Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How do you spell "Alzheimer's"?

"How do you spell Alzheimer's?", one of the booksellers asked me as she was typing a query into our Info Desk computer.

"A-L-Z-H-E-I-M-E-R-S", I said. "With an apostrophe," I said, knowing how finicky our in store search is. "Are they looking for a specific book?"

"No, we just want to see if you have anything about Alzheimer's," said the woman. She and the man with her looked to be in their early 60's, graying hair, wearing jeans.

"We have a section," I said. "Let me take you over there."

I show them THE 36 HOUR DAYicon. "This is a really comprehensive book about dementia that talks about how it progresses, how it is for people caring for the patient as well as the patient itself. I found it really helpful when my mom had dementia."


"We just had to move my mom into a facility. She couldn't live on her own any more." They looked like they were still in shock.

"That's hard. Does she know who you are?"

"Yes, she knows us," the woman said. "But she forgets what she's doing. And there was once she didn't seem to know who my husband was."

I nodded. "Another book I wish I had when my mother was alive is this one." I show her CONTENTED DEMENTIAicon. "The author talks about kind of a new way to help people with dementia. What people usually do is try and make the people who have dementia understand what is going on in the here and now. The problem is, the people with dementia don't remember what's going on right here and right now. They remember the past. So they get agitated because they know they should be remembering what's going on here and now. In this book, the author recommends letting them be, in their mind, wherever it is they imagine they are. My dad was a doctor and when he had dementia it seemed as though he was remembering being in the hospital, which was a really good place for him.


"Oh, wow," she said, looking overwhelmed. "We'll take a look at these."

"I recommend both of them really highly. THE 36 HOUR DAY
icon gives a really good sense of what is happening and what will happen. CONTENTED DEMENTIAicon doesn't really deal with the physiological aspects of dementia, but provides some really great help on how to be with people with dementia."

"Thank you so much for your help," she said.

"You're welcome. Take care."

Clicking on the book cover takes you to the Amazon.com page for each book. Clicking on the underlined book title takes you to the Barnes and Noble page for each book. Thanks for checking out the blog!


  1. Thank you for such a great post! I'm sure that it will help many people!

    END ALZ!!!!! SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL Alzheimer's Association!

  2. I'm glad they found someone as knowledgeable and compassionate as you to help them.