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Resources help people deal with Alzheimer's

9/12/2003 News media contact: Tim Tanton · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn.

NOTE: This report is a sidebar to UMNS story #438.

A UMNS Report By Tom McAnally

When Al Rhodes-Wickett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at a relatively early age, his wife, Sharon, discovered that few resources address how to deal with the early onset of the disease or help children understand it.

Where do you turn if Alzheimer's confronts a family member or friend? Sharon suggests starting with the Web site: From there, you can find the support organization nearest you.

Sharon and her children are in a pilot support group funded by the Unihealth Foundation. "The creators of our program are now completing a manual for replication, which means that this wonderful group, which included both teaching and support, will soon be available through the Alzheimer's Association," she says.

Sharon recommends several books:

Living in the Labyrinth: A Personal Journey Through the Maze of Alzheimer's by Diane Friel McGowin, 1994, Dell Publishing.

Speaking our Minds: Personal Reflections from Individuals with Alzheimer's by Lisa Snyder, LCSW, 1999, WH Freeman Co.

Alzheimer's Early Stages, First Steps in Caring and Treatment by Daniel Kuhn, MSW Publishers Press, Salt Lake City.

Courage to Care: A Caregiver's Guide Through Each Stage of Alzheimer's by Joanne Parrent, 2001, Alpha Books.

The Forgetting, Alzheimer's: Portrait of an Epidemic by David Shenk, 2001, Doubleday.

Regarding Courage to Care, Sharon says, "I loved this book. It was written by a journalist who is not involved in it (Alzheimer's) personally. It is a very different approach with amazing quotes interspersed with a lot of history, detailing famous people with the disease."
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*McAnally is a former director of United Methodist News Service.

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