Enduring Self in People with Alzheimer’s

Getting to the Heart of Individualized Care

By Sam Fazio, Ph.D.

ISBN 978-1-932529-38-8
192 pages
6 x 9 papercover
© 2008

(5 customer reviews)


Despite the frequent characterization of Alzheimer’s disease as a “loss of self,” this enlightening book demonstrates unequivocally that a person’s unique self persists through the course of the disease. The important message in The Enduring Self in People with Alzheimer’s is how much can be done in care settings to support a person’s sense of identity, and thereby enrich the lives of people experiencing the many losses associated with dementia.

Drawing from a diverse body of research in multiple disciplines, the book brings together the recommendations of the best thinking and practitioners to illustrate the meaning of self and the importance of providing dementia care that recognizes and supports personhood. Translating research into practice, the author provides strategies for restructuring the physical and social environment to facilitate person-centered care. Administrators and staff will also learn how to reframe communication and interactions to build more meaningful relationships with people with Alzheimer’s.

Provocative discussion topics at the end of each chapter and a detailed case study can be used in staff training to encourage the changes in attitude and practice that will make care strategies more person-centered. The resource also provides an action plan for applying this individualized care philosophy at an organizational level.

Appropriate for all settings providing Alzheimer’s care, The Enduring Self in People with Alzheimer’s is a vital tool for ensuring personhood is maintained and respected throughout the course of the disease.

Format: E-book
e-ISBN 978-1-938870-66-8

E-book available through:

Also available through: Chegg, Baker and Taylor, OverDrive, Gardners, and Follett

About the Author
Foreword by Stephen G. Post


Section I: A Framework for Understanding the Self in Alzheimer’s Care

  1. The Self as the Core of Person-Centered Care
  2. Overview of Self
  3. Overview of Alzheimer’s Disease
  4. Evidence of the Self in Alzheimer’s Disease

Section II: Essential Elements of Care that Support Selfhood

  1. Physical and Social Environments that Recognize the Self
  2. Relationships and Interactions that Support the Self

Section III: Key Concepts for Maintaining the Self

  1. Supporting the Self in Everyday Care
  2. Sharing the Self with Others

Appendix: Research Method and Results
Recommended Readings

The Enduring Self in People… by on Scribd

Sam Fazio, Ph.D., is Director of Special Projects at the Alzheimer’s Association. Dr. Fazio has worked for the national headquarters of the Alzheimer’s Association since 1994 in a variety of areas, including Education and Training and Program Services. He currently works in the Constituent Services area where he oversees quality evaluation standards and social/behavioral research initiatives. Dr. Fazio has also been involved in several research projects with older adults in the Chicago area related to the persistence of self, person-centered care, and health and wellness. Additionally, Dr. Fazio is a part-time faculty member in the gerontology program at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.

Dr. Fazio received his doctorate in developmental psychology from Loyola University Chicago. Prior to working for the Alzheimer’s Association, Dr. Fazio worked from Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center at the Alzheimer’s Family Care Center, an adult day center specifically designed for people with dementia. He has worked in the field of aging since 1987 and has a broad range of experience, including research, leadership and management, working with older adults and families, and direct care.

Dr. Fazio has presented both nationally and internationally as well as published several journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Fazio is the author of The Enduring Self in People with Alzheimer’s: Getting to the Heart of Individualized Care and the co-author of the book Rethinking Alzheimer’s Care.

5 reviews for Enduring Self in People with Alzheimer’s

  1. admin

    “In his book, Sam Fazio takes us to the deep roots of the importance of the self, especially in persons with dementia, and lays the foundation as to the why of person-centered care. He helps us make sense of our daily encounters that are relational in nature and honors the evolving self of each person. This book will help move us to better and better care practices in our journeys with persons with dementia.”
    –Virginia Bell, M.S.W., co-author of The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care

  2. admin

    “Carrying the torch of Kitwood and others, Sam Fazio has crafted a humanistic and empowering framework for preserving the aging self in dementia. Full of theoretical information, practical techniques for supporting and maintaining personhood, and reflective exercises that engage the moral imagination, The Enduring Self in People with Alzheimer’s is a manual for both scholars and caregivers alike. Fazio urges us to de-medicalize dementia, reevaluate the constrictive language and categories we use to define brain aging–including the scientifically imprecise and socially-damaging label of Alzheimer’s disease–and ultimately, to do all we can to preserve the dignity and selfhood of those who are growing older around us and amongst us. It is an outstanding contribution to a growing literature that will change the way we age in the 21st century.”
    -Peter Whitehouse, M.D., Ph.D., and Danny George, M.Sc., authors of The Myth of Alzheimer’s: What You Aren’t Being Told About Today’s Most Dreaded Diagnosis

  3. admin

    “The Enduring Self in People with Alzheimer’s succeeds in its goal of proving that Alzheimer’s disease does not result in the ‘loss of self’ …[the book] provides a comprehensive analysis of the research and clinical literature about the self in Alzheimer’s and the effect of the perceptions, attitudes, actions of people who interact with the person with Alzheimer’s on that person’s ability to express and communicate his or her self.”
    –Katie Maslow, Alzheimer’s Association

  4. admin

    “[This book] provides a sound overview of the key influences on issues of identity, self, and relationships in providing person-centered care in the context of living with Alzheimer’s disease. The self-reflection exercises at the end of each chapter help us all to reflect on the lessons here and to integrate it with our own experience whatever our background. I will recommend this book to many people.”
    -Dawn Brooker, Ph.D., Professor of Dementia Care Practice and Research, Bradford Dementia Group, University of Bradford, UK, and author, Person-Centred Dementia Care

  5. admin

    “Anyone who wants to understand this [person-centered care] movement or implement it will benefit from The Enduring Self.”
    –Metapsychology Online Reviews, Maeve M. O’Donovan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Philosophy, College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

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