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

Friday, December 7, 2018

Responsive Dementia Care: Fewer Behaviors Fewer Drugs

Our new book, Responsive Dementia Care: Fewer Behaviors Fewer Drugs, is out, just in time for Christmas presents. We are excited about it because we believe that it will be as helpful for dementia care partners as our first book, A Caregivers Guide to Lewy Body Dementia has been. That's saying a lot because the Guide has become a best seller among Lewy body books. It is often recommended by LBD caregiver support group members.

Like the Guide, Responsive Dementia Care: Fewer Behaviors Fewer Drugs is based on careful research and filled with examples of personal experience. Because we know that our readers are likely to be stressed-out caregivers, we use large print. Although it is true that we write for care partners, we believe that professionals will also find the book useful. That's because while our goal is to present information in an easy-to-understand way, we do not forfeit accuracy.

Responsive Dementia Care: Fewer Behaviors Fewer Drugs addresses those difficult-to-manage dementia-related behaviors that show up in all dementias but tend to start early with LBD. This book explains why continuing to react in old, once effective ways not only doesn't work anymore but often makes things worse. It shows how responding by consciously choosing your attitude and actions can decrease these difficult behaviors...and increase the quality of life for everyone involved. It suggests that with a better understanding of how the brain works, attitudes of acceptance and empathy, and some easy-to-learn actions, you can make all the difference.

Dementia experts recommend trying "non-drug remedies" before using behavior management drugs. We certainly support that and the book includes many non-drug suggestions. However, these remedies usually only work if you can connect with the person expressing the behaviors. When they are upset, this can seem like an impossible task. That's when the information in Responsive Dementia Care is most helpful.

With a better understanding of how the brain works, along with use of acceptance, empathy and more effective communication skills, you can often get past their blocks and connect. With both of you on the same page, you will find it much easier to defuse the negative feelings and in turn, decrease the behaviors. Nothing is going to work all the time, but care partners who've tried the suggestions in this book assure us that they work often enough to be worth the effort.

You can find Responsive Dementia Care: Fewer Behaviors Fewer Drugs on Amazon. It is also available on In fact, if you hurry, you can get a special "Review" copy for a reduced price. Once you've read the book, we welcome your comments.

For more information about Lewy body disorders, read our books: A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia
Responsive Dementia Care Fewer Behaviors Fewer Drugs

Helen and James Whitworth are not doctors, lawyers or social workers. As informed caregivers, they share the information here for educational purposes only. It should never be used instead of a professional's advice.

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