to whom the title of editor does no justice. Her efforts in the making of Ahead of Dementia and Ahead of Memory Loss went far above countless hours spent in guiding the author, skilled editing, formatting, proofreading, designing, and creating a book. Her insightful knowledge of dementia issues—acquired through years of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s and facilitating a support group for spouses of dementia patients— added an indispensable depth to this work. Karen’s contribution was invaluable for her attention to detail, aversion to superficiality, and profound compassion for those affected with dementia. Her dedication and enthusiasm are deeply appreciated. I can’t imagine how these books might have turned out without her.
In my role as educator and dementia care specialist at the Alzheimer’s Association, I have counseled thousands of families on resources and strategies for care throughout the duration of the disease. My previous experience working with brain injury survivors, helped me build a strong set of skills for helping caregivers to relate and communicate with their loved ones affected by dementia. Ahead of Dementia is written for those caring for loved ones living with progressive dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease. It contains information caregivers must know in order to avoid unpleasant surprises and stay ahead of dementia. Ahead of Memory Loss is written for people who have been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment, or early stages of progressive dementia. Together, these books provide information that will straighten the care partnership between patients and caregivers and increase chances for a successful living with dementia. I have tried my best to write in a straightforward manner, in the same open and direct way I normally conduct my care consultations. My goal is to provide an overview of care needs, and a step-by-step guide for how to proceed. Knowing what can be expected next in the progression of the disease and taking the appropriate precautions can assure a much better outcome for the entire family, reducing the possibility of emergency situations.
Luciana Mitzkun is a health educator, mediator, and dementia care specialist, with over 30 years of experience in caring for people with dementia. She has helped and guided thousands of families through her work at the Alzheimer's Association and day care centers. Luciana currently assists patients and their families as the Community Services Director at Villa Alamar, a memory care residence in Santa Barbara, California.
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