Do you remember writing ‘book reports’ when you were a kid? I may have been a bit of a cheater back in elementary school when it came to book reports. I remember each year our teacher would assign certain books to read, but would always give you the opportunity to write about one book of your choice. For about three years in a row, I would choose the same book to read and write about, “Runaway Slave the story of Harriet Tubman” by Ann McGovern. I guess it wasn’t really cheating, because I actually read the book and wrote a new report each year. I bought the paperback book through the school’s Scholastic Book Club in 1965 or so. The story and the illustrations fascinated me, Araminta’s (Harriet’s) true courage horrified and inspired me, and the exposure to the world of slavery challenged my young thinking during a pretty racially charged time in history.
Well, it has been a long time since I’ve written a book report, but I’ve decided to write one today. It’s about another book which I’m pretty sure I will read over and over again in the foreseeable future. This book has fascinated me, horrified and inspired me, and challenged me too. It has also given me hope, fresh ideas, and bolstered my spirit as a caregiver for my mother whose world has been rocked by Alzheimer’s.
Title: “Creating Moments of Joy”
Author: JoLene Brackey
Introduction: Permeated with firsthand knowledge, JoLene’s book is an inspiring compilation of creative ideas, insightful examples, and practical suggestions for handling the everyday challenges of caring for someone with dementia. Not just taking care of someone with dementia, but truly caring for them in a life-enhancing, memory-sparking, joy-infusing kind of way.
Main Characters: The lovely people living with memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s and the beautiful people who take care of them.
What was your favorite part of book? I really appreciated the sections on communication and the plethora of ideas and suggestions related to verbal, non-verbal and creative communication. It’s a daily struggle, so the information she shared is extremely practical and valuable to me as a caregiver to both a mother and brother with dementia.
What was your favorite quote: As a caregiver, I make mistakes. Sometimes daily. I appreciated the author’s reminder, “You can make mistakes all day long and know that tomorrow you get to start fresh, because the person doesn’t remember the mistakes you made yesterday. Where else do you get a chance for a “do over” with your loved one!”
Would you recommend this book to others? Why? Because the name of this book came up often on caregiver forums and websites, I borrowed my copy of this book from the library. I’ve done a lot of reading about Alzheimer’s, but intend to purchase my own copy of this particular book (it’s on my Christmas wish-list…hint! hint! for my family). I want a copy where I can scribble my own ideas in, journal about how I tried an idea and whether or not it worked, and underline and highlight to my heart’s content. This is one of those ‘must read’ books for anyone who wants to gain an understanding of the person with Alzheimer’s. I personally think it should be required reading for anyone serving in the area of dementia care. Whether you’re working in a nursing home, occasionally dealing with patients in a clinic or hospital, a family caregiver, a paid professional caregiver, a pastor making visits to ‘shut-ins’ in your congregation, or a friend or family member, this book is a most helpful resource and encouraging read.