Navigating the Alzheimer’s Journey

A Compass for Caregiving

By Carol Bowlby Sifton, B.Sc.O.T., O.D.H.

ISBN 978-1-932529-04-3
688 pages
6 x 9 papercover
© 2004

(8 customer reviews)


Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease is more stressful than almost any other caregiving role. You may already know firsthand how true this is. With limited treatment options from the medical community, it is truly your care that is the most meaningful treatment for your loved one. Navigating the Alzheimer’s Journey is your best guide to providing that care. Whether the diagnosis is still fresh or you are well into your caregiving journey, the suggestions in this book will smooth your way.

Filled with reassurances and practical advice, Navigating the Alzheimer’s Journey gives you the encouragement and tools you need to manage the daily care of someone with dementia in a caring, compassionate, and supportive way. As a longstanding professional Alzheimer’s specialist and a former caregiver herself, Carol Bowlby Sifton knows exactly what information you need to know, including

  • How Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias may affect your loved one
  • How to communicate and interact most successfully
  • How to manage activities of daily care
  • Why challenging behaviors occur and how to respond to them
  • How to arrange the environment to support everyday functioning
  • How to capitalize on remaining abilities
  • When and how to get help
  • What plans to make for future care

You will find your most pressing day-to-day needs met in this comprehensive and informative book. Just like a compass, it will keep you confidently pointed in the right direction at each stage of your caregiving journey.

About the Author

  1. Care for the Caregiver

    Caregiving is Challenging
    The Essential Job of Caring for Yourself
    Caring for Yourself within the Caregiving Relationship
    Caring for Yourself by Growing

  2. Living in the Moment

    Moments of Terror and Moments to be Treasured
    Caregiving Takes Place within a Relationship
    Finding a Balance
    Thoughts on Living in the Moment with the Person with Dementia
    Ways for Caregivers to Enter the World of Someone with Dementia

  3. Basic Information on Dementia

    Overview of Dementia
    Making a Diagnosis
    The Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias
    The Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease
    How Common Are Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias?
    Is There a Cure for Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Types of Dementia?
    Treatment from the Caregiver

  4. Communicating with Someone Who Has Dementia

    Lessons on Listening:  The Art of Communication
    Nonverbal Communication
    Guidelines for Enhancing Spoken Communication with Persons with Dementia
    Enhancing Communication During visits
    Telephone Use

  5. Creating a Supportive Environment

    Searching for Home
    Environmental Guidelines for Persons with Dementia
    Adaptations for Age-Related Changes

  6. Maintaining a Familiar Lifestyle

    Understanding the Meaning of “Doing”
    Person-Centered Care
    Capturing the Simple Pleasures
    Involvement in Familiar Lifestyle Activities
    Barriers to Participation
    Ways to Encourage Participation
    Hands to Health:  How to Help with Doing
    Stimulating the Senses
    Using Reminiscence on a Daily Basis

  7. Success with Daily Life Activities

    Personal Care Activities
    Life Care Activities

  8. Using Leisure Activities for the Person’s “Re-Creation”

    General Activity Characteristics
    Specific Activity Categories

  9. Understanding, Preventing, and Responding to Behavioral Symptoms

    The Basics on Challenging Behavioral Symptoms
    Preventing Challenges
    Getting Unstuck:  Creative Problem Solving
    Addressing Specific Behavioral Symptoms

  10. Care Planning

    Learning About Dementia
    Taking Care of People
    Taking Care of Practical Matters

Appendix A: All About Me
Appendix B: Resources

Navigating the Alzheimer… by on Scribd

Carol Bowlby Sifton, B.Sc.O.T., O.D.H., is a former family caregiver, an occupational therapist, a clinical consultant, an educator, and an author who has worked extensively with persons with dementia and their caregivers throughout the continuum of care. She is a dementia care consultant to numerous long-term care facilities as well as to Veterans Affairs Canada, working in the homes of persons with dementia and their caregivers. Carol also operates Elderactive Occupational Therapy, which specializes in enhancing the quality of life of persons with dementia. She has presented her highly acclaimed interactive workshops throughout North America. In addition, Carol has served as clinical coordinator and assessor for geriatrics at Victoria General Hospital, site of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Furthermore, she has lectured at Dalhousie University’s Medical School and School of Occupational Therapy in Halifax and at Mount Saint Vincent’s University’s Family Studies and Gerontology Department, also in Halifax.

Carol is the former editor of Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal focused on quality dementia care that is readily incorporated into the day-to-day activities of professionals across the continuum of care. Her earlier book, Therapeutic Activities with Persons Disabled by Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (Aspen Publishers, 1993), is recognized as a key resource across North America. While serving as national coordinator for the Health Canada/Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists/Alzheimer Canada Dementia Care at Home Project, she wrote Living at Home with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia (Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, 1998), a resource manual for professionals in community care.

8 reviews for Navigating the Alzheimer’s Journey

  1. admin

    “Sifton packs this manual with practical information to inform as well as nurture the overstressed caregiver … sure to become a well-used reference book for many years to come.”
    -Activities, Adaptation, and Aging

  2. admin

    “The knowledge and wisdom written here provides useful and sound advice for all who seek it.”
    -Journal of Dementia Care

  3. admin

    “If there is an opportunity for enhancing the life of the Alzheimer’s patient, this book provides the method for so doing.”
    -The Director

  4. admin

    “a complete, definitive, and thoroughly ‘user-friendly’ guide to caring for men and women in all degrees of Alzheimer’s”
    -The Midwest Book Review

  5. admin

    “This is an excellent resource for anyone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or anyone who wants to understand the caregiving experience. It is much more than a sourcebook or a ‘how-to’… This book is the first that tries to provide a portrait of the ‘total caregiving experience.’ ”
    -Lou Burgio, Ph.D, Director, Center for Mental Health and Aging, University of Alabama

  6. admin

    “This book offers both hope and practical suggestions for navigating one’s way along a long and winding road. [It] is so rich with ideas and examples that it should not be read once, shelved and forgotten. It should be kept within easy reach for reference again and again.”
    -Daniel Kuhn, M.S.W., Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging and author of Alzheimer’s Early Stages

  7. admin

    “Carol Bowlby Sifton is a visionary and practical genius when it comes to enhancing the lives of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Navigating the Alzheimer’s Journey will appeal to the everyday caregiver who just wants to know what to do and how to do it.”
    -Stephen G. Post, Ph.D., Professor, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and author of The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer’s Disease

  8. admin

    “Alzheimer’s caregiving is a very rocky road. But with the compass Carol Bowlby Sifton provides, you will always have a strong sense of direction. Few people are as experienced in caregiving as she is. And fewer still write with the insight, wisdom, and grace she brings to this invaluable guide.”
    -Michael Castleman, Co-author, There’s Still a Person In There: The Complete Guide to Treating and Coping with Alzheimer’s

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