Love, Loss, and Laughter
Seeing Alzheimer's Differently
By Cathy Greenblat
(Lyons Press, Hardcover, 9780762779079, 176pp.)
Publication Date: March 2012
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More than 5.3 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, and nearly 11 million family members and friends serve as unpaid caregivers. Love, Loss, and Laughter challenges the typical perception of people with Alzheimer’s as “empty shells,” lost to themselves and others.
Cathy Greenblat, PhD, is Professor Emerita of Sociology at Rutgers University, where she has served as a member of the Departments of Sociology and Women’s Studies. She has authored more than 100 professional articles and 14 books. Her award-winning photographs of aging, Alzheimer’s, and palliative care have been exhibited worldwide.
“Through powerful images and empowering messages, Love, Loss, and Laughter: Seeing Alzheimer's Differently offers a glimpse of the disease through an important new lens. This groundbreaking book provides honor, respect and dignity to people living with dementia and delivers comfort, support and understanding to their caregivers. Equal parts inspiring and informative, this book will go a long way in enhancing the quality of care, and the quality of life, of everyone touched by this disease."
—Maria Shriver, j
ournalist, activist, and best-selling author of six books, including What's Happening to Grandpa?
“This remarkable collection of photographs and commentaries creates an eye-opening perspective on persons with Alzheimer’s Disease—still human, still loved, and still capable of joy. It will inspire anyone—professional or lay person—who has been touched by Alzheimer’s.”
—Dr. Harvey Fineberg, President of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences
“The secret of this book is the secret of what really moves people to action. First, faces that express the full range of our humanity, vivid images that span the planet and test our emotional range. And second, stories of care that provide the backdrop for solid information on how to approach persons with dementia and their carers with respect and dignity.”
— Michael Splaine, Former Director of Policy and Advocacy Programs in the Public Policy Division of the Alzheimer’s Association
“As someone with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, I can identify with the joy that people still feel in living and being involved, despite their cognitive decline due to the condition. This exceptional collection of photographs captures this beautifully. You can almost touch the joy, love, and laughter that emanates from the people involved; it is so tangible, you are lovingly invited into each picture to share the moment”.
—Lynda A. Hogg, Board member of ADI and author of the report “Dementia: Impact on Relationships”
“Seeing is believing. These vibrant in-the-moment images and brilliantly brief program and practice pearls will change teaching and conversations about “caring” among aging services and healthcare professionals. Love, Loss. and Laughter will alter expectations, relationships, perspectives, talking and behavior. Everyone affected by dementia stands to gain. Buy this book.”
—Lisa P. Gwyther, Co-author, The Alzheimer’s Action Plan: A Family Guide, and Director of Duke Center for Aging Family Support Program
“People with illnesses are more than their disease. This fact needs to be borne in mind especially with Alzheimer’s, a (so far) irreversible brain disease whose most obvious effects are the steady deterioration of cognition and accompanying changes in the patient’s interpersonal world . This inspiring book with its extraordinary photographs and text goes a long way towards reminding us of the basic humanity of those afflicted and of how we can meet the challenges Alzheimer’s poses.”
— Gerald C. Davison, Ph.D., Dean of Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California