The Whitworths of Arizona, bringing science to you in everyday language.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall Book Reviews

Time to do a few book reviews. Just click on the book cover for those that we recommend and you can go right to Amazon to order them. They are also available in the LBD Book Corner along with many other LBD-related books on our website. Please know that we receive a small fee for anything you order from Amazon via our blog or website. It all goes towards maintaining our work.

Confidence to Care: A Resource for Family Caregivers Providing Alzheimer's Disease or Other Dementias Care at Home by Molly Carpenter. $10.68. Published by Home Instead, this book is an example of that company has continually supported good caregiving and the family caregiver. It provides many suggestions for dealing dementia symptoms including behavioral ones like delusions. It’s one detraction is that it is short: 40 of the 160 pages were left blank to be used as a journal. While we consider journaling a necessity, we wouldn't recommend that you do it in another book! However, its price is also low, especially for a reference book. Also available in Kindle, but we don't recommend buying reference books in Kindle form. You want to write in the margins and use book mark tabs, etc. in a reference book!

Going Gentle Into That Good Night by Sandra Ross. Kindle, $6.99. Ross tells a heartfelt account of her journey, but we cannot recommend this book. 1) Poor editing detracts from the readability. 2) Where some books are too clinical, this one does not provide enough background information. 3) Worst of all, Ross sees respite for the caregiver “tantamount to abandonment.” We believe that without respite, caregivers can become irritable, ill and unsafe with their charges paying the price. We could overlook the first two but a recommendation against a basic caregiver need is not acceptable.

Fatal Tide (Book 3 of the East Salem Trilogy) by Lis Wiehl and Thomas Nelson. Kindle: $17.44, MP3 CD: $10.79, and Hardcover: $18.36. This is a suspense fiction with a complex plot involving angels and demons. The only reason we post it here is that one of the protagonists (Tommy) has a father (Arnie) with LBD. While LBD doesn’t play a large part in the story, the authors did excellent research and portrayed the symptoms well. Even it's Kindle price is high for a non-reference book, but the writing itself is quite good and if you like this kind of novel, it would be worth looking for in the library.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Parkinson's Disease Dementia: Patient, Family, and Clinician Working Together by J. Eric Ahlskog, $31.19. We had great hopes for this book but reviewers don’t support those hopes. They report that it is too clinical and lacks new information. Even more condemning, it advocates the use of drugs almost exclusively and does not give much space to non-drug solutions. With LBD, where drugs can be so damaging, this is enough to recommend against this book, especially considering the high price.

Making the Connection Between Brain and Behavior, Second Edition: Coping with Parkinson's Disease by Joseph Friedman. $15.38. Instead of the above book, we recommend this book that is half the price and provides better information. Although it is directed to the Parkinson’s community, anyone dealing with LBD can also profit from reading it. While Dr. Friedman comes from a movement perspective, he is also a member of the LBDA Scientific Advisory Council. Dr. Friedman adds enough explanations to help a person understand without getting overly clinical and boring. He addresses behavioral symptoms such as hallucinations, anxiety and much more in a compassionate way with many vignettes to help the reader relate.

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