Across America and around the world, the five love languages have revitalized relationships and saved marriages from the brink of disaster. Can they also help individuals, couples, and families cope with the devastating diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD)?
Coauthors Chapman, Shaw, and Barr give a resounding yes. Their innovative application of the five love languages creates an entirely new way to touch the lives of the five million Americans who have Alzheimer's, as well as their fifteen million caregivers. At its heart, this book is about how love gently lifts a corner of dementia's dark curtain to cultivate an emotional connection amid memory loss.
This collaborative, groundbreaking work between a healthcare professional, caregiver, and relationship expert will: Provide an overview of the love languages and Alzheimer's disease, correlate the love languages with the developments of the stages of AD, discuss how both the caregiver and care receiver can apply the love languages, address the challenges and stresses of the caregiver journey, offer personal stories and case studies about maintaining emotional intimacy amidst AD. Keeping Love Alive as Memories Fade is heartfelt and easy to apply, providing gentle, focused help for those feeling overwhelmed by the relational toll of Alzheimer's. Its principles have already helped hundreds of families, and it can help yours, too.
"Through stories that are moving and unflinching, Keeping Love Alive as Memories Fade shows how love can persist even as dementia gradually erodes memory and physical abilities. It offers powerful testimony to the lasting nature and immense power of human relationships."
- Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH | Co-author, The 36-Hour Day
"Keeping Love Alive takes on what has been notably absent from most personal narratives or guides to living with someone with Alzheimer's or a related disease. Readers are rewarded with sound antidotes to the pervasive nihilism about the potential for loving relationships and meaningful connections as intimate family relationships irrevocably change when memories fade. The love languages are positive approaches to being present backed by sound rationales for why it is important for the individual and the family. Blessedly removed are the more typical attempts to sugar coat the realities of loss. Ed's personal and professional stories will resonate with caring couples and families desperately seeking reminders of the transformative resilience of loving long-term relationships. Long overdue, this book reminds families that although they don't have to do it all, meaningful connections can make a difference in the quality of family life despite progressive cognitive decline."
- Lisa P. Gwyther, MSW, LCSW | Director, Duke (Alzheimer's) Family Support Program; Duke Health
"Love lives on during times of loss, and there is profound value and redemption in intentionally expressing both the love and the grief that is part of the Alzheimer's journey. Yes! Be open. Be kind. The world needs more compassionate, love-affirming books like this."
- Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. | Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition and author of Healing Your Grieving Heart When Someone You Care About Has Alzheimer's
"As a geriatrician, I am all too familiar with the Alzheimer's disease and the devastating effect it can have upon those afflicted and those who care for them. Alzheimer's and other dementias are the most terrifying complications of growing older, more feared than cancer, heart disease, and even death itself. So whether you simply wish to know more about these increasingly epidemic disorders or especially if already dealing with their losses and challenges in yourself or a loved one, Keeping Love Alive as Memories Fade should be required reading. For as artfully crafted and compellingly written, this compact volume brings hope, insight, and practical coping strategies into clear focus. For indeed love is the answer and its flame must be kept alight through every phase of this journey to its end."
- William R. Hazzard MD | Professor of Internal Medicine, Section on Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine; Wake Forest School of Medicine; Wake Forest Baptist Health
"Brilliant minds come together in this essential guide through the Alzheimer's journey! I would have loved this book when my mom was fading away. You'll learn how to stay connected with the loved one you are watching disappear with real life examples as well as specific daily exercises and tactics you can use to stay in touch and in love. This roadmap of the Alzheimer's brain allows you to follow along, adapting and changing your interaction with a brain that is continuously changing with each stage of this disease. You can't fix what is breaking, but you can break through... with unconditional love."
- Lanie Pope | Chief Meteorologist, WXII News, Winston-Salem, NC
"A much-needed and refreshingly instructive guide devoted to the essential discussion of relationship, intimacy, and the complexities of connection at all stages in the dementia experience. Many wise books counsel caregivers on learning the language of dementia, but in the illuminating text of Keeping Love Alive as Memories Fade, the authors remind us of our deeply-rooted shared humanity with persons with dementia, and that learning the transformative language of love is indeed, the most profound, affirming, and enduring form of communication."
- Lisa Snyder, MSW, LCSW | University of California, San Diego; Author, Speaking Our Minds - What It's Like to Have Alzheimer's