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Official Review: Alzheimer's & Dementia: Paths to...

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.

Official Review: Alzheimer's & Dementia: Paths to...

Post Number:#1 by CataclysmicKnight
» 11 Apr 2017, 15:09

[Following is an official review of "Alzheimer's & Dementia: Paths to Take" by Anne Elizaeth Nixon.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by CataclysmicKnight
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Dementia is a frightening disorder. Nothing scares me more than the thought of a loved one - or myself! - going through personality changes, losing memory and becoming unable to do things for myself. Unfortunately, according to Wikipedia it's something nearly 50 million people face today with nearly 8 million new cases per year. Alzheimer's is the leading cause, with up to 70% of cases of dementia stemming from it. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Paths to Take by Anne Elizabeth Nixon is a short nonfiction book that explores her husband's ongoing journey with the disorder.

Anne was married to Don for over 30 years. He was in great shape, never took pills and didn't have a bad knee or bad hip or anything of the sort. He was also a big Civil War buff, memorizing dates of battles far better than Anne ever did. However, none of that prevented Don from slowly succumbing to Alzheimer's. Anne mentions numerous signs that could have hinted that something was going on, but Alzheimer's isn't a sudden change, it results in a slow decline of memory and shift in personality. The most touching part of the book was when Anne once told Don "if you had acted like that when I first met you I wouldn't have been interested in getting to know you better." The changes people undergo are frightening!

In addition to revealing her own experiences, she gives some very solid tips along the way. The first, and perhaps most important, is the necessity to officially become power of attorney. This allows you to make decisions for your loved one, which is especially vital when they aren't able to make decisions for themselves! She briefly explains two ways to make it official, one of which anyone can easily do when it becomes a necessity. This isn't something one should take lightly, however, and as Spider-Man is told, "with great power comes great responsibility."

If your loved one shows unusual behavior, speak up. You will no doubt find yourself in difficult situations from time to time, but you owe your best to the one you care for.

Having power of attorney for medical decisions isn't the only time when decisions must be made, however. Anne points out some even more difficult ones, such as when it's time for a loved one to no longer drive or even not be allowed outside on their own. One extreme (but potentially necessary) tip she gives is tying a scarf (or something similar) to your own wrist and your loved one's wrist so that if they wake up in the middle of the night and try to wander off you'll know about it. Luckily this isn't something she had to deal with herself, but in her journey of seeking out advice and information it's something she discovered.

Overall, the book blended personal experiences with tips and guidance very well. I do wish there were more stories and specifics about things that Anne and Don faced together, because the ones presented were well-written and ranged from scary to touching. The tips were exceptional, however, and make the book an excellent starting point for anyone who has a loved one with dementia (Alzheimer's especially). I'd rate the book 3.5 stars if I could (I really wanted more personal stories!), but as I highly recommend the book I feel it deserves the full 4 out of 4 stars. Also, the final chapter that she added after writing the book does such a fantastic job of telling some really sweet stories and giving additional advice that it pushed it over the edge. I don't think the book has enough of a personal side to warrant purchase for those who are looking for a touching memorial book, but I can't recommend it enough for the advice!

Alzheimer's & Dementia: Paths to Take
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Re: Official Review: Alzheimer's & Dementia: Paths to...

Post Number:#2 by Donnavila Marie01
» 14 Apr 2017, 06:16

Alzheimer's patients push their loved ones to their limits. This illness is a tough one. I also recommend this book.
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Re: Official Review: Alzheimer's & Dementia: Paths to...

Post Number:#3 by Chrys Brobbey
» 16 Apr 2017, 14:32

A friend of mine laments about a brilliant professor who taught her in college, and she was close to. Now he's suffering from dementia, and does not even recognize her. Dementia takes a toll on even the creme in society, robbing us of much needed mental resource. This book, hopefully, will bring much more awareness and make the powers that be devote more money into research for a cure. Kudos for your review.
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Re: Official Review: Alzheimer's & Dementia: Paths to...

Post Number:#4 by judannewen19
» 24 Apr 2017, 11:20

There's a noontime show here in the Philippines, about a woman who had an Alzheimer. It made me cry upon seeing the woman losing her memory bit by bit and the first one who was forgotten was his favorite granchild on his graduation celebration. It made me cry. Really! Reading this book makes me want to be with my love ones closer.
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Re: Official Review: Alzheimer's & Dementia: Paths to...

Post Number:#5 by Miriam Molina
» 11 May 2017, 14:43

Thanks for the review. Reading it brought tears to my eyes as I remembered my mom and her last years.

My mother had dementia for eight years until she died last October. It was a stroke-induced dementia and came without a warning. Suddenly, my mom became a baby again and had to relearn even how to sit, stand and walk. She never did learn to communicate coherently again.

I wish I had read this book when she was still alive.
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