Easr-To-read Booklets on Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Loss Easr-To-read Booklets on Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Loss
National Institute on Aging

The National Institute on Aging (NIA), a component of the National Institutes of Health, now offers two free booklets designed to help people with limited literacy skills learn about Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and memory loss. In these easy-to-read booklets, the medical and technical language has been replaced by plain language, stories, photographs, and other features to help readers understand the content.

“Our goal was to produce strong, clear materials to make information about AD and memory loss accessible to everyone, including those with limited literacy skills,” says Richard J. Hodes, M.D., director of the NIA. “These booklets also are excellent starting points for anyone who needs basic information about AD and memory problems, regardless of reading capability.” They are valuable additions to the comprehensive collection of health education materials available from NIA’s Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center, adds Hodes.

In addition to local field testing, education experts at NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Centers arranged a series of interviews with caregivers and people with AD to gather feedback about the booklets. “We carefully tested each booklet for overall appeal, format, graphic elements, comprehension, cultural appropriateness, and “self-efficacy” (a measure of understanding the importance of taking action if signs of AD or serious memory loss are seen), says Patricia D. Lynch, M.S., project officer of the ADEAR Center. “The testing yielded excellent feedback that we used to refine the booklets,” explains Wendy Mettger, M.A., the plain language expert who developed the booklets.

Understanding Memory Loss covers topics such as:
differences between mild forgetfulness and serious memory problems
causes of memory problems and how they can be treated
what a person should do when worried about memory
how family members can help
Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease includes:
signs of AD
the importance of seeing a doctor early
treatment for AD
help for caregivers
To order copies or for more information about these booklets, visit the ADEAR Center Web site at www.alzheimers.nia.nih.gov, or call 1-800-438-4380. Bulk orders are welcome.