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What If It's Not Alzheimer's? A Caregiver's Guide to Dementia

Edited by Lisa Radin and Gary Radin
Foreword by Murray Grossman, M.D., Ed.D
Published by Prometheus Books
Publication date: 2003
ISBN: 1591020875 (Soft cover)

Synopsis

Not all that long ago, dementia, or a deterioration of mental ability, was considered a natural part of aging, but with increased knowledge of Alzheimer's disease and improved diagnostic capabilities, any time an older individual misplaces car keys or forgets an appointment, family members are quick to conclude that their loved one is in the throes of Alzheimer's. Although today the public all too often associates dementia symptoms with Alzheimer's disease, the medical profession can now distinguish various types of "other" dementias that also undermine cognitive abilities, often with onset at a younger age. This book is the first comprehensive guide dealing with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), one of the largest groups of non-Alzheimer's dementias. The contributors to this book are either specialists in their fields or have exceptional hands-on experience with FTD sufferers.

Editors Lisa and Gary Radin divide their highly accessible reference work into four parts. Beginning with a discussion of the medical facts, part one defines and explores FTD as an illness distinct from Alzheimer's disease. Also considered are clinical and medical care issues and practices, as well as such topics as finding a medical team and rehabilitation interventions. The essays in part two focus on managing care and examine daily routines, including nutrition, exercise, socialization, adapting the home environment, and behavioral issues. Part three centers on caregiver resources, and the contributors identify professional and government assistance programs along with private resources and legal options. Finally, the chapters in part four stress the need for caregivers to take care of themselves as well as their loved ones with FTD. This much-needed resource work, the first of its kind, provides a wealth of real and practical information to both healthcare professionals and caregivers of someone suffering from frontotemporal dementia.

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