As a result of this blog, talking with people who’ve read Going Gentle Into That Good Night: A Practical and Informative Guide For Fulfilling the Circle of Life For Our Loved Ones with Dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease, and participating as a resource in many support forums on dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease, I realized there was a need for a big-picture, comprehensive guide to the steps in the dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease journey, including the last one of grief, which we take alone after our loved ones die.
It describes what each of the concrete steps looks like, how to recognize each one, and how to respond to each one. Once again, it’s real-world, practical, and accessible information that everyone going through this journey with loved ones will want to read.
My summary is as follows:
This book looks comprehensively at all the steps that occur in dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease.
In my own experience with this and in counseling, supporting, and working with others who are going through these steps, I realized there is a basic lack of comprehension about the big picture of how these neurological diseases progress.
I know that because the same questions get asked and answered over and over again.
My purpose is to ask those questions and answer them in a way that, first, makes sense, and, second, works for everybody involved. I know. I’ve been on the caregiving side of the equation personally.
There were no books like this when I did it, so I had to learn on my own and figure out what worked and what didn’t. I made mistakes. You’ll make mistakes.
But, in the end, my mom and whoever you love and are caring for, got the best we have to give and we can learn some pretty incredible and good life lessons along the way.
If you don’t read another book on this subject, you should read this one. I don’t have all the answers, but the answers I have learned are the ones that probably matter most. Not just now, but for the rest of our lives.
My mom and I went through an interesting – but one I wouldn’t trade for the world – journey the last seven years of her life that saw her being diagnosed in 2010 first with vascular dementia, then a short time later, with Alzheimer’s Disease as well, and then Lewy Body dementia. At the same time, her congestive heart failure was worsening.
Fortunately, for Mama, she was able to be independent up until the last two years of her life. Once the diagnoses came, although she had one more relatively good year, the end of her life came mercifully quickly.
While trying to be the best of everything I could be for her, medically, legally, financially, and because she was my mama and I loved her, I did a lot of my own research (because there was nothing practical out there nor was there anything that was to-the-point and hands-on) and learned a lot just because these diseases keep you on your toes and you do a lot of improvising and adjusting on the fly.
I wanted to pass what I learned on, so I wrote Going Gentle Into That Good Night: A Practical and Informative Guide For Fulfilling the Circle of Life For Our Loved Ones with Dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease to share that with others caring for loved ones with dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease.
“This book is written to give practical and real-world help to those us responsible for the care of loved ones with dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s not like all those other books. Believe me, I found most of them to be a waste of my time because they were not hands-on and accessible and they didn’t tell me the stuff I really needed to know and had to learn on my own. If you want a lot of theory, this is not the book for you. If you want to read one more book that talks about dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease from a high-level and clinical standpoint, this book is not for you. But you want the succinct and practical experience and advice from somebody who’s walked your shoes as when I cared for my mom, this book is for you. I wish there had been one like it when I was starting that journey. Fortunately, thanks to Mom’s journey, I have a chance to pass what I learned on. This is part of paying it forward.”
Some reviews of the book:
“With her characteristic heart-touching honesty, the author of “Going Gentle Into That Good Night…” openly discusses the agonizing slow demise of her mother. As my own mother is nearing the end of her long battle with dementia, the subject is very sensitive for me right now. But the strong theme of her committed love and respect is evident throughout her description of her caregiving, and that encouraged me and helped me feel less lonely in this journey. Additionally, she provides helpful and practical tips for the caregivers of loved ones who suffer with dementia. Thank you very much for sharing your experience and insight, Sandra Ross.”
“Everyone who has taken care of a loved one, or who is currently taking care of a loved one, should read this book! It’s full of good information and lots of wisdom on dealing with the intricacies of caregiving for a friend or family member suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other age-related illnesses. By making her account personal, Sandra has taken the day-to-day dilemmas and solutions a step further, and offers encouragement and resources far beyond the scope of a simple “how-to” guide. The book also serves as a reminder to all those families dealing with these issues that they are not alone.”
“Sandra has done a great service to those of us who have a loved one with dementia. Her willingness to share the experiences she had with her mother can help others see behaviors that could lead to earlier diagnosis which helps in many ways. It also will help family members understand the behaviors that come with dementia. The wide margins are great for family members to track similarities in behaviors or thoughts you have as reading the book. This book needs to be read by all family members and especially caregivers. 2 thumbs up!!!”