Feb 132018


Alzheimer’s is swiftly on the rise: it is estimated that every 67 seconds, someone develops the disease. For many, the words “Alzheimer’s disease” or “dementia” immediately denote severe mental loss and, perhaps, madness. Indeed, the vast majority of media coverage of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other types of dementia focuses primarily on the losses experienced by people diagnosed and the terrible burden felt by care partners yearning for a “magic bullet” drug cure.

Providing an accessible, question-and-answer-format primer on what touches so many lives, and yet so few of us understand, Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia: What Everyone Needs to Know® contributes what is urgently missing from public knowledge: unsparing investigation of their causes and manifestations, and focus on the strengths possessed by people diagnosed. Steven R. Sabat mines a large body of research to convey the genetic and biological aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, its clinical history, and, most significantly, to reveal the subjective experience of those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. By clarifying the terms surrounding dementia and Alzheimer’s, which are two distinct conditions, Sabat corrects dangerous misconceptions that plague our understanding of memory dysfunction and many other significant abilities that people with AD and dementia possess even in the moderate to severe stages. People diagnosed with AD retain awareness, thinking ability, and sense of self; crucially, Sabat demonstrates that there are ways to facilitate communication even when the person with AD has great difficulty finding the words he or she wants to use. From years spent exploring and observing the points of view and experiences of people diagnosed, Sabat strives to inform as well as to remind readers of the respect and empathy owed to those diagnosed and living with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia conveys this type of information and more, which, when applied by family and professional caregivers, will help improve the quality of life of those diagnosed as well as of those who provide support and care.

“Professor Sabat’s international renown as an expert in the field stems from his advocacy of a humane approach to people with different types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. In this new book his views are presented with typical clarity. What he says can only be helpful both to people living with dementia and to their friends, families and professional carers. It’s vintage Sabat: always look to the social environment; what’s going on in the brain is never the end of the story! And he tells the story with remarkable sympathy and expertise.”–Julian C Hughes, RICE Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, University of Bristol

“Steve Sabat’s widely recognized and resonant voice has infused a transformative and compelling humanity into our personal and cultural narratives about people with dementia across the globe. His thought-provoking, compassionate, and instructive content throughout this new book is grounded in his core and profoundly important message–to never give up on the person by giving in to the diagnosis.” – Lisa Snyder, MSW, LCSW , Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, University of California, San Diego

“It has helped me become more hopeful for a better future for all people with dementia, and I believe this book will help others find ways to live with dementia, as it informs those without dementia how to support us to do that. There is a gross and systemic underestimation of the capacity of people with dementia, even in the later stages of the disease. This book focuses on our capacity, and what we can still do to find meaning and purpose in our lives.”- Kate Swaffer, Chair, CEO, & Co-founder, Dementia Alliance International

Steven R. Sabat, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Georgetown University, is a three-time recipient of the Edward B. Bunn Award for excellence in teaching and a recipient of the College Dean’s Award and College Academic Council Award for excellence in teaching at Georgetown. His research has focused on the remaining cognitive and social strengths, and the subjective experience of people with Alzheimer’s disease. He is the author of The Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease: Life Through a Tangled Veil (Blackwell Publishers, 2001) and co-editor of Dementia: Mind, Meaning, and the Person (Oxford University Press, 2006

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