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Measure of the Heart: Caring for a Parent with Alzheimer's

Overview

Mary Ellen Geist decided to leave her job as a CBS Radio anchor to return home to Michigan when her father's Alzheimer's got to be too much for her mother to shoulder alone. She chose to live her life by a different set of priorities: to be guided by her heart, not by outside accomplishment and recognition.

The New York Times wrote a front page story about Mary Ellen on Thanksgiving 2005. It was one of the most e-mailed stories for the month. Mary Ellen also kept a blog of her ...

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Overview

Mary Ellen Geist decided to leave her job as a CBS Radio anchor to return home to Michigan when her father's Alzheimer's got to be too much for her mother to shoulder alone. She chose to live her life by a different set of priorities: to be guided by her heart, not by outside accomplishment and recognition.

The New York Times wrote a front page story about Mary Ellen on Thanksgiving 2005. It was one of the most e-mailed stories for the month. Mary Ellen also kept a blog of her experiences, which received an enormous response from readers on WCBS880.com. Through her own story and through interviews with doctors and other women who've followed the "Daughter Track"—leaving a job to care for an aging parent—Geist offers eye-opening advice. She shares emotional insights on how to encourage interaction with the loved one you're caring for; how to determine daily tasks that are achievable and rewarding; how the personality of the patient affects the caregiving and the progression of the disease; as well as invaluable advice about how the reader can take care of themselves while accomplishing the Herculean task of constant caregiving to others.

Geist's years in journalism allow her to report on Boomers' caretaking dilemmas with professional objectivity, and her warm voice brings compassion and insight to one of the most difficult stituations a son or daughter may face during his or her life.

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  • Mary Ellen Geist
    Mary Ellen Geist  

Editorial Reviews

Susan Strecker Richard
Mary Ellen Geist taps her reporter's curiosity and considerable investigative skills to try to make sense of the disease that is stealing her father. In the process, she reachers deep into her own heart. The result is a compelling, respectful—and somehow reassuring—book for every caregiving family that must look Alzheimer's, or any serious illness, in the face.
Editor in Chief, CARING TODAY
<b>Susan Strecker Richard</b> - Editor in Chief
"Mary Ellen Geist taps her reporter's curiosity and considerable investigative skills to try to make sense of the disease that is stealing her father. In the process, she reachers deep into her own heart. The result is a compelling, respectful--and somehow reassuring--book for every caregiving family that must look Alzheimer's, or any serious illness, in the face."
From the Publisher
"Mary Ellen Geist taps her reporter's curiosity and considerable investigative skills to try to make sense of the disease that is stealing her father. In the process, she reachers deep into her own heart. The result is a compelling, respectful—and somehow reassuring—book for every caregiving family that must look Alzheimer's, or any serious illness, in the face."—Susan Strecker Richard, Editor in Chief, CARING TODAY

"Helpful suggestions...and practical advice...a deeply affecting account of personal growth."—Publisher's Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446699709
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/6/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,411,288
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Ellen Geist currently reports for Michigan Public Radio. She was the afternoon anchor at WCBS Radio in New York, which is the flagship station of CBS Radio and CBS News. She was heard everyday by an average of two million people. Prior to that she was the morning anchor at KGO Radio station in San Francisco, and a reporter in Los Angeles for almost 20 years before that.


www.maryellengeist.com

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Table of Contents

Foreword Oliver Sacks ix

Prologue One More Year 1

Introduction Daughter, Where Are You? 5

Chapter 1 Missing Moments 9

Chapter 2 The Big Decline 24

Chapter 3 A Rainbow Might Appear 38

Chapter 4 Alzheimer's Chicken 52

Chapter 5 Swoonboy 67

Chapter 6 Hospital Hell and Healing 86

Chapter 7 Helping Hands 107

Chapter 8 Whistling in the Dark 114

Chapter 9 The Caregivers 134

Chapter 10 The Rituals of Denial 146

Chapter 11 The Daughter Track 155

Chapter 12 Where to Turn 174

Chapter 13 When is it Time? 181

Chapter 14 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 199

Chapter 15 The Next Step 204

Chapter 16 The Pear Trees 209

Resources 217

Bibliography 221

Acknowledgments 223

About the Author 225

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