Monday, November 28, 2016

The Stages of Grace: Life and Love in the Face of Alzheimer's by Connie Ruben

A bittersweet debut memoir about love and 
about learning to live in the moment.

Synopsis - 


This book was written out of a desire to share with others who have loved ones with Alzheimer's disease what I have experience as Grace' caregiver and friend. I wanted to capture the emotions, the expected and the unexpected issues, the painful times as well as the humorous and loving moments that Grace and I have shared as a result of this disease. This is not mean to be a handbook for dealing with Alzheimer's disease, but I hope that by sharing my feelings and experiences, readers may recognize they are not alone on this particular journey.

Review - 

I have always been drawn to the stories of others - the reason my focus has been interviewing for the last decade.  So when this book came to my attention, it went right to the top of my to read list.

Stages of Grace is the author's very personal and very honest recounting of her journey as primary caregiver for her much loved mother-in-law, Grace. For anyone just starting down this road, I think there are tremendous insights to be found.  Ruben discusses her fears, the guilt in not being able to always KNOW exactly the right steps and how Alzheimer is a game where the rules are always shifting. While the main focus is on the the author's (and the family's) journey both physical and emotional, she tucks in nuggets of advice received from Grace's primary doctor and some of the talented heath care professionals she dealt with.  She also openly shares mistakes made as she navigated the unknown.

Hardest to read are those moments where Grace disappears and the disease takes over.  Each time the question arises - will they be able to bring her back this time?  So far the answer is yes.  Most uplifting are the moments of blessing that come. Yes, there are blessings to be found.

For family members just starting this journey with a loved one, I highly recommend Stages of Grace. It will offer you insight on ways to face what is ahead and permission to accept that sometimes you just don't know the answer. Even though there are tough moments - the author has written this account to  "...assure others that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be enjoyable, life-affirming, and emotionally significant."

Buy the Book: Amazon ~ Amazon.ca


Meet the Author - 

Check out a great behind the scenes interview HERE!

Connie Ruben is an entrepreneur with well developed management skills. She has run several large companies, and prides herself on empowering others to work to their full potential. Connie also has an intimate knowledge of the challenges and joys of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, as her mother-in-law Grace was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s disease in 2003. While Connie still struggles to balance her work life and home life, her understanding of this disease has made it easier for her to negotiate the demands of being a caregiver, as well as a wife, mother, and employer. She has written this book in order to share the insights she has gained as Grace’s primary caregiver and friend. Most importantly, Connie wants this book to assure others that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be enjoyable, life-affirming, and emotionally significant.


Connect with the author: Website


4 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for reviewing my book and for the interview. I find it interesting how these questions took me back and had me re-live some of the emotion. As you know from the story, I love Grace so much both pre and post Alzheimer's. It means a lot that you would support me like this. Connie Ruben

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    1. It's all about a person's journey for me. Loved the book. Loved the interview. Now passing it on to someone who has been the caregiver for their mother of 16 years (an unusually long journey with Alzheimer's). I think she will find comfort hearing your journey.

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  2. Sounds like a great book! The journey is a difficult one.

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    1. Thanks Melody. While I am not going through this, I appreciate the author's complete honestly about what the journey is like - both the lows and the highs.

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