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The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life
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The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  2,843 ratings  ·  353 reviews
Revised in 2006 for its twenty-fifth anniversary, this best-selling book is the "bible" for families caring for people with Alzheimer disease, offering comfort and support to millions worldwide. In addition to the practical and compassionate guidance that have made The 36-Hour Day invaluable to caregivers, the fourth edition is the only edition currently available that inc ...more
Paperback, Fourth Edition, 324 pages
Published October 9th 2006 by The Johns Hopkins University Press (first published November 1st 1981)
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Karen This book has helped me deal with my mother and mother in law, both of whom have dementia to different degrees. I find support, reminders of ways to h…moreThis book has helped me deal with my mother and mother in law, both of whom have dementia to different degrees. I find support, reminders of ways to handle behaviors as they progress (degress?) through their lives. (less)

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 ·  2,843 ratings  ·  353 reviews

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Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I spent 18 years of my professional life as a social worker specializing in the problems of the aging. Thirteen of those years were in nursing homes and rehab facilities. I could always identify the families of residents with Alzheimer's: they had big black circles under their eyes from lack of sleep. The 36 Hour Day was and is still the best thing written for the loved ones and caregivers of dementia patients. This book will help you deal with the terrible burdens of anger, love, guilt and conf ...more
Jane Hoppe
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I had heard that The 36-Hour Day is the Alzheimer's caregivers bible, and I can see why. Having read other books on the subject, I'd say The 36-Hour Day is a more complete reference guide, helpful in many different stages of caregiving. Chapter titles are Dementia, Getting Medical Help for the Person with Dementia, Characteristic Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia, Problems in Independent Living, Problems Arising in Daily Care, Medical Problems, Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia, Symptoms That Appear ...more
Oct 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who has a family member suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Recommended to Deana by: mother-in-law
I picked up this book because it was recommended by the doctor who is helping keep up with the progress of my husband's grandfather's disease. He recommended that all family members read it, but much of the family was avoiding it, claiming it was horrible and too depressing. So I offered to read it and pass on the information that I found useful.

It was an extremely interesting book, though very, very repetitive in its mantra - there is no way that any human being will be able to take care of a l
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A useful and well put together guide about the complex world of Alzheimer dementia and how to care for people who are suffering from it.
Abeer Hoque
Jun 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-recommend
This is a fabulous and exhaustive guide for families caring for people with Alzheimer's, dementia, and memory loss. It's been around and continually updated for the last 25 years and is couched in compassionate and clear language.

The book goes through all the stages of these tragic, often irreversible conditions, and how to deal with them in various ways, how to discuss and approach them, what (few) medications and (more) therapies are out there, the history and research behind the conditions a
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Damn depressing but darn useful
Caidyn (he/him/his)
Alright, I finished this! And, I can see why this is usually seen as the book on Alzheimer's disease and dementia in general. Very informative and I'm definitely adding this too my practicum project for next year.
Larry Killion
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
“Mom is 87 and we've gone through a lot in the last year or so. She is diagnosed with AD and is at the point where she can't live by herself anymore. We attended an all day seminar on Dementia and Alzheimer Disease and they recommended this book. It is excellent and very thorough. It explains the different forms of dementia and all the various different problems that come with it. It covers research and suspected causes along with other medical problems. For me, the best part was when it dealt w ...more
Bill H.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though I make no claim to having surveyed books on caring for those with dementia, etc., The 36-Hour Day strikes me as one of the most complete guidebooks one could want. From definitions, information on stages, how one relates to those stages, references to support groups, a guide to evaluating care facilities, particular problems that might arise, caregiver stress signs, financial concerns, research on dementia. It's all there. Every person in the position of providing care for someone with Al ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A little hard to read some parts, not because of the information or style of writing, but because I'm living the things described. However, this is the best all-in-one resource I've found that answers as many questions as anything can about an unpredictable disease that follows no rules. Definitely worth the read regardless of the stage your loved one happens to be in, and I also highly recommend it for other family members and friends who are not direct caregivers so they can at least begin to ...more
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Where to begin? I read the 1990 version (16th printing) of this originally-printed in 1981 book to glean information in dealing with a loved one who suffers from dementia, so I knew going in that much of the information could potentially be outdated. Given how old it is, it's remarkably current in many/most ways that matter. (If the organization website URL'S and phone numbers are outdated, they're easy enough to find on the web.)

Overall, it was a most helpful read and am so grateful to have had
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alzheimers
wow is all i can say.. i love this book will be buying it for references ..
One of the keys to the success of this book is their acceptance that caregivers are going to have emotions, unrealistic ideas about the prognosis, misinformation about the nature of dementia and will underestimate the diseases effects on them and their family. It's okay to feel guilty, it's okay to feel conflicted, it's okay that you eventually may be unable to care for this person you love, whose personality is changing
Vannessa Anderson
The 36-hour Day describes itself as “A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, other Dementias, and Memory Loss” and opened with Mary who thought she was losing her mind due to memory loss and instead of helping her, her doctor gave her some pills and told her, her memory loss was due to aging.

Just a few things from the book

1. Dementia does not mean the person is crazy
2. Dementia describes a group of symptoms that can be caused by many diseases
3. Severe memory loss is never
May 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, non-fiction, esth
I can't imagine a more comprehensive and compassionate book on caring for a loved one with dementia. Even if you are not a primary caregiver, this will be of interest if you know someone who is or have someone with dementia in your life. The author describes the person is trying his/her best, often making an incredible effort to get through each day and the reasons people with dementia do many of the things they do. I am dealing with this right now and it was an eye-opener that made me more forg ...more
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Thorough and compassionate, offering accessible information and practical advice, The 36-Hour Day is a necessary resource for families living with dementia. Still the gold standard, this book is the trusted reference that families turn to first—and over and over—for guidance and support in caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.” –Lisa Genova
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I hadn’t had any practical knowledge of Alzheimer’s Disease beyond dealing with end-of-life dementia in my grandparents so I thought my common sense would steer me through this new journey our family is undertaking. It took a comment from a relative, who’s been dealing with neurological problems, for me to realize how inadequate my education was: when discussing getting lost while driving, I inquired why she didn’t just use her iPad? Exasperated, she replied, “Because it’s not that I couldn’t fi ...more
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is more helpful than anything I've ever read or an advice I have ever received on Alzheimer's disease. It is the ultimate help for family and caregivers.
Dorian Martin
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A classic! It's one of the best books in helping caregivers understand Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.
Amy ~ Love At 1st Read
Very informative. This book was recommended to me by a friend and later by out Alzheimer's clinic. It's not a book to be read cover to cover but one where you can find guidance for whatever issue you're currently facing.
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Every family with dementia persons in that family, and health care workers should read this book. Though the worse symptoms did not apply to my family member who has vascular dementia, it was a very helpful book.
Nathan Seale
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As the title reads, one of the most comprehensive books on the disease and one that provides copious amounts of practical ideas and solutions.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2019
Highly recommend for anyone who has a family member with dementia.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Perhaps my own experiences were too far down the line by the time I read this book, but it didn't help me nor live up to the hype.
Diane Althoff
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
As a caregiver both in the past as a nurse on an Alzheimer's ward and now as a spouse to someone diagnosed with vascular dementia, I have read this book several times over the years. It is a great reminder to family members and friends as to what is happening on a day-to-day basis with folks who have this terrible disease. Sometimes it is easy to forget on days when they seem to be doing fairly well.
While this book is very thorough and full of things I have experienced, I ended up skimming the majority of this book. I was too late to this advice. If you are at the stage were Mom or Dad's growing quirkiness, forgetfulness, behavior changes are starting becoming a bigger problem, this would be a good book to get at that stage. If you are 2 years into full-blown Dementia then you've already fought your way through most of these topics.
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Update: Taking this book off my "currently reading" shelf since my dad's struggle has ended. I hope to not ever have to return to it, but I will keep it around in case I am confronted with the need again. It is a wonderful and incredibly useful book. Please support the Alzheimer's Association in finding prevention and a cure for this terrible disease.

Original review: This is probably going to be on my "currently reading" list for as long as my dad has Alzheimer's. It's not a book you want to sit
Jennifer Fatula
This was a difficult book to read from an emotional standpoint; much of it made me think of my father's ordeal with Primary CNS Lymphoma and a little bit of when my grandmother dealt with Alzheimer's though I was a bit more removed from that case. It can also be a little overwhelming to read about the possibilities of what might be coming in the future. However, it was far easier to read than I thought it would be, not dry at all and very reaffirming and caring toward the person reading it. I th ...more
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book is organized so that one can read it in sections as a reference manual for needed tips and techniques. The advice I've read through was quite useful and prepared me for handling specific situations I encountered dealing with my loved one. The chapters I've chosen to read through in their entirety do the same. Alzheimer's is a disease that is very hard on us care-givers because the disease is awful, so if you are looking for a book offering practical advice without sugar-coating, this is ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
"Lower the tone (pitch) of your voice. A lower pitch is easier for the hearing impaired person to hear."

"A person who has dementia loses the uncanny ability normal individuals have for judging the passage of time."
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An excellent guide for understanding and dealing with a loved one who has Alzheimer's/dementia. There has been a lot of frustration in my own family with my grandmother's condition, and this book really put things into perspective for me. Instead of being angry and frustrated, and reacting on raw emotion, I've been able to deal with problems as they arise and with clarity.
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