Loving Someone Who Has DementiaHow to Find Hope while Coping with Stress and Grief
Research-based advice for people who care for someone with dementia Nearly half of U.S. citizens over the age of 85 are suffering from some kind of dementia and require care. Loving Someone Who Has Dementia is a new kind of caregiving book. It's not about the usual techniques, but about how to manage on-going stress and grief. The book is for caregivers, family members, friends, neighbors as well as educators and professionals—anyone touched by the epidemic of dementia. Dr. Boss helps caregivers find hope in "ambiguous loss"—having a loved one both here and not here, physically present but psychologically absent. Outlines seven guidelines to stay resilient while caring for someone who has dementia Discusses the meaning of relationships with individuals who are cognitively impaired and no longer as they used to be Offers approaches to understand and cope with the emotional strain of care-giving Boss's book builds on research and clinical experience, yet the material is presented as a conversation. She shows you a way to embrace rather than resist the ambiguity in your relationship with someone who has dementia.
Preface ix Acknowledgments xiii Introduction xv 1 The Ambiguous Loss of Dementia: How Absence and Presence Coexist 1 2 The Complications of Both Loss and Grief 21 3 Stress, Coping, and Resiliency 37 4 The Myth of Closure 55 5 The Psychological Family 71 6 Family Rituals, Celebrations, and Gatherings 91 7 Seven Guidelines for the Journey 109 8 Delicious Ambiguity 137 9 The Good-Enough Relationship 155 Conclusion 167 A Note to Caregivers About Working with Health Care Professionals 173 Resources 181 Notes 187 About the Author 215 Index 217
Pauline Boss, PhD, is emeritus professor at the University of Minnesota and was visiting professor at Harvard Medical School, 1995–1996, and Hunter School of Social Work, 2004–2005. She is best known for her groundbreaking research as the pioneer theorist and clinical practitioner of stress reduction for people whose loved ones are ambiguously lost.
Loving Someone Who Has Dementia is a much-needed guide that offers proven strategies for managing ongoing stress and grief. Dr. Pauline Boss outlines seven guidelines for staying resilient while caring for someone who has dementia and offers hope when experiencing "ambiguous loss"—having a loved one both here and not here, physically present but psychologically absent. Loving Someone Who Has Dementia is written for anyone touched by the epidemic of dementia: caregivers, family members, friends, neighbors, as well as educators and professionals. Written in easy-to-understand conversational language, this vital resource is based on solid research and years of clinical practice. Dr. Boss gives you the tools you need to embrace rather than resist the ambiguity in your relationship with someone who has dementia. Praise for Loving Someone Who Has Dementia "Pauline Boss's book is a revelation about how to live with a profoundly changed relationship that, despite dementia, remains a relationship. This groundbreaking therapist takes the struggling reader by the hand and offers new and very specific ways to find a path from helplessness and despair to peace and strength."—Francine Russo, author, They're Your Parents, Too! How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents' Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy "This book is a must for anyone suffering alongside a loved one with dementia. Dr. Boss writes with the wisdom of a scholar and the warmth of a family therapist."—Vern L. Bengtson, PhD, former president, The Gerontological Society of America "A gift to caregivers, in particular 'boomers' who find themselves in a role for which they are unprepared ? Intelligent and sensitive ? a fine contribution."—Gail Sheehy, best-selling author of Passages in Caregiving By the author of Ambiguous Loss
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