Each year, more than 500,000 people are diagnosed with dementia in the United States. As stunning as that figure is, countless family members and caregivers are also affected by each diagnosis. Families are faced with the need to make vital end-of-life decisions about medical treatment, legal and financial matters, and living situations for those who no longer can; no one is prepared for this process. And many caregivers grapple with sadness, confusion, guilt, anger, and physical and mental exhaustion as dementia enters its final stage.
In Making Tough Decisions about End-of-Life Care in Dementia, Dr. Anne Kenny, a skilled palliative care physician, describes how to navigate the difficult journey of late-stage dementia with sensitivity, compassion, and common sense. Combining her personal experience caring for a mother with dementia with her medical expertise in both dementia and end-of-life care, Dr. Kenny helps the reader prepare for a family member’s death while managing their own emotional health.
Drawing on stories of families that Dr. Kenny has worked with to illustrate common issues, concerns, and situations that occurs in late-stage dementia, this book includes practical advice about
• making life-altering decisions while preparing for a loved one’s inevitable death
• medical care, pain, insomnia, medication, and eating
• caring for the caregiver
• having conversations about difficult topics with other family members and with health care, legal, and financial professionals
Concrete to-do lists and lists of important points provide information at a glance for busy caregivers. Each chapter concludes with a list of additional resources for more information and help. Making Tough Decisions about End-of-Life Care in Dementia is a lifeline, an invaluable guide to assist in the late stage of dementia.
Reviews and Endorsements:
"A safe and reliable guide for family members caring for loved ones with end-stage dementia."
— Laura Wayman, Dementia Whisperers, author of A Loving Approach to Dementia Care: Making Meaningful Connections with the Person Who Has Alzheimer's Disease or Other Dementia or Memory Loss
"This book offers the professional and personal perspective of an excellent physician—an opportunity to ask the expert, 'What would you do if it were your mother?'"
— Harvey Jay Cohen, MD, Duke University, coauthor of Practical Geriatric Oncology
"This book fills a critical gap for families in the throes of coping with the care of loved ones in the final stages of dementia."
— Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, The John A. Hartford Foundation, coauthor of Evidence-Based Geriatric Nursing Protocols for Best Practice
"This guide provides critical information on clinical needs and changes to help the caregiver cope, balanced with communication strategies for the emotional highs and lows that surround those involved. The book is a wonderful and much-needed contemporary resource."
— Richard W. Besdine, MD, Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research, Brown University
About the Author:
Anne Kenny, MD, is professor emerita at the University of Connecticut Health Center. She currently practices as a consulting physician.