I would highly recommend this easy-to-read, at times funny, sometimes heartwarming, but mostly educational book on Alzheimer's from a daughter-caregiver's point of view. An incredible book for anyone who is a caregiver, family member or someone who wants to know from a first person viewpoint what Alzheimers is and how it progresses. I shared this book with the members of our little Caregiver's group at church and the reviews are all five star.
I highly recommend this book. This book keeps coming back around in my life as a caregiver. Bits and pieces resurface just when I need them.
I am reminded of the comfort and encouragement Mary Ellen Geist's book brought to me the first time I read it, and each time I revisit it. In many ways, a timeless story, even as treatments change. It is a story of courage to make the hard decisions, the courage to admit it when things are just HARD! Geist is with me on my own journey, reminding me I am doing the best I can, that there is no perfect outcome, only a pure heart.
Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I found this book to be heartwarming, and at the same time very sad. As a caregiver, it answered many questions about what to expect as this disease progresses. This was a good purchase, fast shipper and am glad that I purchased, but should not have to write so many words.
Includes useful resources as well as the story of her family.
How familiar her story sounded--she had left her job in New York and returned to her parents' home in Michigan to help look after her father--and what a comfort it was to read about their last adventures together. That's a lighthearted word, adventures, but insofar as it's possible, Geist has written a cheerful and adventurous book. It's helpful, not because she has set out to train anyone on caretaking tips for dementia patients, but because she has a sharp eye and a piercing story to tell.
By the time her book came out, my father's Alzheimer's lay safely in the past--but like a soldier who's been through a war, I wanted to see how others have dealt with the conflict. Geist is especially deft on the question of coercion: To me, it's not. So it was with Geist's father. She and her mother don't let him stop eating when he pushes away his plate, but find ways to make him swallow more food. Because they know it will help him walk better, they decide on double knee replacement surgery for him. Coercion is a daily response, even if it's something as simple as trying to improve his mood.
I think such manipulation is an eternal debate when caring for Alzheimer's patients--who sometimes, as my brother once said to me, "need to give up for a while and stop rising to the occasion. See all 17 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published on February 22, Published on November 25, Published on November 16, Published on October 29, Published on October 19, Pages with related products. See and discover other items: There's a problem loading this menu right now. I kept a nervous eye on Dad all day, but he was mostly quiet and compliant. At the wake, though, he lost the meaning of what the day was for, and thought it was to celebrate his retirement.
When I was outside on the phone he tried to get people to do a conga. When I found out I laughed so hard I cried.
After Mum's death, Dad went downhill rapidly. Apparently changes in routine and security can hugely accelerate an Alzheimer's sufferer's decline. He became disorientated, with little appetite.
It was 10 days after the funeral that he confused me for an intruder and chased me with a carving knife. After I escaped, it was judged too dangerous for me to return, and caring for Dad fell solely on my brother. A fortnight later we decided he needed to go into care. I would visit him with my brother, as I was too nervous to go on my own. Some days he didn't say much and lashed out if I tried to hug him, on others he smiled and seemed happy but didn't speak.
My brother was livid one week after a carer shaved off Dad's facial hair in a well-meaning attempt to smarten him up. Dad caught pneumonia after a few months in care and became gaunt.
I thought I was done with goodbyes. Living as an introvert in an extrovert's world Shelley Moench-Kelly. The hospice nurses were called in. Each time we warned her, she would roll her eyes and giggle. The sound track of my own childhood memories is rich with the sweet lilt of her voice reciting Keats and Wordsworth, then rising into her favorite turn-of-the-century parlor songs as my sister and I drowsed on our pillows waiting for her goodnight kisses.
I will always be haunted by the distressing image of him moaning, without his teeth in, and unable to eat or walk without help. My lovely dad had become a zombie, his wonderful brain was hollow and still. All I could do was sit with him and hold his hand and tell him I loved him. He died just five months after my Mum.
I'm sad Mum and Dad never got to see their son find a partner and have a son of his own, or their daughter get married my brother walked me down the aisle. It wasn't easy after they died but in my dreams I remember them when they were well and happy and in their prime. We sold the house shortly after my dad died and on a beautiful summer's day we drove up into the mountains overlooking town.
Walking to the highest point we both took an urn and whirling around we spun our parents' ashes into the sky. We watched as they soared from something into nothing - into the ether and everywhere. As told to Claire Bates. Claire is on Twitter batesybates. Romy McCluskey's mother said butterflies were a sign she would always be with her after she died. I fix butterflies to remember my mother.
Michel Barnier says he wants to "de-dramatise" the issue and respect the UK's territorial integrity. I'm hiding behind the sofa in the living room, sweating profusely and fumbling with my phone. Top Stories EU 'ready to improve' Brexit border offer Michel Barnier says he wants to "de-dramatise" the issue and respect the UK's territorial integrity.
Elsewhere on the BBC. Killing Eve The new deadly drama you need to watch. Daily news briefing direct to your inbox Sign up for our newsletter. She was an Asian Marilyn Monroe with a brick-house figure; an exotic, 4-foot inch, pound China doll who worked for the U. My parents made it to their 50th wedding anniversary. Then, one after the other, five years apart, my parents died. Their lives with — and deaths from — Alzheimer's could not have been more different.
Yet my process of saying goodbye was the same: I had to say goodbye at the diagnosis. I had to say goodbye during their blank stares when they saw me as a stranger rather than recognized me as their beloved child.
And I had to say goodbye when their bodies followed their minds into the ether and whatever lay beyond. I was five years old and his only child. I snuggled in his arms, feeling the stubble of his day-old beard against my face. Please take care of things so I don't suffer. I thought it meant I would bring him a blanket and some milk. Forty years later, I sat at his bedside in a nursing facility, a place where, after 10 years of fighting this bastard disease, he finally ended up after a series of falls that rendered my mother so grief-stricken that she couldn't safely look after him anymore.
The descent began when my husband Mike and I noticed Dad was becoming forgetful. But he was 80 years old, so it wasn't alarming. He and Mom still lived independently in their own home. He was jubilantly defiant when he passed his driving test at 80 with flying colors. I've still got it! Like my mug shot, honey?
But over time, little signs started appearing. Three years of increasingly endless repetitive questions were followed by viciously angry outbursts over rescheduled medical appointments or preempted TV shows.
Then came the calls. Dad would call us at all hours of the day to ask questions about obscure topics: And in the last year of his life, he slept a lot during the day and kept Mom awake at night. He would grasp at invisible cords he thought were hanging from the ceiling and talk to the TV because he thought the sports announcer was standing in his living room. His doctor diagnosed Dad with mid-stage Alzheimer's disease.
We learned never to argue with him because it would agitate him. We took away his car keys but still fretted about him wandering off and injuring himself or getting hopelessly lost. Our days and nights were fraught with tension as we constantly anticipated a phone call bringing bad news. Would he lash out at a stranger in a coffee shop? Would he fall while Mom was sleeping and be alone, scared, and hurt? Would he unknowingly hurt Mom?
If he injured someone, would they sue him and take his house? Then he fell and cut his head badly. He was admitted to the hospital for stitches and observation. We were told he had two weeks to live because he didn't remember how to eat by himself and resisted being fed by nurses.
After the first week passed, we transferred him to a skilled nursing facility. The promise I'd made 40 years earlier rang in my ears and made my heart heavy with sorrow and guilt. I reminded myself that it was the safest thing to do, regardless of that promise. If he stayed at home, he could die in agony from an accident.
Mom could hurt herself trying to lift him. It had to be this way. After all, the doctors said two weeks. He surely could forgive me for that. Were we doing the right thing? But Dad lived for nearly three more months. I spent hours with him every day, watching him sleep, listening to his stories and wondering who he was talking to when he had conversations with invisible beings in the corner of the room.
He thought his nurses were old friends. He laughed with them and told them war stories. There were moments, sometimes even hours, when he recognized me and knew where he was. And in those moments, he was so weary.