Speaking Our Minds E-book

What It’s Like to Have Alzheimer’s, Revised Edition

By Lisa Snyder, MSW, LCSW

Format: E-book only
e-ISBN 978-1-938870-23-1
200 pages
5.5 x 8.25 papercover
© 2009

E-book available through:

Also available through: Baker and Taylor, Overdrive, Gardners, and Follett

(9 customer reviews)

Listen to Lisa Snyder’s interview on Your Mental Health Talk Radio.

Gain exceptional insight into the world of the person with Alzheimer’s through this enlightening collection of first-hand accounts. Speaking Our Minds provides an unparalleled view into the day-to-day experience of Alzheimer’s through the reflections of seven diverse individuals with the disease.

By interweaving each person’s responses from in-depth interviews with her own thoughtful interpretation, dementia expert Lisa Snyder explores the many dimensions of the Alzheimer’s experience. As a result, this rich text offers professionals, family caregivers, students, and people who have dementia the opportunity to learn more about

  • the uniqueness of each person’s experience and symptoms
  • coping strategies people can use to face the changes and losses in their lives
  • the changes that are experience as the disease progresses
  • barriers to living full and dignified lives
  • how to identify with and listen to persons with Alzheimer’s
  • distinct issues for young-onset persons with dementia

This book is ideal for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s and related dementias as well as for anyone who interacts with that person, including professional or family caregivers, friends, and relatives. Discussion questions provide thoughtful material for use in coursework in aging and dementia, support groups, or book groups. The variety of backgrounds and perspectives of each featured person means that you will likely find similarities between the people in this book and your own personal experience.

Whether this is your first introduction to Alzheimer’s or you have an extensive knowledge of the disease, you are sure to learn from some or all of the brave and honest people who are featured. This book will transform the way you look at Alzheimer’s and how you interact with those who have it.

Foreword by Steven R. Sabat
Preface to the Revised Edition

Part One: Listening

Part Two: Speaking

  • Bea
  • Bill
  • Jean
  • Bob
  • Booker
  • Betty
  • Consuelo

Part Three: Responding

Discussion Questions
Appendix: Selected Resources
About the Author

Speaking Our Minds: What It’s Like to Have Alzheimer’s, Revised Edition (Snyder Excerpt) by HealthProPress

Lisa Snyder, MSW, LCSW, was a clinical social worker and Director of the Quality of Life Programs for the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of California, San Diego where she counseled people with Alzheimer’s and their families since 1987. She was one of the pioneers in developing support groups for people with mild dementia in the early 1990s and, in the years since, had focused on gaining a better understanding of the subjective experience of Alzheimer’s and the concerns specific to families facing the earlier stages of the disease. Since 1995, she had been the publisher and editor for the international quarterly publication Perspectives—A Newsletter for Individuals with Alzheimer’s or a Related Disorder.

9 reviews for Speaking Our Minds E-book

  1. admin

    “Lisa Snyder is one of our great ambassadors to this mysterious and treacherous world. The stories and insight she brings back are invaluable”
    -David Shenk, author of The Forgetting

  2. admin

    “Lisa Snyder allows persons with Alzheimer’s disease to speak for themselves as they describe their challenges and hopes. Her interpretations of their voices are consistently thoughtful and illuminating and the reader is effectively brought into the real world of the lives of the deeply forgetful.”
    -Stephen G. Post, Ph.D., author of The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer’s Disease and Head of the Division of Medicine in Society, Stony Brook University

  3. admin

    “I am deeply grateful for the publication of this revised edition of . . . [an] exceptionally important book that contains powerful lessons not only about the disease that these people have, but also about the people that this disease has . . . It is clear that this knowledge, when assimilated and applied by caregivers, can have tremendously positive effects in the lives of everyone concerned.”
    -Steven R. Sabat, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology, Georgetown University [from the foreword]

  4. admin

    “This is the best book I’ve ever read on Alzheimer’s disease …Ms. Snyder’s work teaches us a deep respect for the uniqueness of each individual with Alzheimer’s disease, and that the most profound way to learn is to listen.”
    -Robyn Yale, LCSW, author of Developing Support Groups for Individuals with Early-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease, Clinical Social Worker, and Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association

  5. admin

    “Lisa Snyder’s pioneering work supporting persons with Alzheimer’s disease comes to life in this sensitive, heart-felt, and informative book. Story-telling is the best way to learn and the accounts in this book render insight into the experiences of the disease and teach us new ways to provide empathetic, creative and successful care. Speaking Our Minds is a wonderful resource for professionals and family caregivers. Highly recommended!”
    – David Troxel, MPH, co-author of The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care

  6. admin

    “After years of thinking, reading, writing, and speaking about Alzheimer’s, I’m convinced that the best way to understand what it feels like to have Alzheimer’s disease is to listen to the true experts people with Alzheimer’s. In Speaking Our Minds . . . their stories are moving, insightful, inspiring, and above all, memorable.”
    – Lisa Genova, Ph.D., author of Still Alice

  7. admin

    “This timely and important revised edition of Speaking Our Minds reveals the voices and narratives of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and the thoughtful reflections of the author. Lisa Snyder demonstrates not only how the act of truly listening is a most powerful form of acknowledgment, but also that the listener (and the reader) are transformed by the process.”
    -Darby Morhardt, MSW, Director of Education, Northwestern University Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center

  8. admin

    “In addition to offering intimate portraits about the subjective experience of the disease and discussing the medical and psychosocial aspects of the disease, Snyder models how to listen to and talk with people who have the disease. She connects with them in spite of their impaired communication skills and invites readers to do the same. True empathy is the core message here. She knows how to empower people with AD by helping them to define themselves in new ways…She succeeds in fulfilling her stated goal of honoring the varied voices of people with the disease.”

    -Daniel Kuhn, LCSW, author of Alzheimer’s Early Stages: First Steps for Family, Friends and Caregivers and Director of Professional Training Institute, Greater Illinois Alzheimer’s Association
    “Speaking Our Minds shows us the pain, humanity, and courage of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. It is a much-needed and much-appreciated book.”
    -Peter V. Rabins, M.D., author of The 36-Hour Day and Professor of Psychiatry, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

  9. admin

    “Inspiring reflections abound in these perspectives and narratives. This book is for everyone living in a world with Alzheimer’s.”
    -Lisa P. Gwyther, MSW, co-author of The Alzheimer’s Action Plan and Education Director, Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Duke University Medical Center

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *