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Taming the Chaos of Dementia

A Caregiver's Guide to Interventions that make a Difference

A hopeful and practical guide to taming the challenges of dementia with creative interventions inspired by real stories of sufferers and caregivers alike.

This book supports the journey—taken by both the caregiver and the person with dementia—providing loved ones with practical recommendations and enriched with human empathy. This book helps ease the stress It helps decode dementia's visceral world and supports non-cognitive human experiences. Barbara Huelat offers design interventions that support the family caregivers in functional and emotional outcomes.


Taming the Chaos of Dementia: A Caregiver's Guide to Interventions that Make a Difference

Book Reviews

Michael P Pietrzak, MD 
Chairman, The Views Development, LLC

Despite billions in research dollars and numerous promises of pharmacologic cures that keep Wall Street buzzing  - the “silver bullet” to relieve society of the burdens dementia eludes us.  Barbara Huelat has seen dementia as a family member, care giver, designer and researcher.  Few even approach her level experience and perspective on the subject of living with dementia.   But beyond that breadth of experience, expertise, research and knowledge is a profound human hand in all the insights, pearls, hacks and advice.   That steady human touch guiding the application of science and experience is really needed to “Tame the Chaos” Huelat and Pochron have been able to accumulate, assemble and present what is known scientifically combined with touching and real human experiences so that we can apply knowledge to challenges of dementia.   Spoiler alert! -The reader may well end up with more insight into dementia care than a number of the healthcare providers they will encounter in their journey.   

Jane Rohde
AIA, FIIDA, ASID, CHID, ACHA, EDAC

We are all caregivers at some point in our lives but taking care of a loved one is often not openly discussed. This remarkable book dares to be honestly raw about caring for a loved one with dementia. Compassion, frustration, tears, patience, impatience, acceptance, guilt – the full range of emotions experienced by both those with dementia as well as those providing the care. Exhaustive emotions that run in a circle while you grieve the loss of a person you once knew. There is only the present moment a caregiver gets to see, a glimpse, a hug, a tear, a touch, and hope for a brief glimmer of recognition. This amazing, empathetic, book covers not only the experiences through personal stories but provides evidence-based insights and solutions to help all caregivers cope with the process of caring for a loved one with dementia, or “our person” as so poignantly referenced in Taming the Chaos of Dementia. This is a book for everyone to read– as it sparks the humanity in all of us.

Debra Levin,

Hon. FASID, EDAC President and CEO

Huelat and Pochron liken being a personal caregiver for someone who has dementia to being like Alice finding herself in a disturbing new Wonderland after tumbling down a rabbit hole. Even more troubling is the reality that the size and gravitational pull of that rabbit hole will continue to exponentially increase as the baby boom generation ages into old age. In the absence of a cure or prevention for dementia, therapeutic interventions, including supportive home design features, have the potential to offer the most wide-ranging treatment opportunities to people around the globe. The need for sensitively designed home environments that support resilience in people and their caregivers is becoming critically important. Barbara Huelat, in particular, tackles this topic with the same research-oriented attention to detail as she has in her design work for the last five decades, providing the next generation of caregivers with practical tools and advice on how to leverage design to thrive in a complex situation. 

Vicki Huelat

Community and Volunteer Caregiver 

1402 Valleywood Drive

La Port, Indiana 

This book is a must-read for caregivers of dementia patients. As a volunteer caregiver in my community and my mother-in-law with Parkinson's-related dementia, I can attest to the valuable information and insights it contains. The book is well-organized and easy to read, and it covers a wide range of topics, from the basics of dementia to practical tips for coping with the challenges of caregiving. I wish I had had this book at my fingertips when I was first caring for my mother-in-law. It would have made my job so much easier.--

Booklist

 I can’t even begin to count the number of acquaintances where someone is suddenly diagnosed with dementia. It seems to have taken on plague proportions as it sweeps through my peers, seemingly out of nowhere. This book is timely, for the afflicted and the care giver.
One thing that sticks out to me is the advice that care givers need to put on their own oxygen masks first!
A wise forewarning. If the caregiver crumbles, their loved one is unable to be supported.
So many sensible talking points to help the dementia sufferer continue to feel fulfilled and worthwhile
An excellent read that helps one to look for positive situations to channel responses to this disease.

Ruth Shea OFS, MSW, LICSW
Geriatric Social Worker
Washington, DC

 

Taming the Chaos” brings valuable insight in how dementia induced behaviors of anxiety and confusion can be moderated with simple home environment interventions like color, sound, light and sensory engagement. For caregivers seeking to practice creative approaches enriching the lives of those journeying with dementia while caring for self, this book provides an insightful path for practical problem solving.
Healing Environments What's the Proof

Additional
Published Works

Healing Environments: Design for the Body, Mind, and Spirit

Published June 3, 2003

Healing Environments: What's the Proof?

Published October 5, 2009

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