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Barbara Roy writes, "Every caregiver's story is highly personal and different. Telling mine has allowed me to come clean, to tell the truth as I know it, to remember the caregiving experience tenderly and fearlessly, to savor the happy surprises, to wonder at the difficult ones, and to ...
Barbara Roy writes, "Every caregiver's story is highly personal and different. Telling mine has allowed me to come clean, to tell the truth as I know it, to remember the caregiving experience tenderly and fearlessly, to savor the happy surprises, to wonder at the difficult ones, and to give thanks that I made it through the trials."
"Despite the grim realities of Alzheimer's disease, the message here is one of hope-that through thoughtful medical care, the love of family, and the support of community, many of the challenges faced by patients and their families can be mediated compassionately, reaffirming the indomitable nature of the human spirit."
-Alvin Holm, MD, Medical Director, Medical Behavioral Services, Bethesda Hospital, St. Paul, Minnesota
"This difficult story has a silver lining: the journey of the caregivers, family, and friends leads to support and resilience. I regret that I did not have access to such a memoir to help guide me through the loss of both my parents to dementia."
-Tom Kingston, President (1990-2010), Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
"Far too few books are written about Alzheimer's disease from the family perspective. But Roy's book offers this, reflecting the complications of the human experience and the fullness of relationship with raw honesty."
-Chad C. Breckenridge, LSW, PhD, Clinical Social Worker
"It takes courage to be a caregiver. It is also takes courage to write with unflinching honesty the story of your family as you face an Alzheimer's diagnosis together. Barbara Roy fills her memoir with the highs and lows of many adjustments and altered expectations. She lets the reader accompany her, her husband, Phil, and their family on their voyage through Alzheimer's."
-Ted Bowman, author of "Loss of Dreams: A Special Kind of Grief" and "Finding Hope When Dreams Have Shattered"
"I recommend this book to all caregivers and families of patients with memory problems or Alzheimer's disease. From first encountering problems at home to reluctantly acknowledging that it's acceptable to ask family and friends for assistance, it will help readers deal with a surprising variety of challenges. It is full of wisdom that will provide much needed perspective to caregivers and especially those who support them."
-Charles Ormiston, MD, board certified neurologist in private practice
"Poetically written with compassion, honesty, and grace, this book will inform and support the tumultuous journey of caregivers and the people who care about them. Fellow clinicians and all others who give care to one who suffers from Alzheimer's disease or their family members will be glad to have found this insightful personal story."
-Abby Dawkins, MSW, LICSW, Clinical Social Worker
Posted September 12, 2013
Barbara Roy gives us a new perspective on the experience of Alzheimer's disease in the family context—specifically within marriage. Her telling of her struggle through Alzheimer's disease with her husband, Phil, is surprising in its openness. Her writing is at once frank and personal, and although we know from the outset what the medical outcome for Phil will be, the story is not a medical one. It is a story about a couple and a family and their own circles of caregivers—from friends who find ways to help them restore strength and enjoy other aspects of life, to professionals whose help allows difficult decisions become possible to make.
When the last page has been turned, Phil himself emerges as one of the many heroes of the story.
People directly caring for a loved one with any form of dementia may not have the time or energy to read even this book, which is a quick read. But their family members and friends, and their religious, social, or professional communities, will find much insight in it, and that may help them find answers to the question “What can I do to help?” when the caregiver is struggling to respond to it.
[Disclosure: I am one of the publishing consultants who worked with 7T Books on the publication of this memoir.]