem? Feel free to share in the comment section.

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