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Dr. Ruth's Advice on Caregiving

The 84-year-old therapist known for her cheerful, frank discussion is now getting rave reviews for her down-to-earth advice about caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease.

For decades, the cheerful, diminutive and refreshingly frank Dr. Ruth Westheimer has been known around the world as the therapist who pioneered open discussion on sexual matters in the news media with her radio and TV program and interviews, and as the author of 30 books on the topic.

The now 84-year-old Dr. Ruth has put her trademark common sense on a new and far more intimidating topic: caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Her new book, Dr. Ruth's Guide for the Alzheimer's Care Giver, is getting rave reviews for its honest, direct approach and down-to-earth advice.

Dr. Ruth discusses coping strategies for caregivers, drawing on her training and experience in behavioral therapy to describe how to deal with stress, feelings of guilt or anger, how to accept help from others, and to have a life even when you take on the enormous responsibility of caregiving for a loved one.

In the Introduction Dr. Ruth explained why she wrote this book. “The purpose of this book is to make carrying that weight [of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s] a little more tolerable.” She succeeds fully in accomplishing that mission.

Much of the advice focuses directly on the well-being of the caregiver. Dr. Ruth reminds readers that they cannot effectively take care of a loved one unless they first take care of themselves and provide a steady foundation for caregiving.

Among the topics Dr. Ruth discusses are establishing normal routines such as meals; handling family disputes; working with physicians and care facilities; and maintaining a relationship with someone who has Alzheimer’s disease.

The American Library Association gave Dr. Ruth's Guide for the Alzheimer's Care Giver the following review in its influential publication Booklist: "Caregivers will find the answers to even the most awkward questions in this down-to-earth guide. All [caregivers] can benefit from Dr. Ruth's advice. . . Dr. Ruth is an empathetic guide. An excellent, commonsense guide to a heartbreaking disease.”

The book can be ordered online through Amazon.com or Dr. Ruth’s own website, drruth.com/ 

InTouch at Home is a Senior Resource Group, LLC (SRG) company. Serving the needs of seniors and their families for more than 20 years, SRG delivers on the promise of exceptional service and quality care each and every day through its 18 communities including La Vida Real (Rancho San Diego) and La Vida Del Mar. For more information, call 858-522-9942 or visit InTouch-at-Home.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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