After doctors diagnosed June Fuerst with early onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD), her husband attended lectures and
read every available book and article on the subject. He followed most advice and found what worked, and what did not. He
kept daily notes. As the disease progressed, he found himself in uncharted territory and relied on his own creativity and
a process of trial and error. He realized that some of the information he needed was not available from any source.
In June 2006, the Alzheimer’s Association confirmed his realization. They focused attention on the early onset of
AD to a Congressional task force. Their report said, "When they occur in people under age 65, the conditions [dementia] cause
additional and unique problems because they are so unexpected and because most of the potentially helpful programs and services
are designed for and targeted to older people." They went on to cover six major problems confronted by people with early onset
dementia and their families. The sixth problem was especially significant. "Doctors and other providers may not know how to
treat, provide care for, or communicate with people with early onset dementia. Training to address this problem is not generally
available, and much of the information that would be needed as a basis for such training does not exist."
This book supplies much of that information. It contains practical solutions to the six problems stated by the Alzheimer’s
Association and all of the other challenges faced by those caring for a family member. Its completeness reflects the
author’s first hand experience of seventeen years. It discusses many helpful products and resources. It presents ways
of solving problems of behavior, communications, prescription drugs, emotions, mobility, personal care, and safety. Its tailored
advice includes solutions to problems that can arise when dealing with finances, dentists, doctors, lawyers, and part-time
caregivers. These solutions are effective, simple, inexpensive, clear and concise. Alphabetical topics within chapters make
reference easy. Universal solutions will also help with other incapacitating illnesses. Organizations could use it as a basis
for training, and caregivers can now get the help they need.
This book omits information that is readily available. For example, in the first chapter, the definition of and the justification
for negative emotions gives way to the resolution of this behavior. Likewise, voluminous and rapidly obsolete research data
is missing, but the reader learns how to get the most current data. Thus, the solutions that are included pick up where others
leave off. These solutions show how to care for suffering family members while maintaining their dignity. They also tell how
to protect a caregiver’s own health.