Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope while Coping with Stress and Grief
August 2011, Jossey-Bass
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LOVING SOMEONE WHO HAS DEMENTIA
How to deal with the ‘ambiguous loss’ of a loved one
San Francisco, CA – One of the most tragic consequences of dementia is that loved ones are faced with a psychological loss - and not physical one. The loss created by dementia remains ambiguous and without closure. Family members become caregivers—full-time, part-time, on-site, or long-distance--and must manage not only the illness, but also quietly carry the emotional burden of watching their loved one’s personality and memory fade away.
Pauline Boss, author of LOVING SOMEONE WHO HAS DEMENTIA (Jossey-Bass, an imprint of Wiley; August 2011; $18.95; Paper; ISBN: 978-1-118-00229-2), who coined the term ambiguous loss and now applies it to better understand the complexities of a relationship with someone who has dementia. She shares stories of how real people cope with their profoundly changed relationships and the challenge of grieving loved ones who are still physically present.
Through such stories, she shows how people can manage the stress and grief of attachments complicated by cognitive impairment. In a conversational style, Boss takes the reader through topics such as the psychological family, delicious ambiguity, and deciding on good-enough relationships.
A reader told Dr. Boss, a veteran clinician, that her book was like a love letter to caregivers. Indeed, she wrote the book for caregivers--but also for the people around them who could lend a hand when the going gets rough. She writes for everyone touched by the growing epidemic of dementia. She calls for all of us to pay attention because it’s family caregivers who currently save the nation millions of dollars with their quiet and noble work.