Thursday, December 16, 2010

Escape to learn about Alzheimers


From the Publisher
After fifty-five years of a happy marriage, Dr. Garza’s wife, Dolores, had to enter an assisted living facility. Her Alzheimer’s disease had reached the point where he could no longer take care of her at home.

In this extraordinary book, Dr. Garza faithfully chronicles a full year of Dolores’s assisted living experience. Looking over his shoulder, we see every change—physical, mental, emotional—as they build up to the flood that washes away her abilities, her personality, and eventually her life.

Dr. Garza also offers some help to the reader who might be facing the same situation someday. His advice is both caring and useful.

My Take
Having a mother with the early-to-moderate stage of Alzheimer’s, this book really appealed to me. So many books are clinical or tell you how to find a facility for your loved one. Garza’s book is more than that. It’s almost a diary of what happened with his wife, Delores.
Dr. Garza chronicles their journey from the time he first admitted there was a problem (all of us are in denial for a time before admitting the problem) through her placement in a facility to the end of her life. In one section, he opens his daily diary to the reader and we see the decline of Delores day by day---it’s scary how fast the decline can happen.
I truly enjoyed this book---the insider information was extremely valuable and helped me feel not so alone. It’s so hard to go through this process with a parent, not knowing what to expect or what to look for. Dr. Garza has given his readers the knowledge to recognize this terrible disease.
However, the book is extremely repetitive. Dr Garza says the same things many times while he is laying the groundwork in the first few chapters. At least half of the book is a daily diary of his visits to his lovely wife and, again, there is quite a bit of repetition of her likes/dislikes and her background. In the first half of the diary, there is boring pattern of his days and visits. I understand he is trying to show us the progression of the days she was in assisted living, but it tends to be a tedious read.
All in all, I am thankful for the insight Dr Garza provides although I did skip through the diaries to get to the more important entries.
I received a complimentary copy of (Book Title) as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team.  Visit to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

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