A meticulous, practical, and sympathetic guide for families caring for a relative affected by what is commonly called senility. The authors estimate that five percent of the older population suffers from severe intellectual impairments, and an equal number from the milder impairments of thinking, memory, and reasoning which fall in the category of ""dementia."" With some cautions--""severe memory loss is never a normal part of growing older,"" our knowledge of such impairments is limited--Mace and Rabins review everything that is known about causes and treatment of the resulting problems. Or, simply how to cope. The First step, they counsel, is to secure reliable medical help. Some impairments--though not most--have a treatable medical cause and can be cured; in any case, a secure ongoing relationship with a physician is essential. There follows a discussion of the overwhelming problems that are common with dementia: disordered thought processes (loss of memory and coordination), increasing dependence (job loss, difficulty with money), curtailment of daily activities (safety is often the major problem), medical problems (from pressure sores to dying), aberrant behavior (nocturnal wandering, hiding, and losing things), mood disorders. The needs and problems of the caretaker (and other family members) receive equal weight. Along with consideration of emotional responses, financial/legal issues, and Finding outside help (including the nursing home decision), Mace and Rabins look at what happens if the caretaker becomes ill or dies; and they give sensitive advice to spouses of impaired people, who may find themselves reluctantly reevaluating their marriages. Superb guidance and support for families faced with a devastating problem.