Loving Someone Who Has Dementia - Book Review

This is a very emotional subject, so I am going to do my best to post this...

I was asked if I would be interested in hosting a review on the book, "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia." I of course said yes... You may wonder why... Well, lets get personal for a minute.
My Grandaddy has Dementia. My Aunt had it... My Great Grandmother had it...
It seems as though it runs in our family.

I wanted to get this for my mom to read. It came in the mail and she came to visit that very weekend. I gave it to her to read and in the first couple pages, she was already crying.
I told her that I was not trying to be rude, but for her to put the book up and enjoy the weekend with us... then, she could read it when she got home.

It ended up taking her longer than expected to read it. My mom is a fast reader, but she says that this is a very tough read. For one, it hits home... For two, it isn't a piece of fiction or something that you can just pick up and read one night...

My mom did point out that it is more of a book for the caregiver of the one dealing with Dementia more than a broader range of those that have a loved one dealing with it.
In our case, that means it is geared more towards my Mema to read versus my mom and Aunt, my cousins and myself. (No worries, she is passing it along to my Mema.)

I tried to read some of it, but it really is hard.
I guess with me being in Atlanta and him being in South Georgia, it is easier for me to just think that he is okay, since I do not see him that often.

I did like that the book brought up things I never thought about...
It is hard. Like, your loved one is physically there... but emotionally it is not the one you love.
Does that make sense?

A friend and I got to talking about it...
It is hurtful for those of us in the present, as we have lost the one that we love... emotionally...
But in most cases, they are back into another time of their life.
Meaning that they are reliving some of the best parts of their life. Selfishly it kills us, but they are thinking about the "good old days."
For example: They might not recognize you and talk of just having lunch with their spouse that has passed several years ago. We know that isn't true, as they are no longer with us... but to them, they are enjoying it and it really did happen in their mind. Am I making any sense?

This book has real stories (more like letters) from people that are dealing with the emotions of having a loved one suffering with dementia.
What I got out of reading the parts I did:
It reminds us that those dealing with caring for a loved one with dementia still need to remember to care for themselves as well. Also, when you lose a person to death, you have people come over... grieve with you... there is a funeral and a form of closure for some... With dementia, it is normally just known, but not really "acknowledged" leaving the caregiver with very little for a support system.

Book Synopsis:

Nearly half of U.S. citizens over the age of 85 are suffering from some kind of dementia and require care. Loving Someone Who Has Dementia is a new kind of caregiving book. It's not about the usual techniques, but about how to manage on-going stress and grief. The book is for caregivers, family members, friends, neighbors as well as educators and professionals—anyone touched by the epidemic of dementia. Dr. Boss helps caregivers find hope in "ambiguous loss"—having a loved one both here and not here, physically present but psychologically absent.

  • Outlines seven guidelines to stay resilient while caring for someone who has dementia
  • Discusses the meaning of relationships with individuals who are cognitively impaired and no longer as they used to be
  • Offers approaches to understand and cope with the emotional strain of care-giving

Boss's book builds on research and clinical experience, yet the material is presented as a conversation. She shows you a way to embrace rather than resist the ambiguity in your relationship with someone who has dementia.

FTC Compliant Review Policy: The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.


Comments

  1. My mother had Alzheimer's and so did my mother-in-law. Both have passed on, but going through the experience was horrible. This book sounds like a good read, especially to give advice on how to handle the disease and how to cope.

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