This book was written out of a desire to share with others who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease what I have experienced as Grace’s caregiver and friend. I wanted to capture the emotions, the expected and the unexpected issues, the painful times as well as the humorous and loving moments that Grace and I have shared as a result of this disease. This is not mean to be a handbook for dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, but I hope that by sharing my feelings and experiences, readers may recognize they are not alone on this particular journey.
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I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
This isn’t the type of book I normally read but I decided to read The Stages of Grace for a change of pace and I’m glad I did. I already know how Alzheimer’s affects families since my grandmother and aunt had it. I was also a home health nurse and helped a couple caregivers deal with the challenges of caring for loved ones with this devastating disease. So, I’ve seen Alzheimer’s disease from different points of view, but haven’t seen an in-depth view of the caregiver from dealing with it when it is first diagnosed until the disease is debilitating.
I have heard several times that at least the patient doesn’t understand what is happening. Grace’s reaction is proof that she may not understand why something is wrong but she sure knows that something is wrong. I remember when I was a teenager visiting my grandparents (they lived in Chicago and we lived in Joplin, Missouri), and my grandma said, “I know something is wrong with me.” It broke my heart, but I didn’t know what to say or do. At that time she hadn’t been diagnosed but soon after, she drove the car through the garage because she confused the brake and the accelerator. She and my grandpa ended up in a nursing home shortly after that. The next time I saw her she didn’t recognize me.
The Stages of Grace is a good read for anyone who isn’t familiar with Alzheimer’s and would like to know a little more about how it affects families and caregivers. So many people can’t handle caring for their loved ones and end up putting them in a facility and I know there are a few good ones out there. Connie, though, has taken it upon herself to care for Grace and after reading this book I do believe she is Grace’s saving grace.
About the Author
Connie Ruben is an entrepreneur with
well developed management skills. She has run several large
companies, and prides herself on empowering others to work to their full potential. Connie also has an intimate knowledge of the challenges and joys of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, as her
mother-in-law Grace was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s disease in 2003. While Connie still struggles to balance her work life and home life, her understanding of this disease has made it easier for her to negotiate the demands of being a caregiver, as well as a wife, mother, and
employer. She has written this book in order to share the insights she has gained as Grace’s primary caregiver and friend. Most importantly, Connie wants this book to assure others that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be enjoyable, life-affirming, and emotionally significant.
Prizes: Win a copy of The Stages of Grace (print for USA & Can, ebook for int’l) with a $10 Amazon GC or win the grand prize of a copy of The Stages of Grace (print for USA & Can, ebook for int’l) with a $20 Amazon GC (2 winners)
Ends Dec 17