According to recent estimates, more than five million Americans suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's disease, a number predicted to grow as Baby Boomers continue to age. Although staggering, these statistics only tell half of the story. As caregivers are thrust into situations they never could have predicted, the emotional, physical, and financial strains are enormous and cannot be overestimated. As the number of dementia patients continues to increase, so will the number of caregivers searching for answers and advice. Creating Joy and Meaning for the Dementia Patient offers a positive and innovative approach to dementia care that focuses on the caregiver's power to create an atmosphere of joy and peace for both the patient and themselves, breathing fresh air into the topic of dementia care. As the disease progresses, the patient's world grows smaller and smaller. Time for them no longer consists of weeks, days, or even hours. Eventually their cognitive life is reduced to small increments of time, mere moments of memory. By understanding this and seeing the world through the eyes of a sufferer, the caregiver is better able to create an environment of mutual joy and contentment.
Based on ten years of caregiving experience, the techniques offered here honor the patient's individuality, interests, and previous accomplishments. This approach is fresh and inspirational, and recounts a personal journey, filled with relatable experiences that readers will find uplifting and brimming with hope. It teaches family members and other caregivers how to stay connected with their loved one for as long as possible. But most importantly, it honors the unique individual that still resides deep inside every dementia patient by offering techniques enabling them to continue to experience the simple joys of everyday life.
Epigraph Prologue: The Turning Point 1: Grabbing at Shadows 2: Acceptance 3: The Moment by Moment Technique 4: The Joy Continuum 5: A Positive Approach 6: Memories 7: Beauty 8: Creating Emotional Memories 9: Nature 10: The Five Senses 11: Mind Games 12: Communication 13: Dignity 14: Spirit 15: Emotional Security 16: Humor is the Best Medicine 17: The Caregiver 18: The Business of Dementia 19: Going Home Epilogue