Monday, August 27, 2012

Adventures in Mother-Sitting Review

Adventures in Mother-SittingAdventures in Mother-Sitting by Ms Doreen Cox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found Adventures in Mother-Sitting to be a very touching book. This non-fiction story focuses on Doreen (Dody's) decision to look after her mother Eva, after Eva has been diagnosed as suffering from Alzheimer's.

Doreen's frank retelling of the joys, happiness, and frustrations she experienced as her mother's Care Bear for the last three years of Eva's life will give the reader an eye-opening revelation of what caregivers live through as they tend to terminally ill patients and loved ones.

To read Doreen's book is to to immerse oneself in the landscape of her mind and in the challenges of daily life, as she explores in a unique way the variety of emotions she goes through caring for her mother. She takes the reader along her journey, and we experience the joys of unexpected successes, the lows of diminishing physical abilities, and the humor that can be found in the oddest, most stressful, circumstances.

This is one woman's soul-searching attempt to come to terms with conflicting emotions and the whirlwind of ideas second-guessing her decisions as she does her best to offer her mother home care. Is Doreen perfect in the execution of her duties? Not by a long shot! Is she honest with us and herself? Brutally so. Doreen's courage, ego, disappointments in herself, and wondrous triumphs are all documented and analyzed as Eva undergoes the inevitable transformation of a loving and caring mother, to a teen, then a child, and eventually to a mostly unresponsive bedridden patient. But the heartbreaking three-year journey of mother and daughter(s), for Doreen also includes her sisters' roles in the care of their mother, is broken up time and again by moments of joy and humor that lift everyone's spirits and offer hope when the situation seems so dire and hopeless.

Bear in mind, this is not an easy book to read. Doreen tells it like it is, so there talk of diaper-changing, toilet messes, and graphic descriptions of body ailments that leave one breathless. But her tale touches on a reality that many of us will face, or have already faced, in this future world of diminishing medical/healthcare assistance.

Adventures in Mother-Sitting should be a mandatory manual for anyone seriously thinking of caring for an Alzheimer's-afflicted loved one.

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