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Maria M. Meyer, Mary S. Mittelman, Cynthia Epstein, and Paula Derr, CareTrust Publications, Portland, OR, 2008, 288 pages, $24.95. ISBN-13: 978-0-9787903-0-1/10: 0-9787903-0-8


Written for members of the lay community who are preparing for or are already engaged in the care of a person afflicted with Alzheimer disease (AD), The Comfort of Home for Alzheimer's Disease: A Guide for Caregivers provides simplified, practical guidance on current best practices related to home care. The book is organized into three main sections: "Getting Ready," "Day-by-Day Living with AD," and "Additional Resources." This organizational structure facilitates using this resource for quick reference by a caregiver in the home environment.


The first section, "Getting Ready," discusses background information on AD; planning for necessary changes in the home; and general health, financial, and legal aspects that should be considered by the caregiver early in the course of this progressive, neuro- degenerative disorder.


The second section addresses the day-to-day scheduling and care of the person with AD, providing realworld examples of the issues that can arise along with novel and helpful solutions. Couched within the expected course of disease progression, the book emphasizes that the daily care and comfort of individuals with AD is the mainstay of dealing with this disease. This section of the book includes progressive techniques in effective communication and an emphasis on maintaining independence as long as possible (focusing on activities of daily living, ambulation, and social engagement activities). Also discussed is dealing with special situations such as driving with dementia and special occasions that may present unique challenges (e.g., holidays and celebrations).


The third section of the book provides additional resources for successful caregiving experiences. Caregiving organizations-both national and international -are delineated by phone, address, e-mail address, and Web sites, along with a brief description of the focus of each organization. This last section also provides a glossary of terms used throughout the book, helping to make it as user-friendly as possible for the lay caregiver.


The gray-shaded dialogue boxes located throughout the chapters call out specific practical tips and ideas and increase the value of this book as a tool for the caregiver. Certainly these helpful hints will be noticed quickly by caregivers whose stress levels may become barriers to effective problem solving during the typically long course of the disease trajectory.


Although the book is written at the level of the lay caregiver, this resource could well serve to enhance professional caregiving skills in a variety of settings, including home health nurse, hospice provider, and extended-care facility nursing assistants.