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Article   |    
Helping Families Cope With Alzheimer's Disease
J. Paul Teusink; Susan Mahier
Psychiatric Services 1984; doi:
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New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Westchester Division, 21 Bloomingdale Road, White Plains, New York 10605

1984 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Many families of patients with Alzheimer's disease seem to undergo an intense five-stage reaction process and to face several specific problems when coping with the onset andprogression of this debilitating illness. Mental health professionals must provide families with education about Alzheimer's disease and with supportive guidance, so that family members will successfully work through their reactions and be able to mourn their loved one, make necessary decisions for his care, and reestablishfamily equilibrium. The authors describe the reaction process and how mental health professionals can help during each stage, present a case example ofafamily coping with the disease, and discuss the specific problems that families must face and work through.

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