Managing the descent into dementia

A new book on Managing the descent into dementia

‘A Caregiver’s Guide to Dementia’ by Gitlin and Piersol

This book offers advice on managing a loved one whose brain has stopped keeping up with the demands of a daily life.

Sometimes, when you feel that life and its complications are completely out of control, you just want some plain, uncomplicated advice.  Not explanations, background or analysis – just simple suggestions for what to do next.

That is the goal of this book.  Though, some of its introductory language uses the jargon of the health-care world, most of the book consists of brief, straightforward advice on managing a loved one whose brain has stopped keeping up with the demands of daily life.

Here are some examples they recommend: (taken from the book)

  • Use a one-step verbal command.  Example:  Turn on water.  Pick up your toothbrush.
  • Limit clothing choices, and lay the clothes out in the order that the person with dementia will put them on.
  • Present food items one at a time.  Use a white plate to eliminate distractions from patterns on dishware.
  • Watch for signs of frustrations, such as fidgeting, restlessness and loud talking.  Consider staying at arm’s length; if you come too close, the person may feel threatened, become angry or strike out.

The authors address a wide range of situations, including incontinence, inappropriate sexual behavior and repetitive questions.  They say their strategies have been used in both research and practice, and have been found helpful.


About Cleansing Water, Inc.

Cleansing Water, Inc. is a Warrenton, Virginia home health care agency offering professional geriatric care and serving seniors, individuals recovering from surgery, individuals with long-term disabilities, and other clients throughout Fauquier, Culpeper, Gainesville, Haymarket, Middleburg, Prince William, Rappahannock and other Piedmont Virginia communities. We provide in-home companions, certified nursing assistants, and geriatric care managers to assist with the tasks of daily living, monitor health and medications, and ensure clients are well cared for, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

For more information about Cleansing Water’s short-term and long-term home health care services, Call (540) 341-0212 or our toll-free number, (866) 294-4665, to schedule a consultation and discuss your geriatric care and home health care options. You can also visit for more information