|Sign Up For My Monthly Newsletter!|
Thoughtful and self-reflective, this collection of illuminating essays offers a rare glimpse into the often incomprehensible world of individuals living with Alzheimer's disease. Diagnosed at age 58, psychologist Richard Taylor shares a provocative and courageous account of his slow transformation and deterioration, and of the growing divide between his reality and the reality of others.
With poignant clarity, candor, and humor, Taylor addresses the complexity and emotions surrounding issues such as the loss of independence and personhood, unwanted personality shifts, the struggle to communicate, changing relationships with loved ones and friends, continuous declines in ability to perform familiar tasks, and never ending uncertainty about the future.
Alzheimer's from the Inside Out is a captivating read for anyone affected by this mind-robbing disease. Individuals with early-stage Alzheimer's disease will take comfort in the voice of a fellow traveler experiencing similar challenges, frustrations, and triumphs. Family and professional caregivers will be enlightened by Taylor's revealing words, gaining a better understanding of an unfathomable world and how best to care for someone living in it.
After reading this book, I have come to the conclusion that this is perhaps the most important book in the field of dementia care ever written. Dr. Taylor writes with passion and humor about a wide range of topics that capture the experience of living with a diagnosis of Probable Alzheimer's disease. He describes looking through those lacey curtains at Grandmother's house with the breeze blowing and how some events seem to hide behind the knots. He eloquently details the importance of "Being heard" and of "Disabling the Enablers" yet he also informs care and care giving from a new and vitally important perspective. These poignant essays written by a sensitive and intellectually gifted author come from the heart and the soul of a brilliant man who has become a national champion and advocate for the millions of people living with this disease.
Note: I intend to use this book in my graduate level gerontology classes, with caregivers, and some of my physician friends will be receiving it as a gift!
Linda L. Buettner, Ph.D., CTRS, FGSA
Professor Health Science, Florida Gulf Coast University.
Extra-ordinary, brilliantly insightful, inspirational, courageous, thought provoking there is no end to the positive descriptors that can be attached to this amazing book by Richard Taylor. "Alzheimer's from the Inside Out" is not only a "must read" for persons with Alzheimer's and their personal and professional care partners, it is, plain and simple, a must read book. In sharing his reflections on, as Richard puts it so uniquely, "living with Dr. Alzheimer between my ears" Richard prods the reader to reflect on universally vital questions about values and life in general, and to laugh with him about human foibles. No matter how experienced and informed one is about Alzheimer's disease Richard's capacity to eloquently share his questions and insights cause the reader to stop and re-think; and to do it yet again on the second or third reading. I struggled to come up with just one quote that would illustrate Richard's unique gift but gave up as I would have to quote the whole book; instead please read, learn and enjoy for yourself the whole splendid book.
Carol Bowlby Sifton, Family Caregiver, Clinical Dementia Consultant, Editor, Alzheimer's Care Quarterly and author, "Navigating the Alzheimer's Journey:A Compass for Caregiving.
Dr. Taylor’s words shed light on a very dark experience and the reader is led out of the darkness by his frankness, his humor, and most of all his spirit “alive within me.” His penetrating and pleading comments related to care giving cause the reader to take a deep breath, pause, and move forward with much greater insight into the complexity of these emotional relationships. Are these innovative words asking too much of the reader? I think not. We have been shielded too long from the mysteries of Alzheimer’s disease; these fresh words compel us to shed our misperceptions and enter into the world of those who command our attention. Through Dr. Taylor’s beautiful language and poignant reflections, we approach some clarity about the long neglected and misunderstood phenomenological experience of those living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Naomi D. Nelson, PhD.
Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Texas
“Written with sensitivity, humor, and passion, Alzheimer’s from the Inside Out describes the author's sometimes bumpy, but always insightful, journey with Alzheimer’s disease. Telling his stories in a series of informative vignettes, Richard challenges us all to be more authentic and work to make life better for persons with dementia - not tomorrow, but today!”
–Virginia Bell, M.S.W., co-author, The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care