Lessons from a Disabled Caregiver

Thriving Together and Maintaining Independence with Physical Disability and Dementia


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SKU: 9781476687391 Categories: , , Tags: , , , ,
Imprint or Series:Toplight Books

About the Book

Progressive, untreatable nerve and muscle diseases transformed the author’s life from having been a college athlete to needing a wheelchair and special equipment for day-to-day activities. While dealing with his own conditions, he was faced with the unique challenge of being the sole caregiver for his wife who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. He has written this experience-based book to help people with life-altering medical conditions and those dealing with challenging caregiving responsibilities. Comprehensive in scope, it covers topics including grief, finances, safety and end-of-life planning. This is a resource book containing many references aimed at helping the reader overcome their challenges, maintain their independence and have have happy, fulfilling lives.

About the Author(s)

The late William G. Reed was recognized for his accomplishments in engineering, sales, business development, and general management roles for large corporations, including GE. He formed his own consulting company, managing major projects for large corporations and investing in start-up companies. He lived in Phoenix, Arizona.

Bibliographic Details

William G. Reed

Foreword by Marwan Noel Sabbagh, M.D.

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 261
Bibliographic Info: 69 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8739-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4521-6
Imprint: Toplight

Table of Contents

Foreword by Marwan Noel Sabbagh, M.D. 1
Preface 3
Introduction 6

Section One—Life Forever Changed  13
1. Recognition and Diagnosis 14
2. Dealing with Grief 17

Section Two—Acceptance and Adaptation  21
3. Family, Social and Religious Support 22
4. Stay Healthy, Maintain Your Strength 25
5. Build Your Essential Help Network 29

Section Three—Safe Personal Mobility Solutions  33
6. Initial Solutions 35
7. Rolling Walker 38
8. Motorized Scooter 42
9. Acquiring a Wheelchair 52
10. The Consequences of Wheelchair Use 64
11. Dealing with House Level Changes 70

Section Four—Independent Life  75
12. How to Prepare for Emergencies 76
13. Stand and Transfer Safely 81
14. Handicap Toilet Progression 92
15. Showering Safely 95
16. Food and Shopping 101
17. Solutions to Daily Issues 103

Section Five—Vehicle Mobility  107
18. Vehicle Adaptation for a Motorized Scooter 108
19. Public Transport 114

Section Six—Learning to Drive with Handicaps  119
20. Don’t Assume You Can’t; Most Can 120
21. Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS®) 124
22. Vehicle Modification and Selection 126
23. Controls Installation CA: It Shouldn’t Be This Hard! 131
24. Controls Installation AZ: Will the Problems Never End?! 138
25. Training, DMV and Insurance 145

Section Seven—Caregiving from a Wheelchair  149
26. Caregiving Introduction 150
27. Caregiving at Home: Before the Crisis 155
28. Potential Solutions 164
29. The Crisis: Big Problems, Out of Answers 169
30. Senior Living Decision Rationale 176
31. The Challenges of Moving to Senior Living 181
32. Initial Accommodations, Serious Threats 186
33. Social Integration 190
34. Jodie’s Successful Adaptation, Unexpected Positives 193
35. Final Update and Closing 197

Epilogue 204
Appendix I: Senior Living Care Options 209
Appendix II: ­Long-Term Care Insurance 223
Appendix III: Documents Your Heirs Will Need 226
Appendix IV: Ready Document Access Is a Must 234
Acknowledgments 237
Chapter Notes 241
Bibliography 245
Index 249

Book Reviews & Awards

• “This book is a unique read. Although wheelchair bound, Reed cares for his spouse, who has Alzheimer’s. The author does not claim to be an expertnor does he suggest that his book is exhaustive. His intent is to assist others: in the course of the narrative, he advocates planning, optimism, perseverance, and ingenuity….highly recommended”—Choice

• “Essential reading for all caregivers. As a University professor of Kinesiology for 26 years and specializing in physical activities for persons with disabilities, I found this book extremely helpful for anyone dealing with the practical and financial aspects of caregiving. Different stages throughout life are considered including adjusting and adapting to the changes psychological and physical which will occur. Positive, upbeat information is easy to understand not just for medical professionals.”—Lorraine E. Bloomquist, Ed.D. FACSM Prof. Dept. Kinesiology, URI, (ret.)

• “A testament to love as well as a primer for others facing challenging caregiving responsibilities.”Ahwatukee Foothills News