- New book, Confidence to Care, helps Alzheimer’s and dementia carers to become more confident in their ability to understand, manage and help loved ones living with Alzheimer’s and dementia
- Author, Molly Carpenter, is a personal and professional caregiver with over 20 years care experience
- 50,000 family carers in Ireland struggle to provide at home care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia
- Proceeds of book to be donated to dementia-related charities and causes in Ireland
Monday, 22nd June. Dementia care expert, Molly Carpenter, officially launched her first book for Irish caregivers, 'Confidence to Care', at a book signing event in Airfield farm in Dundrum. Molly's book was created to help Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers look after loved ones at home. It combines personal stories with practical techniques drawn from caregiving experiences from family caregivers, professional caregivers and internationally recognised experts. The book also focuses on the most common issues associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and helps family carers deal with caregiving situations they never thought they would have to face. Each chapter offers plenty of care approaches and prevention tips, and begin with a relevant and moving real-life family caregiver story.
The book launch and signing was hosted by Home Instead Senior Care, Ireland's largest home care provider. "Approximately 52% of the people we care for are living with Alzheimer's disease or a dementia. We spend a lot of our time not only helping the client remain at home but also supporting the family caregiver in helping them feel confident in their role as caregiver and supporting them with expert advice and professional care services", says Ed Murphy, Founder and CEO of Home Instead Senior Care Ireland.
“One of our first experiences with Alzheimer’s disease involved a client who refused to change her clothes. Marion insisted on wearing the same grey trousers every day, all day. Eventually her caregiver bought her a duplicate pantsuit and that was all that was needed to encourage her to change into a fresh set of clothes. It’s simple tips like this that are included in the book – everyday advice that make the caregiving experience slightly less daunting".
“Without understanding what triggers the behaviours associated with dementia, or knowing practical techniques to help counter them, it’s easy for family caregivers to feel overwhelmed. But discovering simple tips can mean the difference between endless frustration and a positive care experience”, continues Murphy.
About 44,000 people in Ireland are living with Alzheimer's disease - a number that is expected to reach 104,000 by 2037. There are over 50,000 family caregivers whose lives are affected as each day they care for a loved one that needs their support. As of this moment, there is no way to cure someone with Alzheimer’s and care providers therefore encourage families to think of how to care, rather than cure their loved ones living with a dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
Speaking at the book launch, Molly Carpenter, author of Confidence to Care, shared some of her own personal caregiving insights: "Caring for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia is challenging at best. In the beginning, taking care of that person will be maddening and frustrating and terrible. And frankly, you won’t be very good at it. I wasn’t at the start. So how do you stay in control but still allow your loved one to maintain dignity? My answer has turned more pragmatic over the years. You do it by listening.
I’ve found the best caregivers are the ones who give themselves permission to enter into the world of the person they’re caring for. What that means is looking for signs – the life someone once led, their passions, daily routines, and memories, all still matter. But now they are more important than ever.
At the heart of all caregiving is empathy. Not empathy in the way most people use the word, synonymous with sympathy, but empathy is the truest sense. Successful caregiving starts when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, when you learn to try and see what they see, and when you create a relationship based on respect and dignity", shares Molly Carpenter.
Confidence to Care also highlights the importance of the caring for the caregiver as well as caring for the person living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. It also provides support in dealing with a range of dementia-related symptoms and behaviours such as:
• Aggression and anger
• Agitation and anxiety
• Bedtime struggles and sleep problems
• Confusion and memory loss
• False accusations and paranoia
• Medication mismanagement
• Mood changes
• Sexually inappropriate behaviour
• Social withdrawal
All profits from this book will be donated to dementia-related organisations and causes. The Irish edition of the book is available in paperback and Kindle edition from Amazon.co.uk.
About the Author
Author, speaker, trainer and family caregiver. Molly Carpenter brings years of personal and professional senior care experience and training to families dealing with dementia care. Her passionate interest in older adults started early – as a secondary school student working in an adult day care programme – and continues as an adult and a professional. The reality of caregiving is never far from her experience due to her work in skilled nursing facilities, adult day care centres and continuum of care communities. In her current role, Carpenter works with a team responsible for ensuring that the Home Instead Senior Care network’s 60,000 caregivers worldwide have the resources necessary to effectively provide quality care in the home and understand the importance of their work enhancing the lives of those they serve. This combined background makes her uniquely qualified to author a book designed specifically to help family caregivers provide care to those with dementia in the home. Carpenter’s work as part of the team that developed a person-centred approach to Alzheimer’s care has been adopted and adapted globally and is critical to the success of the Home Instead care approach for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. This work has been endorsed by leading experts in the Alzheimer’s industry and adapted for family caregivers throughout the world.