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

Dasha Kiper and Norman Doidge


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SKU: 9780399590535
Travelers to Unimaginable Lands: Stories of Dementia, the Caregiver, and the Human Brain by Kiper, Dasha
Regular price $28.00
Regular price Sale price $28.00
These "moving and often surprising" (The Wall Street Journal) case histories meld science and storytelling to illuminate the complex relationship between the mind of someone with dementia and the mind of the person caring for them.

"[Kiper] evinces a capaciousness of sympathy and understanding for Alzheimer's patients and (especially) their caregivers that infuses her portrayals of their struggles with Sacksian humanity."--Scott Stossel, The American Scholar

After getting a master's degree in clinical psychology, Dasha Kiper became the live-in caregiver for a Holocaust survivor with Alzheimer's disease. For a year, she endured the emotional strain of looking after a person whose condition disrupts the rules of time, order, and continuity. Inspired by her own experience and her work counseling caregivers in the subsequent decade, Kiper offers an entirely new way to understand the symbiotic relationship between patients and those tending to them. Her book is the first to examine how the workings of the "healthy" brain prevent us from adapting to and truly understanding the cognitively impaired one.

In these poignant but unsentimental stories of parents and children, husbands and wives, Kiper explores the existential dilemmas created by this disease: A man believes his wife is an impostor. A woman's imaginary friendships drive a wedge between herself and her devoted husband. Another woman's childhood trauma emerges to torment her son. A man's sudden Catholic piety provokes his wife.

Why is taking care of a family member with dementia so difficult? Why do caregivers succumb to behaviors--arguing, blaming, insisting, taking symptoms personally--they know are counterproductive? Exploring the healthy brain's intuitions and proclivities, Travelers to Unimaginable Lands reveals the neurological obstacles to caregiving, enumerating not only the terrible pressures the disease exerts on our closest relationships but offering solace and perspective as well.

Publisher: Random House
Published: 03/07/2023
Pages: 272
Weight: 0.85lbs
Size: 11.00h x 7.40w x 1.40d
ISBN: 9780399590535

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 01/16/2023
Kirkus Reviews 02/01/2023

About the Author
Dasha Kiper is the consulting clinical director of support groups at CaringKind (formerly the Alzheimer's Association) and holds an MA in clinical psychology from Columbia University. She works with dementia patients and caregivers.