Cultivating Compassionate Care: The Top 5 Must-Reads

senior woman

When running a facility dedicated to the care of patients with dementia, it’s important to stay up-to-date on helpful literature in the field. This allows us to remain vigilant and insightful about our care for those at Manchester. I wanted to share five books I’ve read in the last few months that have influenced our philosophy and, in turn, benefited Manchester residents greatly.

The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer's Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins

  • This book is an informative and unfiltered look at the reality of Alzheimer’s. For over 30 years, families who have been affected by Alzheimer’s have found comfort in this book. It features the latest information on causes of dementia and managing the early stages of the disease. When home care is no longer an option, it helps to know that you have others; this book highlights those options and appropriate living arrangements for the person who has dementia. Places like Manchester are out there for you to turn to. We’re here for you, for your loved one and your family. If there’s one thing I took from this, it’s that you’re not alone.

‚óŹ Contented Dementia: A Revolutionary New Way of Treating Dementia: 24-hour Wraparound Care for Lifelong Well-being by Dr. Oliver James

  • This book is about a very important topic for those with dementia: quality of life. Throughout every stage of this illness, the sufferer and caregiver are challenged. Those with dementia often lose recent memories but still have past memories intact. Our staff tries to tap into these memories through daily activities using the SPECAL Method (Specialized Early Care for Alzheimer’s), as outlined in this book. The method works by “creating links between past memories and the routine activities of daily life in the present.” This book shows you that our residents can be reached. No matter their condition, there is someone still there, and it is our job to figure out the right pathway to them.
  • What Are Old People For?: How Elders Will Save the World by William H. Thomas
    • This book is humbling, written in plain English, and helps remind the world that our residents have had a full and meaningful life and, ultimately, they should be valued. Ageism is a real thing in today’s world. This book empowers the idea that getting older is a privilege and our elders deserve much better treatment.
  • The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw
    • We value what this book has to offer: that our residents have accomplished a lot and are interesting, intelligent people. They are not defined by their current afflictions, but rather are made up of stories full of courage, intrigue and growth. The author focuses on those who came of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War and went on to build modern America.
  • Nuts! By Kevin Freiberg and Jackie Freiberg
    • This book gives great insight into the world of the twice-ranked Southwest Airlines as one of the ten best companies to work for in America. The company employs its own brand of business success and is a happy place for its workers; it has the lowest employee turnover rate. This behind-the-scenes look at how Herb Kelleher formulated such a successful workplace has influenced our philosophy at Manchester. Our employees are involved in life-fulfilling work and are treated with dignity and respect. In turn, this positive environment creates a happy place for our residents, who are also treated with dignity and respect.

I hope you found this list as inspiring as we have. Literature such as these continue to broaden our perspective and influence our approach to our elders. In a world where elders are not treated as they should be, we at Manchester fight for their voices, their health and their happiness.