July 12, 2016

Education & Outreach

  • This section shares disease information and printable flyers compiled by our Center’s experts.

    Mild cognitive impairment

    What is mild cognitive impairment?
    Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a disorder of memory or other related cognitive process. A person with MCI experiences greater memory and thinking difficulties than expected with aging. However, the problems do not impair their ability to complete daily activities (as they do in other diseases causing dementia). It is important to recognize MCI because it puts a person at a greater risk of developing dementia in the future. For a one page informational flyer on MCI, click here.

    What are the causes of mild cognitive impairment?
    The causes of MCI are not yet completely understood. Experts believe that many cases – but not all – result from brain changes occurring in the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

    What are the symptoms of mild cognitive impairment?
    Experts classify MCI based on the thinking skills affected:

    Amnestic MCI
    Amnestic MCI primarily affects memory. A person with Amnestic MCI may start to forget important information that they would have previously recalled easily, such as appointments, conversations, and recent events.

    Nonamnestic MCI
    Nonamnestic MCI affects thinking skills other than memory. Thinking skills that may be affected by nonamnestic MCI include making sound decisions, judging the time or sequence of steps needed to complete a task, and visual perception.

    How is mild cognitive impairment diagnosed?
    MCI is a clinical diagnosis representing a doctor’s best professional judgment about the reason for a person’s symptoms. If a physician has difficulty confirming a diagnosis of MCI or the cause of MCI, brain imaging and cerebrospinal fluid tests may be performed to determine if the individual has MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease.

    A medical exam for MCI includes a thorough medical history, an assessment of independent function and daily activities, input from a family member on function, assessment of mental status, in-office neurological exam, evaluation of mood, and laboratory tests.

    What are the prognosis and options for treatment?

    There aren’t currently medications to slow the decline that can occur with MCI. Drugs approved to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease may help those with MCI, but have not been shown to prevent progression of MCI to dementia.

    Some studies suggest that the following may help slow decline: a health diet, exercise, and participating in mentally stimulating and socially engaging activities.

    Where can I learn more?
    More information about mild cognitive impairment can be found at:

    • A one page infographic created by our Center's experts is available for download here.
    • The Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org or by calling (800) 272-3900
    • The National Institute on Aging: www.nia.nih.gov or by calling (800) 438-4380
    Alzheimer's disease

    What is Alzheimer’s disease?
    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a brain disease that causes damage to and destruction of nerve cells. It is the most common cause of dementia, which is a decline in thinking that interferes with one’s everyday functions. For a one page informational flyer on AD, click here.

    A person with AD has difficulty with remembering, solving problems, and communicating.

    A person with AD may also have changes in personality, mood, and behavior.

    AD slowly worsens over time. It is believed that more than 5 million Americans over the age of 65 and at least 200,000 people in America under the age of 65 have the disease.

    What are the causes of Alzheimer’s disease?
    In AD, the brain contains abnormal protein deposits that form plaques (beta amyloid protein) and tangles (tau protein) around and within nerve cells. The abnormal proteins interfere with the normal function of nerve cells and eventually result in nerve cell death. We now know that the changes in the brain that cause AD begin at least 20 years before a person develops symptoms of the disease. There is no known single cause of AD. However, scientists have learned a great deal about what factors may increase a person’s risk of developing AD. The single most important risk factor for developing AD is getting older. The likelihood of developing AD doubles every 5 years after age 65.

    Additional factors that influence the risk of developing AD include family history, certain genes, other health conditions such as diabetes, diet, exercise practices, and education.

    What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?

    AD is often described in “stages.” Different symptoms mark the different stages of AD, though this varies from person to person. Progression from stage to stage is gradual.

    Early stage
    AD begins gradually and may, at first, be difficult to recognize. Commonly described difficulties include trouble with the following tasks: remembering recent events, keeping track of time, naming familiar people or things, solving problems, planning, learning new things.

    Middle stage
    Memory loss progresses and people find it more difficult to read, write, speak, perform household tasks, choose clothing, bathe without reminders.

    Late stage
    A person with advanced AD is often unable to communicate, walk, or recognize people, places, or objects.

    They may sleep most of the time and often need full-time care.

    How is Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed?
    No single test leads to a diagnosis of AD. Rather, a diagnosis is made after a complete evaluation that includes a detailed history and physical exam, including information from family members or others who the person spends a lot of time with, tests to evaluate memory and thinking, and blood tests, brain scans, and in some cases spinal fluid testing.

    What are the prognosis and options for treatment?
    There is no known cure for AD. The duration of the disease can vary from a few years to more than 20, though most people with the disease die approximately 8-10 years after being diagnosed.

    There are five different prescription drugs used to treat AD: Donepezil (Aricept®), Galantamine (Razadyne®), Rivastigmine (Exelon®), Memantine (Namenda®), and a combination drug called Namzaric®.

    Where can I learn more?
    More information about AD can be found at:

    • A one page infographic created by our Center's experts is available for download here.
    • A one page infographic breaking down the difference between Alzheimer's disease and dementia is available for download here.
    • A one page infographic detailing Alzheimer's disease genetics is available for download here.
    • The Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org or by calling (800) 272-3900
    • The National Institute on Aging: www.nia.nih.gov or by calling (800) 438-4380
    Lewy body disease

    What is Lewy body dementia?
    Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a brain disease that impairs thinking and often mobility. It is the third most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia. LBD accounts for up to 20% of all dementia cases in the United States. For a one page informational flyer on LBD, click here.

    What are the causes of Lewy body dementia?
    The cause of LBD is not known and it is rarely inherited. In LBD, the brain contains abnormal protein deposits known as Lewy bodies. Lewy bodies also occur in Parkinson’s disease (PD), but are less widespread. In addition to Lewy bodies throughout the brain, the microscopic brain abnormalities found in AD are often also present with LBD.

    What are the symptoms of Lewy body dementia?
    A person with LBD may experience cognitive difficulties, visual hallucinations, significant day-to-day fluctuations in abilities, stiffness and slowness of movement, tremors, poor balance and falls, fainting or other periods of unresponsiveness, or acting out dreams.

    How is Lewy body dementia diagnosed?
    LBD is often confused with AD or PD. Accurate diagnosis is critical because people with LBD have distinct symptoms that require different treatment strategies and may be sensitive to certain medications.

    A diagnosis of LBD is made after a thorough evaluation, which includes a discussion of symptoms, a physical exam, and diagnostic testing.

    Blood tests and brain scans are often performed. The diagnosis may be confirmed after death with a brain autopsy showing Lewy bodies.

    What are the prognosis and options for treatment?
    LBD worsens over time and impairs the individual’s ability to live and function independently. Though there is not a known cure for LBD, three types of medications may be used to treat it: Cholinesterase inhibitors such as Aricept®, Razadyne, or Exelon®, drugs used to treat people with PD such as Sinamet®, or drugs for visual hallucinations and behavioral problems.

    Where can I learn more?
    More information about Lewy Body dementia can be found at:

    • A one-page infographic created by our Center's experts is available for download here.
    • The Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org or by calling (800) 272-3900
    • The National Institute on Aging: www.nia.nih.gov or by calling (800) 438-4380
    Vascular dementia

    What is vascular dementia?
    Vascular dementia is a decline in thinking skills caused by conditions that block or reduce blood flow to various regions of the brain, depriving them of oxygen and nutrients. Vascular dementia is considered the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for up to 30% of cases. For a one page informational flyer on vascular dementia, click here.

    What are the causes of vascular dementia?
    Any condition that damages blood vessels anywhere in the body can cause brain changes linked to vascular dementia. Advancing age is a major risk factor.

    Additional risk factors are the same ones that raise risk for heart problems, stroke, and other diseases that affect blood vessels. Follow these steps to reduce the risk of developing vascular dementia: Don’t smoke, deep a healthy blood pressure, cholesterol level, and blood sugar, eat a healthy diet, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and limit alcohol consumption.

    What are the symptoms of vascular dementia?
    A person with vascular dementia may experience confusion, trouble paying attention and concentrating, reduced ability to organize thoughts, problems with memory, restlessness and agitation, or depression.

    How is vascular dementia diagnosed?
    Sometimes vascular dementia is difficult to distinguish from Alzheimer’s disease. In many cases, a person may have both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is referred to as mixed dementia or Alzheimer’s disease with stroke (or mini-strokes).

    What are the prognosis and options for treatment?
    Unfortunately, there are no treatments that can reverse the damage that has been done to the brain after it has occurred. However, physical therapy can help people recover immediately after a stroke. Medications and lifestyle changes can help prevent additional strokes.

    Medications used to treat Alzheimer’s disease may also be helpful with vascular dementia.

    Where can I learn more?
    More information about vascular dementia can be found at:

    • A one page infographic created by our Center's experts is available for download here.
    • The Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org or by calling (800) 272-3900
    • The National Institute on Aging: www.nia.nih.gov or by calling (800) 438-4380
    Frontotemporal dementia

    What is frontotemporal dementia?
    Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) refers to a group of diseases that damage the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain, resulting in significant changes in personality, behavior, and language ability. As a result, it is often misdiagnosed as a psychiatric disorder. For a one page informational flyer on FTD, click here.

    The majority of people diagnosed with FTD are between the ages of 40 and 65.

    Examples of FTD include Pick’s disease, frontotemporal dementia with motor neuron disease, primary progressive aphasia, and corticobasal degeneration.

    FTD accounts for only about 5% of all dementia cases in the United States, but is one of the most common types of dementia in younger individuals.

    What are the causes of frontotemporal dementia?
    The cause of FTD is not known, and may differ between individuals. In about half of FTD patients, a normal brain protein called tau accumulates abnormally and forms deposits. In others, a separate protein known as TDP43 accumulates in the same way.

    Unlike other dementias, FTD is highly heritable. Approximately 40% of individuals with FTD have an affected family member. In these individuals, FTD is usually caused by changes in one of their genes.

    The diagnosis may be confirmed after death with a brain autopsy. Genetic testing can help reveal an underlying mutation responsible for FTD in about 40% of patients.

    What are the symptoms of frontotemporal dementia?
    FTD usually begins with gradual changes in personality, behavior, or speech. People with FTD may also have motor difficulties similar to those with Parkinson’s disease (rigidity and slowness of movement), or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (weakness). Memory loss is present in FTD, but less obvious than in other types of dementia.

    Other symptoms can include decreased speech, inability to name common objects, loss of motivation, lack of concern or sympathy for others, inappropriate social or sexual behavior, rigid and inflexible thinking, and compulsive, repetitive behaviors.

    How is frontotemporal dementia diagnosed?
    An accurate diagnosis is important and should be made after the following have been done: a thorough discussion of symptoms with a doctor, a careful medical history, an examination of changes in behavior, a physical exam, and other related tests.

    Blood tests and brain scans are often performed. MRI or CT scans may show abnormalities in the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain. PET or SPECT scans may be helpful in distinguishing FTD from other causes of dementia.

    What are the prognosis and options for treatment?
    FTD worsens over time and impairs the individual’s ability to live and function independently. Although there is no cure for FTD, there are medications that can help control the behavioral symptoms of the disorder. With an accurate diagnosis, unnecessary medications can be removed that might otherwise worsen the disease symptoms.

    Where can I learn more?
    More information about frontotemporal dementia can be found at:

    • A one page infographic from our Center's experts is available for download here.
    • The Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org or by calling (800) 272-3900
    • The National Institute on Aging: www.nia.nih.gov or by calling (800) 438-4380
    Primary progressive aphasia

    Signs and symptoms: 

    PPA is a type of dementia in which language abilities are the primary symptoms. Initial cognitive symptoms include difficulty with word-finding, repetition, naming, language comprehension, and articulation. Swallowing difficulties may also be present.

    Causes and risk factors: 

    PPA can be caused by deposits of proteins such as tau, amyloid or TDP-43 in the brain. Damage in specific areas within the frontal, temporal, and parietal regions of the brain, along with specific language symptoms, dictate the particularly type of PPA an individual may have. Some cases of PPA are inherited and have been tied to mutations in the genes GRN and MAPT.

    Behavioral changes: 

    Individuals with PPA are often aware of their communication difficulties,
    which may cause frustration, depression, anxiety, apathy or social withdrawal. Later in the disease course, behavioral problems such as impulsivity and disinhibition may occur. Movement problems like clumsiness or balance problems may also be present.

    A one page infographic created by our Center's experts is available for download here.

    This section shares information on living with or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia created by the National Institute on Aging.

    Caring for Yourself

    Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver. This could mean asking family members or friends to help out, doing things you enjoy, using adult day care services, or getting help from a local home health care agency. Taking these actions can bring you some relief. It also may help keep you from getting ill or depressed. Find the resource here. 

    Managing Personality & Behavior Changes

    Alzheimer’s disease causes brain cells to die, so the brain works less well over time. This changes how a person acts. This tip sheet has suggestions that may help you understand and cope with changes in personality and behavior in a person with Alzheimer’s disease. Find the resource here.

    Wandering

    Many people with Alzheimer’s disease wander away from their home or caregiver. As the caregiver, you need to know how to limit wandering and prevent the person from becoming lost. This will help keep the person safe and give you greater peace of mind. Find the resource here.

    Bathing

    At some point, people with Alzheimer’s disease will need help bathing. Because this is a private activity, people may not want help. They may also feel angry about not being able to take care of themselves.

    Helping someone with Alzheimer’s disease take a bath or shower can be one of the hardest things you do. Planning can help make bath time better for both of you. If the person is afraid of bathing, follow his or her lifelong bathing habits, such as doing the bath or shower in the morning or before going to bed. Find the resource here.

    This section shares local resources for older adults living with or caring for someone with dementia.

    Alzheimer's Association - Michigan Chapter

    The Alzheimer's Association - Michigan Chapter is based in Southfield and serves the entire state. They offer Alzheimer's disease support groups and educational programs in many Michigan counties. Visit their site here for details specific to your area.

    Financial Trainings & Tips for Caregivers - Older Adult Nest Egg, Wayne State University 

    Worried that your parents are beginning to decline cognitively? While many programs for caregivers are designed to address the emotional, physical and mental needs of the older person and the caregiver, one critical aspect of caregiving is overlooked: Financial health. Older Adult Nest Egg (OANE) developed a friends/family component designed to help caregivers maintain the financial health of an older loved one. How can you talk with the older person about financial management and/or protecting her finances? How do you discover if your older loved one is the victim of scams or identity theft? Do you know the dos and don’ts of managing your older loved one’s finances while protecting your own? Online, narrated trainings are now available at no cost. Developed under the leadership of Dr. Peter Lichtenberg at the Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology, trainings can be accessed here. In addition to the online training there are resources and news alerts. A do it yourself assessment to determine how vulnerable your older love one may be to exploitation will soon be available. Financial health is caregiving health. Visit olderadultnestegg.com. 

    Successful Aging thru Financial Empowerment - Wayne State University

    Successful Aging thru Financial Empowerment (SAFE) provides FREE financial coaching to older adults and caregivers to manage money securely and accurately. Contact Program Director LaToya Hall to talk by phone or email: l.hall@wayne.edu or 313-664-2608. Assistance is safe, confidential and free. The SAFE website is available here for more information.

    Area Agency on Aging 1B

    The AAA-1B provides information on senior services, assistance, resources, and home care in southeast Michigan. Visit their site here.

    Detroit Area Agency on Aging

    The Detroit Area Agency on Aging can help with a wide variety of needs for older adults living in Detroit and metro-Detroit areas, including nutrition and social work services, wellness checks by phone, meal delivery, grocery pickup, and more.  For more information, call 313-446-4444 or visit the website here.

    AARP Michigan

    AARP Michigan offers a dementia resource guide for seniors. Please find it here.

    This section shares national resources for older adults living with or caring for someone with dementia.

    Alzheimer's Association

    The Alzheimer's Association regularly offers a 24/7 helpline to provide support. Find more information about this valuable resource hereThe Association also compiled a list of resources specifically for dementia caregivers during COVID-19 here. Virtual support groups for those living with dementia are offered here, virtual educational programs are offered here, and virtual and in-home activities for those living and caring for someone with dementia are available here.

    National Council on Aging

    Do you need help receiving your medications or transportation? Or do you need access to care or your benefits? The National Council on Aging compiled a list of resources available here. The Council also provides a resource detailing specifically what older adults should know about the Coronavirus here, and potential Coronavirus-specific scams here.

    Family Caregiver Alliance

    The Family Caregiver Alliance details how to get your home ready for quarantine and how to care for someone at home who may have COVID-19, among other resources, here.

    Penn Memory Center

    The Penn Memory Center at the University of Pennsylvania Health System compiled a COVID-19 survival guide specifically for those caring for a loved one with dementia here. Isolation, increased stress, and changes in daily routine can generate challenges for you and your loved one with dementia. This article offers guidelines for managing daily care at home and coping with anxiety during this difficult time.

    Wisconsin Public Radio

    As health authorities urge social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, finding meaningful connections can be a challenge. This interview discusses ways to stay emotionally engaged with the creator of TimeSlips, an award-winning project that connects elderly residents through art and storytelling. Find the full interview here.

    This section shares our staff’s top book recommendations for the dementia journey.

    Living with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (Books)

    Alzheimer’s from the Inside Out
    by Richard Taylor, PhD (2006)
    The author, a former psychologist, shares his account of how his life is affected by a dementia diagnosis at age 61.

    The Brain is a Boundary: A Journey in Poems to the Borderlines of Lewy Body Dementia
    by Alexander Dreier (2016)
    This unique book explores the experience of the boundaries in consciousness in Lewy Body Dementia through poetry.

    Dancing with Dementia: My Story of Living Positively with Dementia
    by Christine Bryden (2005)
    Christine Bryden was a top civil servant and single mother of three children when she was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 46. This book is a vivid account of the author's experiences of living with dementia, exploring the effects of memory problems, loss of independence, difficulties in communication and the exhaustion of coping with simple tasks. She describes how, with the support of her husband Paul, she continues to lead an active life nevertheless, and explains how professionals and carers can help.

    Dementia Beyond Disease: Enhancing Well-Being
    by G. Allen Power, MD (2014)
    This book reframes the care and support of people living with dementia. It presents a strengths-based approach that focuses on enhancing seven domains of well-being for individuals in all living environments.

    An Evolution of Love: Life and Love with Frontotemporal Dementia
    by Michelle Stafford and Marie Sykes (2011)
    Robert J. Sykes, Jr., (Bob) was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia in December 2003 at the age of 47. This is a story of loss, but it is also a story of love and devotion in the face of devastating illness. This book will provide support and inspiration for others who are coping with dementia and other irreversible illnesses.

    Green Nails and Other Acts of Rebellion: Life After Loss
    by Elaine Soloway (2014)
    Early in 2009, after more than a decade of marriage, Elaine Soloway's husband, Tommy, began to change. Ultimately, Tommy’s doctors discovered that he had frontotemporal degeneration—a diagnosis that explained Tommy’s baffling symptoms and transformed Soloway from irritated wife to unflappable, devoted caregiver in one fell swoop. In this book, Soloway documents Tommy’s disease progression, shedding light on the day-to-day realities of those who assume the caregiver role in a relationship with uncompromising honesty and wry humor.

    Lewy Body Dementia: Causes, Tests, and Treatment Options
    by Adam Wainwright (2012)
    This book is an easy-to-understand guide that can be applied to the lives of those affected by LBD whether they are friends or family.

    Living with Lewy Body Dementia: One Caregiver’s Personal, In-depth Experience
    by Judy Towne Jennings (2012)
    This book is authored by a personal caregiver and professional physical therapist with many years’ experience in movement disorders.

    Living With Lewy's: Empowering Today's Dementia Caregiver—A Revolutionary New Survival Guide For All Caregivers
    by Amy J. Throop and Gerald S. Throop (2011)
    This book is written by a husband and wife team who cared for a parent with LBD. There are many practical suggestions for day to day living with LBD.

    Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Guide to Maximizing Brain Health and Reducing Risk of Dementia
    by Nicole D. Anderson, Kelly J. Murphy, & Angela K. Troyer (2012)
    This book provides reliable information on the nature of this disorder, how it may affect people, and what can be done about it.

    Living Your Best with Early-Stage Alzheimer’s: An Essential Guide
    by Lisa Snyder, MSW, LCSW (2010)
    This book offer strategies for managing memory loss and may be very helpful for people with Mild Cognitive Impairment and early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

    Losing My Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer’s
    by Thomas DeBaggio (2003)
    This book is DeBaggio's extraordinary account of his early onset Alzheimer's, and is a testament to the splendor of memory and a triumphant celebration of the human spirit.

    Mild Cognitive Impairment and Early Alzheimer’s Disease: Detection and Diagnosis
    by Jeffrey M. Burns and John C. Morris (2008)
    This book, while written for clinicians, describes the cognitive changes associated with age, the earliest detectable stages of Alzheimer’s, and the relationship of these conditions to MCI.

    My Journey into Alzheimer's Disease
    by Robert Davis (1994)
    Written by a man who remained a ministering servant to the end, using his last lucid thoughts to share with us his walk of faith into Alzheimer's disease. Reverend Robert Davis gives hope to others.

    On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer's
    by Greg O'Brien (2014)
    Greg O’Brien, an award-winning investigative reporter, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's and decided to tackle the disease by writing frankly about the journey. This is a book about living with Alzheimer’s, not dying with it. It is a book about hope, faith, and humor—a prescription far more powerful than the conventional medication available today to fight this disease.

    Sundown Dementia, Vascular Dementia, and Lewy Body Dementia Explained: Stages, Signs, Prognosis, Diagnosis, Treatments, Progression, and Care
    by Lyndsay Leatherdale (2013)

    Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s
    by Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle (2010)
    In this profound and courageous memoir, Hoblitzelle describes how her husband Hob’s Alzheimer's diagnosis at the age of 72 challenged them to live the spiritual teachings they had embraced during the course of their life together. When they first heard the diagnosis, Olivia and Hob’s initial reaction was to cling desperately to the life they had had, but they learned to greet the last phase of Hob's life consciously and lovingly.

    Caregiving, Mindfulness, and Self-Care (Books)

    The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss
    by Nancy L. Mace, MA, and Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH (2017, 6th Edition)
    This is a great reference book for caregivers, but should not be read cover-to-cover.

    Activities for the Family Caregiver: Vascular Dementia: How To Engage / How To Live
    by Scott Silknitter, Alisa Tagg, and Robert Brennan (2015)

    The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care
    by Virginia Bell, MSW, & David Troxel, MPH (2002)
    This book offers concrete situations with effective problem-solving strategies.

    A Caregiver’s Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
    by Helen Buell Whitworth, MS, BSN, and James Whitworth (2008)
    This book is written in everyday language and filled with personal examples that connect to the readers’ own experiences. It provides an accurate, detailed view of the disease in easy to understand terms.

    Caregiving: The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss, and Renewal
    by Beth Witrogen McLeod (2000)
    "A poignant, wise, and in-the-trenches view of caregiving that is both practical and spiritual, especially of value to midlife adults." —Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., author of Goddesses in Everywoman and Close to the Bone

    Caring for a Loved One with Dementia: A Mindfulness-Based Guide for Reducing Stress and Making the Best of Your Journey Together
    by Marguerite Manteau-Rao, LCSW (2016)

    The Comfort of Home: A Complete Guide for Caregivers
    by Maria M Meyer with Paula Derr (2007)
    This book is a good, practical guide that offers caregiving options and discusses the financial and legal decisions you may encounter.

    Coping with Behavior Change in Dementia: A Family Caregiver’s Guide
    by Beth Spencer and Laurie White (rev. 2015)
    This handbook is intended to help families understand possible causes of common behavior changes and learn to respond more effectively to behaviors. It is the authors’ firm belief that many of the most challenging behaviors may be minimized when caregivers learn how to identify root causes and try strategies that are known to help some people with dementia much of the time. The book includes strategies for the following: challenges with dressing, eating, bathing, toileting, mouth care; agitation, anxiety, anger and aggression; sleep and sundowning; wanting to go home; wandering, walking or pacing; repetitive behaviors; hallucinations, delusions and paranoia; physical intimacy and sexual behavior. There are also sections about communication and problem-solving, a glossary and an extensive list of other resources. Each behavior includes case examples from families as well as suggestions of ways to phrase things.

    Creating Moments of Joy Along the Alzheimer's Journey: A Guide for Families and Caregivers
    by Jolene Brackey (2016, 5th Edition)
    The result of the author’s vision for a world that will soon look beyond the challenges of dementia, this book seeks to redirect energy towards creating moments of joy. "We are not able to create a perfectly wonderful day for those who have dementia, but it is absolutely attainable to create perfectly wonderful moments." The book is divided into five sections, with each section including smaller steps. There is room for journaling thoughts, ideas and solutions to nurture the goal of creating moments of joy for the person with dementia and for the caregiver.

    Dignifying Dementia: A Caregiver’s Struggle
    by Elizabeth Tierney (2011)
    Dignifying Dementia is both a love story and an attempt to reach out to others who are living through or who will live through a similar tragedy. It is written in the hope that others might benefit from what the author learned as the caregiver of a person with Lewy Body dementia.

    Inside Alzheimer’s: How to Hear and Honor Connections with a Person who has Dementia
    by Nancy D. Pearce (2011)
    This book shares six basic principles of connection that will help care partners create moments of connection with persons, regardless of how advanced the dementia, and co-create a more supportive community of care.

    Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease
    by Joanne Koenig Coste (2004)
    In a friendly, knowledgeable style, the author offers five tenets in what she calls the "habilitation" approach to caring for people with progressive dementia.

    Living with Lewy Body Dementia: One Caregiver’s Personal, In-depth Experience
    by Judy Towne Jennings (2012)
    This book is authored by a personal caregiver and professional physical therapist with many years’ experience in movement disorders.

    Living With Lewy's: Empowering Today's Dementia Caregiver—A Revolutionary New Survival Guide For All Caregivers
    by Amy J. Throop and Gerald S. Throop (2011)
    This book is written by a husband and wife team who cared for a parent with LBD. There are many practical suggestions for day to day living with LBD.

    A Pocket Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver
    by DC Potts and E Woodward Potts (2011)
    This book offers practical advice on some of the most common problems that may arise when providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s. It also dispels the sense of hopelessness that families may feel when trying to enhance quality of life for their loved one with the disease.

    Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s
    by Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle (2010)
    In this profound and courageous memoir, Hoblitzelle describes how her husband Hob’s Alzheimer's diagnosis at the age of 72 challenged them to live the spiritual teachings they had embraced during the course of their life together. When they first heard the diagnosis, Olivia and Hob’s initial reaction was to cling desperately to the life they had had, but they learned to greet the last phase of Hob's life consciously and lovingly.

    What If It's Not Alzheimer's? A Caregiver's Guide to Dementia
    edited by Gary Radin and Lisa Radin (2008)
    The first comprehensive guide dealing with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), one of the largest groups of non-Alzheimer's dementias.

    Your Name is Hughes Hannibal Shanks: A Caregiver’s Guide to Alzheimer’s
    by Lela Knox Shanks (2005)
    This book is a personal account of one woman’s journey in caring for her husband, in their home. The author describes her initial denial, her discovery of coping skills, her eventual acceptance of his illness, and her ultimate recognition that the key to successful caregiving lies in never losing sight of the person’s humanness. The book outlines twenty coping and survival strategies to guide caregivers to untapped inner resources and shows caregiving’s intangible rewards of increased self-respect and self-knowledge.

    Resources for Children

    The Memory Box
    by Mary Bahr (1992)
    When Gramps realizes he has Alzheimer’s disease, he starts a memory box with his grandson, Zach, to keep memories of all the times they have shared.

    Singing with Momma Lou
    by Linda Jacobs Altman (2002)
    Nine-year-old Tamika Jordan dreads visiting her grandmother at the nursing home. Momma Lou has Alzheimer’s and always forgets who Tamika is. But when Tamika’s father shows her Momma Lou’s scrapbooks, the young girl gets the idea of jogging Momma Lou’s memory. During each visit, she shows her grandmother memorabilia from the scrapbook: Momma Lou dressing Tamika like an angel for a Christmas pageant, marching in a civil rights demonstration, and singing “We Shall Overcome” with other jailed protesters. One day Momma Lou recognizes a newspaper clipping and leads everybody in a celebration of song.

    Still My Grandma
    by Véronique Van den Abeele (2007)
    The realities of Alzheimer’s disease are gently introduced in this story for young readers about the special relationship between a girl and her grandmother. Camille and Grandma have sleepovers, bake cupcakes, giggle at old photographs, and go shopping together. But one day Grandma forgets Camille’s name. Then she can’t remember where to put her shoes. Camille learns that her grandma has Alzheimer’s disease, which is what makes her do strange things. And even though Grandma has to move out of her house and rely on nurses to care for her, Camille finds creative ways to maintain their friendship. Sensitive illustrations emphasize the story’s theme of unconditional love.

    What’s Happening to Grandpa?
    by Maria Shriver (2004)
    Kate has always adored her grandpa’s storytelling – but lately he’s been repeating the same stories again and again. One day, he even forgets Kate’s name. Her mother’s patient explanations open Kate’s eyes to what so many of the elderly must confront: Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss. Determined to support her grandfather, Kate explores ways to help him – and herself – cope by creating a photo album of their times together, memories that will remain in their hearts forever.

    Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator?
    by Max Wallack and Carolyn Given (2013)
    Authors Max Wallack and Carolyn Given believe that no child is too young to learn about Alzheimer’s disease, or how to participate in providing safe care for their loved one. Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator? is a sensitive, light-hearted children’s story that seamlessly provides its young readers with a toolbox to help them overcome their fears and frustrations. It shares easy-to-understand explanations of what happens inside the brains of adults with Alzheimer’s and how to cope with changes in their grandparents.

    Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
    by Mem Fox (1985)
    A young boy, Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge, lives next door to a nursing home in which several of his elder friends reside. His favorite friend is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, because she has four names just as he does. Wilfred discovers that Miss Nancy, who is 96, has "lost" her memory. Undaunted, Wilfred sets out to "find" Miss Nancy's memory for her.

    Regular exercise is a proven technique to maintain brain health. This section shares a variety of virtual exercise programs available on the web.

    Love to Move

    Love to Move is an age and dementia friendly seated gymnastics program which is transforming the lives of people living with dementia. Love to Move now offers 3 hour-long online sessions on their website here.

    NIH Go4Life

    Go4Life is an exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), designed to help older adults fit exercise and physical activity into daily life.

    The National Institute on Aging YouTube channel houses the following videos for older adults:

    A 10 minute sample workout class is here.

    A 20 minute sample workout class is here.

    A 60 minute sample workout class is here.

    Daily Caring

    Daily Caring is a website that gathers practical and useful tips, advice, personal stories, and resources related to caregiving and aging and organizes in an easy-to-navigate site.  DailyCaring offers a 15-minute balance and strength program for older adults, and more information about the benefits to exercise on their website here.

    YMCA of Silicon Valley

    The YMCA of Silicon Valley offers several virtual exercise classes for older adults including tai chi, yoga, and strength training. Other YMCA’s might also offer virtual classes for seniors, so looking into your local YMCA could be a good option as well. Find the resource here.

    Silver Sneakers

    Silver Sneakers is a program offered for older adults included with most insurance plans. The program includes access to local gym memberships, Silver Sneakers classes at those gyms, on-demand videos online, and more. Silver Sneakers offers free virtual exercise classes for older adults through their YouTube channel, and you can access additional perks by creating an account on the Silver Sneakers website. Find the video here.

    Dance Out Dementia

    Dance out Dementia is an organization devoted to raising awareness about brain health and helping people reduce their risk of dementia through dance.  Dance Out Dementia offers virtual dance classes for individuals with dementia on their website here.

  • Image above: Dr. Edna Rose presents to the community at an event in Detroit. 

    Each month, we bring our experts to the Ann Arbor and Detroit communities for a dementia-related lecture. We speak on a variety of topics including “The Latest Findings in Dementia Research,” “Can Alzheimer’s Disease Be Prevented?,” and “Exploring Art Initiatives for People Living With Memory Loss,” to name a few. Visit our event calendar from the menu for upcoming dates and topics, or subscribe to our monthly e-newsletters here to receive the upcoming dates to your inbox.

    To view recordings of our past community lectures, you can do so on our YouTube page here.

    Are you in need of an expert speaker?

    Our faculty speak in the community often to educate on dementia, research opportunities, and more. Contact Erin Fox at eefox@med.umich.edu.

  • Mind Matters Newsletter

    The Center’s Outreach, Recruitment and Education team publishes a bi-annual newsletter, Mind Matters. It highlights recent activities, currently recruiting research studies, wellness programs, and education/outreach events. The newsletter also spotlights staff members, as well as the personal stories of our research or wellness participants.

    Past issues of the print newsletter are available below:

  • Thank you for your interest in hearing from us!

    The Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center distributes several monthly e-newsletters. Please take a look at the options below, and consider subscribing to those in which you are interested. Each is distributed monthly, and you may unsubscribe at any time.

    If you have any additional questions, you can contact us at 734-936-8803.