Dementia: Frank and Linda’s Story: New Understanding, New Approaches, New Hope by Louise Morse

Dementia: Frank and Linda’s Story: New Understanding, New Approaches, New Hope
Louise Morse
Monarch Books (2010)
ISBN 9781854249302
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (11/10)


“Dementia: Frank and Linda’s Story” offers hope to the victims and caregivers of individuals diagnosed with dementia related disease. Louise Morse raises the level of understanding regarding the shame, guilt, and confusion experienced by individuals and family members with the first symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Louise Morse describes the symptoms of the disease by tracing Frank’s experiences along his journey, from the first symptoms, the diagnosis process, denial, and a feeling of abandonment. Linda narrates much of the story from her perspective as caregiver. Morse puts an emphasis on “contented involvement” and on the challenge of maintaining personhood in what she calls “living by design.”  Louise puts a unique emphasis on the spiritual dimension of the individual. She helps the reader with special implementation and intervention strategies for the care-giving with comfort and dignity.

The book provides important detailed information on choosing a care plan with considerations for respite care, residential care, and nursing home care. Others topics include working through the funding channels, new technologies, reminiscence therapy, and the importance of maintaining a positive attitude. Morse discusses responses to aggressive behavior, communication strategies, as well as hygiene care.

Each chapter ends with a number of “points to ponder.” These helpful suggestions offer tactics for coping, important summary information, and an emphasis on the spiritual implications involved. I especially appreciated the guidelines related to the issues involved in considering “life after diagnosis.”

Another important feature of the book is the comprehensive appendix which details organizations that provide information, advice and support, complete with addresses, phone numbers, and websites.

Louise Morse is recognized for her background in Behavioral Therapy and her earlier books dealing with dementia. Morse offers new insights into the care of victims of dementia.  I highly recommend “Dementia: Frank and Linda’s Story.” The book is ideal as a discussion guide for support groups or as a ready reference guide for family or professional caregivers.

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