Alzheimer's - Dementia


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

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


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


An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.

A study of swimming as sport, survival method, basis for community, and route to physical and mental well-being.

For Bay Area writer Tsui (American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods, 2009), swimming is in her blood. As she recounts, her parents met in a Hong Kong swimming pool, and she often visited the beach as a child and competed on a swim team in high school. Midway through the engaging narrative, the author explains how she rejoined the team at age 40, just as her 6-year-old was signing up for the first time. Chronicling her interviews with scientists and swimmers alike, Tsui notes the many health benefits of swimming, some of which are mental. Swimmers often achieve the “flow” state and get their best ideas while in the water. Her travels took her from the California coast, where she dove for abalone and swam from Alcatraz back to San Francisco, to Tokyo, where she heard about the “samurai swimming” martial arts tradition. In Iceland, she met Guðlaugur Friðþórsson, a local celebrity who, in 1984, survived six hours in a winter sea after his fishing vessel capsized, earning him the nickname “the human seal.” Although humans are generally adapted to life on land, the author discovered that some have extra advantages in the water. The Bajau people of Indonesia, for instance, can do 10-minute free dives while hunting because their spleens are 50% larger than average. For most, though, it’s simply a matter of practice. Tsui discussed swimming with Dara Torres, who became the oldest Olympic swimmer at age 41, and swam with Kim Chambers, one of the few people to complete the daunting Oceans Seven marathon swim challenge. Drawing on personal experience, history, biology, and social science, the author conveys the appeal of “an unflinching giving-over to an element” and makes a convincing case for broader access to swimming education (372,000 people still drown annually).

An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-61620-786-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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