Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease” as Want to Read:
Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  204 ratings  ·  36 reviews
More than four million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, and as many as twenty million have close relatives or friends with the disease. Revolutionizing the way we perceive and live with Alzheimer’s, Joanne Koenig Coste offers a practical approach to the emotional well-being of both patients and caregivers that emphasizes relating to patients in their own reality. Her acc ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 8th 2004 by Mariner Books (first published November 20th 2003)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Learning to Speak Alzheimer's, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Learning to Speak Alzheimer's

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 407)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jan 12, 2008 Cate rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to understand dementia
Recommended to Cate by: the Oregon Chapter of the Alzheimer's Ass'n
Joanne Koenig Coste's experience with Alzheimer's disease predates the National Alzheimer's Association! Her husband was diagnosed with what we now know to be Early Onset AD when she was pregnant with their 4 child.

Quickly coming to grips with the reality of what was turning her life upside down, she did what she had to do.

Luckily she was near Rush Medical Center in Illinois, which pioneered the U.S. early work in the dementia field -- and is why the Alzheimer's Association is also based in Chi
Jan 20, 2014 Kathy added it
This book had valuable insights, it is such a terrible disease, see my dad slipping away
This book is very helpful for anyone who had to start dealing with a relative who has this disease. It points out some important things to consider. I think it saves a person the effort of trying to re-invent the wheel. Great suggestions. Highly recommended.
Really useful advice and tricks of trade for Alzheimer's care and how to successfully interact with patients. Give this to anyone whose loved one in is late mild to moderate stages. A giant step beyond the 36 Hour Day.
An absolutely essential read for anyone dealing with Alzheimer's in any capacity. Coste offers a first-hand account of her life dealing with her husband's disease and it was very moving and practical.
Great book for understanding and coping with Alzheimer's. At times she seemed overly optimistic but I think the methods are good and worth trying for any family caring for a loved one with Alzheimers.
This was an VERY helpful book. It's practical describing the stages one goes through who is experiencing the disease,it provides very helpful strategies for caregivers on providing creative and positive physical, psychological and spiritual guidelines, and it also gives the caregiver ways in which they can cope with their circumstances on a personal level. I would HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who is a caregiver to one experiencing this devastating disease.
Every occupational therapist working with patients with neurodegenerative disorders should read this book. The habilitation approach breaks down domains and areas of the patient's life similar to the OTPF and many other OT theories. The book offers hundreds of examples on how to modify tasks or the environment in order to optimize the patients current level of functioning in order to maintain/preserve independence.
Very good description of Alzheimer's from the point of view of person whose husband had the disease set in while she was pregnant with their last child. This is a realistic almost harsh reality look at the disease and its effects. How to deal with the day to day issues that arise with Alzheimer's patients and what resources may be needed are laid out clearly. The term "habilitation" is coined to describe what the person who is the caregiver/partner is doing to deal with the patient. Very helpful ...more
This is an excellent book for anyone who will interact with an Alzheimer's patient - family or friend. My mother has some dementia (probably not Alzheimer's) but I found the book really helpful as her behavior matches some of the early stage Alzheimer's behaviors. It has helped me understand her frustration at not being able to remember and to have a much more caring and patient attitude when I'm with her. Highly recommended.
Sharon Ader
Apr 29, 2009 Sharon Ader marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction
Learning to Speak Alzheimer's is written by a woman whose husband had Alzheimer's. I have always found caregivers to be among the best people to talk to and most of those caregivers I have known through support groups. I didn't read this book from cover to cover, but I just didn't feel the connection with this caregiver. I don't know if it is because my mother is a always so very unhappy and angry at us all and the author just seemed to handle it all so easily. Where are the difficult patients. ...more
This was a great book. Even though it's written more for the caregiver, I think it's a great insight into how someone with this disease feels and sees the world and gives tips on how to handle them when they do something strange or hard. The two biggest lessons I walked away with were 1) you can't reason with someone who's beyond reasoning so go ahead and enter their world because it's real to them and 2) You're not a careGIVER you're a carepartner. Allow the person with Alzheimers to be part of ...more
Rhonda Johnson
As on occupational therapist, caring for my mother in my home, this was an amazing book filled with tons of useful information. My mom is 66 and was diagnosed at 62 with early onset Alzheimer's. this book helps me plan for our upcoming changes.
When a person has Alzheimer's, other people often don't know how to relate to them. This book emphasizes five aspects of "habilitation", which enhances communication and understanding between caregivers and patients. The author helps the reader to reconnect emotionally with the Alzheimer's patient even when verbal communication is limited by the disease. Hundreds of practical tips and an extensive appendix of resources make this a worthwhile read for those who have loved ones with Alzheimer's.
I think what drives my five-star rating for this book was my five-star need to find a roadmap into the Alzheimer disease which is taking my 92 year old mother from me slowly, by inches and by days. I hope you never need a resource like this, because I wouldn't wish the burden of a loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia on any other soul. However, if your time comes, you will be better able to function as a caregiver if you have read this book and kept it as a readily accessible resource.
Highly recommend for friends and family of Alzheimer's sufferers.
Dec 17, 2013 Fawn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: psych
Skimmed through. Was not as practical as I'd hoped, but neither was anything else I was able to find. Grandma was far past when these techniques would have been useful - she died a few weeks later after being nearly comatose for one of those. Have been using some with grandpa, who doesn't have Alzheimer's, but is increasingly vague since grandma died.
A very practical and thorough approach to caring for those suffering from Alzheimer's. Packed with simple suggestions (and more complex solutions for institutional settings) that will make both a patient and a caregiver happier and more comfortable. Personal insights added an excellent touch and real depth to the piece.
I found this book both fascinating and practical. I like its sensitivity towards both Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers and its creative approach to problem-solving.

The beginning of the book is not only useful, but touching. Towards the end of the book, the practicality remains, but the writing is drier.
I read this book hoping to gain new insights in how to communicate with my mother who is in end-stage dementia. The book wasn't quite what I expected but it is the most practical book about Alzheimer's patient care I've read. I wish I'd read it years ago.
Dec 31, 2011 Kate marked it as unfinished
Recommends it for: Mom
Shelves: secondhand
"The accuracy of our interchange was unimportant; her self-esteem was all that mattered."

HOLIDAYS: "Plan on having the person with Alzheimer's be with only one person at a time, to cut down on confusion and oversimulation."
May 28, 2008 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: non
Really interesting, healthy, proactive approach to Alzheimer's. Practical information for protecting the emotional well being of both care giver and patient. Interspersed with actual people living it.
Mark Morrison
If there is an Alzheimer's patient or caregiver in your life, please read this book. It is written with both firsthand knowlege of the disease as well as a lifetime of clinical experience.
An EXCELLENT read for anyone interested in practical, day-to-day things that can be done to ease the transition from ordinary life into the world of alzheimer's (and other dementias).

This helps. I'm neither a patient or caregiver, but my presence as a musician in a special care center will be easier with the understandings from this book.
Oct 24, 2008 Linda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: caretakers
This is an excellent book for understanding and dealing with those with dementia. So much to learn, this book is a lifesaver for caretakers.
Accessible reading with loads of understanding on the intricacies of the disease. Favorite quote: don't try to reason with an unreasonable person.
This book has a lot of good ideas, insights, and information for anyone living with a loved one who has memory loss issues. I may just buy a copy.
This book is an excellent resource for anyone who needs to deal with a family member who has any form of dementia.
Gord Higginson
Fascinating book--loaded with practical advice interspersed with anecdotes of Alzheimer's sufferers.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life
  • Creating Moments of Joy for the Person with Alzheimer's or Dementia: A Journal for Caregivers
  • Dancing with Rose: Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's
  • The Forgetting: Alzheimer's: Portrait of an Epidemic
  • Old Friends
  • Miss Piggy's Guide to Life
  • Children's Literature Gems: Choosing and Using Them in Your Library Career
  • Visual Storytelling: Inspiring a New Visual Language
  • In the Presence of Fear
  • The Formula: How Algorithms Solve all our Problems … and Create More
  • The Marilyn Monroe Treasures
  • Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders
  • The Meaning of Anxiety
  • Scaling Down: Living Large in a Smaller Space
  • Still Talking
  • Animal Ingredients A to Z
  • HIDDEN MICKEY 2: It All Started...
  • False Justice: Eight Myths that Convict the Innocent, Revised Edition
Learning To Speak Alzheimers: The new approach to living positively with Alzheimers Disease

Share This Book