"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."~from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

APOLOGY to READERS who followed a SEARCH to HERE & didn't find it

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging, rather than edit each one. So if you clicked here from somewhere else and ended up with the post unavailable or error, I am sorry but this is why. It'd be too much work for me to go back and fix them. There's an explanation on 7/19/17 as I'm still learning.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

"New Every Day: Navigating Alzheimer's with Grace and Compassion"

"New Every Day: Navigating Alzheimer's 
with Grace and Compassion"
Dave Meurer

is a light read of a very difficult subject and provides much needed information on Alzheimer's and caregiving!

I requested this book during October, which is Emotional Wellness Month, not just for someone I love who has Alzheimer's, but mostly for my own wellness while caregiving for that someone, who returned home from ICU for a stroke under Hospice Care. ('Hospice is Not a Bad Word' - great chapter and so true). Since then, my loved one has made great strides of progress in recovery, so it most certainly was timely for me, and I definitely learned much about the second part of this title 'with Grace and Compassion' from reading from Dave's wise, yet humorous perspective. I needed a bit of humor for sure after 3 months of caring under distress instead of 'navigating' well to bless the One and the person, in need of loving care when all any of my Christian fruit was wearing thin and noticeable to others, even with staying in the Word each morning and evening. I needed a break.

At first, not being familiar with this author or his style, I thought that it might be a bit inappropriate for a humorist author to write on any disease, with humor. He even addresses this in one of his chapters. As I began the book, I wondered how I could review this book favorably, not understanding the rationale or lack of order to the book until I arrived at the third chapter, entitled 'Non Chapter Note' which clarified this and Dave Meuer admitted to this inconsistency. Eventually, I began to get his humor and rationale for this approach, finding myself actually being able to laugh aloud. So my recommendation moved from low 2 star to at least a 4 star because of his heartfelt, realistic approach to sharing practical information through his own experience with his mother-in-law. Since he is somewhat directly removed, but constantly involved and concerned as part of her care team, he is able to step back and observe, giving highly beneficial information weaved between real-life stories that has helped me immensely. 

There are many chapters that I am sure I will need to go back to and read again, such as 'Medicare and Medicaid - How They Will and Won't Help' (which I'm just beginning to learn about) and 'Moving In, Moving Out and Moving On'. These are just 2 out of 30 chapters (if you count chapter 3, the non chapter). My favorite chapter, most likely because it hit home personally (though each chapter held parts that did) was 'Resentment, Fear and Other Hazards of Caregiving' however my insecurity increased slightly with my knowledge, as I looked at parts of Alzheimer's I have not yet had to face so that fear increases as you read, and then I briefly am thankful. However, I had a dear loved one that passed away this year as Alzheimer's robbed her of her gentle way and even speaking for the last few years of her life and knowing her loved ones, which I can't even imagine at this point. Dave Meurer shared with vulnerability and honesty some very difficult aspects. I have found this immensely helpful to read, learning to 'relax, adapt and especially laugh again' at a time when I was forgetting the healing that comes in laughter. 

When I set aside any of my preconceived ideas against humor in this heart breaking and horrible disease, I was able to see much value in Dave's approach and benefited (will continue to benefit) from the moments I found a laugh along this journey, from someone who knows what we face as caregivers for someone with dementia and beyond. 

Although this addresses Alzheimer's disease, I think any caregiver would benefit from reading this and perhaps if their loved one suffers from another debilitating disease, it may help more because they can step back from their own circumstance and read on a different disease, appreciating the practical, helpful guide that Dave Meurer has taken the time to write with just the right balance of humor and insights with information to help you 'navigate' resources. I also found that 'New Every Day' includes a Christian perspective, especially in the last 2 chapters ('A Life More Real Than This' and 'A Few Final Thoughts') however, it does not overdo in any way or come across preachy, he uses Scriptures appropriately and supportively; which makes this book versatile so that others will gain much from it as well.  This book has helped me in my day to day journey of caregiving of the person and myself. The chapters became easier to read with his dose of humor in such a difficult road now and in the future. I truly appreciate that he did include a chapter from his wife as well. In many ways, this book has encouraged me to look for other books written from caregivers and people dealing with Alzheimer's, more specifically from a spouse's point of view. Dave Meurer has taught me to laugh again and appreciate what's 'New Every Day' for me as a better human being caring for an Alzheimer's sufferer with more grace, compassion and understanding. 

Disclosure: I received this book free through  Revell, the publisher, in return for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTCs 16 CFR, Part 255

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