Travelers to Unimaginable Lands: Stories of Dementia, the Caregiver, and the Human Brain

Norman Doidge in Tablet:

Travelers to Unimaginable Lands is that rarity: true biblio-therapy. Lucid, mature, wise, with hardly a wasted word, it not only deepens our understanding of what transpires as we care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, it also has the potential to be powerfully therapeutic, offering the kind of support and reorientation so essential to the millions of people struggling with the long, often agonizing leave-taking of loved ones stricken with the dreaded disease. The book is based on a profound insight: the concept of “dementia blindness,” which identifies a singular problem of caring for people with dementia disorders—one that has generally escaped notice but, once understood, may make a significant difference for many caregivers.

Elegantly written and accessible, Travelers is full of frank, lively, and illuminating conversations between the author, Dasha Kiper, and caregivers, which explore the ways caregivers get stuck in patterns hard to escape. These conversations—each of which come from actual clinical encounters—are buttressed by the relevant brain science and interspersed with apt observations drawn from great literature (Borges, Kafka, Chekhov, Melville, Sartre, Beckett) that illuminate the conundrums the disease presents. The topic may be heavy, but the author writes with great sensitivity and a light touch.

More here.