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Speaking Volumes: Here’s how you can learn more about Alzheimer’s, a disease without boundaries

According to the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org), the disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and in Florida.

One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, killing more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

The organization further states that early and accurate diagnosis is essential and could save up to $79 trillion in medical and care costs.

For more information, check out the Alzheimer’s Association and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov). Both sites provide needed information and resources for patients and their caregivers.

Your library also has an extensive array of books and other materials to inform you or a loved one about the disease.

Recent books on the subject discuss new advancements in fighting Alzheimer’s.

In “Alzheimer ’s disease and Dementia: What Everyone Needs to Know,” author Steven Sabat provides information about Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases as well as non-pharmaceutical methods to improve quality of life, by identifying the psychological and social strengths of people diagnosed.

Dr. Gaytari Devi, a neurologist for 20 years, defines Alzheimer’s as a spectrum disorder, such as autism, pointing out that the disease affects everyone differently. She further shares stories of patients as well as encouraging early diagnosis.

She also provides information of various drugs and therapies that can help manage the disease.

In “Defeating Dementia: What You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s and Other Forms of Dementia,” Dr. Richard Furman emphasizes lifestyle change, such as exercise and eating the right foods, which can dramatically reduce likelihood of developing dementia.

This last book is available as an E-book through Hoopla, an electronic resource available through the library.

There are materials for caregivers, too:

“Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s: An Emotional Journey” is a program on DVD that provides insight and understanding for those providing care to someone with the disease.

Vaughn E. James’ “The Alzheimer’s Advisor: A Caregiver’s Guide to Dealing with the Tough Legal and Practical Issues,” is another book that discusses the legal issues that arise for people with Alzheimer’s.

James talks about important legal issues that range from where medical care costs come from to estate plans to advanced directives.

The library also has media on the subject.

Nova’s “Can Alzheimer’s Be Stopped?” combines investigation of the possible causes of the disease and interviews with individuals who discuss their handling of the disease, their participation in clinical trials and how the researchers target and test therapies that might slow and perhaps prevent Alzheimer’s.

There are also the personal stories of people living with the disease.

“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias: 101 Stories of Caregiving, Coping, and Compassion” is comprised of anecdotes from patients and their caregivers, from people caring for a parent to strategies and tips for coping.

Visit your library for materials on this and other topics. Your library is online at mymanatee.org/library.

David Breakfield is a reference librarian at the Downtown Central Library. Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday in the Bradenton Herald.

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