An empowering, authoritative manual written in a simple, informal style.

Alzheimer's - Dementia


A debut guide to evaluating nursing homes that serve people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Gallogly, a retired nurse who worked in nursing homes in Northern Ireland, takes a very personal approach to this manual, saying that “I primarily started this writing to inform my own family, just in case I should develop dementia of any type myself.” In the book’s first part, she concentrates on providing information about nursing homes for the average consumer, including helpful details about staff, facilities, and resident activities. The “Pre-Visit Information Guide” will likely interest anyone evaluating such places for a family member; in it, the author offers tips on what one should look for in terms of location, décor (including color photographs, for example), and activities for residents. Gallogly also addresses the issue of potential abuse “because this question has worried so many family members.” All this information, written from the perspective of an insider, will be valuable for readers comparing one nursing home to another. Early on, the author makes the point that as a visitor, one “must use all your senses”: “Go beyond simply looking; pay attention to sounds and smells as well.” She augments this advice with numerous questions that one should ask home managers. Gallogly also offers several examples of patients (including her own mother) from her own caregiving experiences to illustrate various points, and they give a human, emotional context to the work as a whole. The book’s second part, excerpted from the author’s university studies, is more academic in tone, presenting a history of dementia and a discussion of “person-centered” care; as such, it may appeal most to health care professionals. Because the book is European in its focus, some terms and descriptions may differ from those in other geographical areas, but this doesn’t reduce its effectiveness as a general resource.

An empowering, authoritative manual written in a simple, informal style. 

Pub Date: Dec. 11, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5049-9586-3

Page Count: 160

Publisher: AuthorHouseUK

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2016

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...


A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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American schools at every level, from kindergarten to postgraduate programs, have substituted ideological indoctrination for education, charges conservative think-tanker Sowell (Senior Fellow/Hoover Institution; Preferential Polices, 1990, etc.) in this aggressive attack on the contemporary educational establishment. Sowell's quarrel with "values clarification" programs (like sex education, death-sensitizing, and antiwar "brainwashing") isn't that he disagrees with their positions but, rather, that they divert time and resources from the kind of training in intellectual analysis that makes students capable of reasoning for themselves. Contending that the values clarification programs inspired by his archvillain, psychotherapist Carl Rogers, actually inculcate values confusion, Sowell argues that the universal demand for relevance and sensitivity to the whole student has led public schools to abdicate their responsibility to such educational ideals as experience and maturity. On the subject of higher education, Sowell moves to more familiar ground, ascribing the declining quality of classroom instruction to the insatiable appetite of tangentially related research budgets and bloated athletic programs (to which an entire chapter, largely irrelevant to the book's broader argument, is devoted). The evidence offered for these propositions isn't likely to change many minds, since it's so inveterately anecdotal (for example, a call for more stringent curriculum requirements is bolstered by the news that Brooke Shields graduated from Princeton without taking any courses in economics, math, biology, chemistry, history, sociology, or government) and injudiciously applied (Sowell's dismissal of student evaluations as responsible data in judging a professor's classroom performance immediately follows his use of comments from student evaluations to document the general inadequacy of college teaching). All in all, the details of Sowell's indictment—that not only can't Johnny think, but "Johnny doesn't know what thinking is"—are more entertaining than persuasive or new.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 1993

ISBN: 0-02-930330-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1992

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