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Fran Lewis channels her mother s voice beautifully in this short book, Memories are Precious, giving a haunting glimpse into the darkness of losing oneself to Alzheimer s and the struggle of caring for someone as they disappear.Alzheimer s is a much complex illness than I d realized, involving not just loss of memory but loss of control over bodily functions, loss of dignity and loss of purpose The mother who once interpreted the cries of a child now has her own silence interpreted by that grown up child Meanwhile the story of Ruth s gradual decline gives interesting and helpful highlights, not just for Alheimer s sufferers and their carers, but also for others wondering about that occasional memory lapse or forgotten purpose.The blend of personal recollection, poetry, narrative, pleas for research, and helpful information works well, giving a personal face to an illness that deprives its sufferers of their personhood and carers of the time to maintain their own identity Mom We will never stop fighting for you and never give up on a cure declares the author in the final pages In these days where and fall prey to this illness, it should perhaps be the cry of us all Disclosure I won a free copy of this book from the author. 50% of this book is a very good reference for care givers of Alzheimer s disease 50% is about Fran A sister, a mother, grand mother and great grand mother Friend, active member of the community and neighbor The entire book is however a story of love The compassion in this book Practical little bits of advice Excerpts from professional publications regarding Alzheimer it all comes down to one thing Love Time and understanding, compassion and decisions and love I think this book is an invaluable resource for primary care givers and I think a must read for all professional caregivers The people under your care is our mothers, fathers, our loved ones So please read this and remember always that before you see the patient, see the person WaAr Memories Are Precious Alzheimer s Journey Ruth s Story by Fran Lewis is an amazing and a very important read that is informative, inspirational and heart warming.The book is a selection of a huge variety of material poems, personal dedications and love letters, short pieces of information, facts, guidelines, specific tips, testimonies, lists of resources and a great deal that as a family member of an Alzheimer patient found invaluable.The perspective changes slightly throughout the book, but mostly it tells the story of Ruth, the author s mother, and there are some passages written by Ruth herself, others are written by Fran but from her mother s perepective Trying to descrive a day in her mother s life as if the mother would perceive it is an ambitious undertaking that I felt came off the ground very well It helps us once to try and see the disease from the inside perspective.One part of the book deals with the stages and the course of the disease as Ruth experienced it The initially harmless forgetfulness that in her case led to a stroke, induced by an involuntary drug overdose due to the forgetfulness Then the change of moods, even change of the use of language and therefore seemingly her character We get reminded of the curse of the disease which is its inconsistency and unpredictability.With much enthusiasm and strong conviction the author brings home the message and plea of love for the victim, the moral obligation for respect and our support as much as we can provide it.The stories and snippets provide a picture of a loyal caring and selfless mother whose turn it has become to be on the receiving end of goodness I found these parts particularly touching and beautiful.In this case the family agreed upon to keep the mother in the home, but far from being naive the family made plans and investigated to find out just how to go about it What follows is a practical guide to setting up your own home care, factual, specific tips regarding the environment and the attitude to bring to the table, meaning emotional and personal advice, and not just speak of safety and health.Included is a short history of the disease, resources and information, websites and a list of signs and symptoms advice on health care options, diagnosis tools and much.I found the selection of material at times somewhat unstructured but at the same time appreciated that the alternating of poems and heart warming stories with the facts serves an important purpose and brings the main message of this book home once Never forget that the patients and sufferers are the very same humans that we have known By interrupting as it were the data and inserting a short poem or love letter by a family member to a sufferer, we never get carried away into a scientific and sterile thinking For those who are confused the table of contents will help to find what you need in any case Never forget the person behind the disease, never forget humanity and remember the bond that was once there, it still is there, hidden behind the symptoms of the disease.This book is an amazing achievement, thank you for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us I hope it will raise as much awareness for the disease and a need for a cure as is intended with it. Martha A Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat Alzheimer s is a deadly disease and does not discriminate It is not a disease of the poor, the rich, the famous or the indigent It is a disease that anyone can get at any time It knows no boundaries and it does not care whether you are white or black or of any other race, religion or creed Imagine going to sleep, waking up and finding yourself in a strange place You have no idea where you are nor how you got there You don t even know what you may have done after you arrived This is the way I picture Alzheimer s Disease It can only be like being in a walking coma You can move around but in a trance type stage You can t remember where something as simple as a drinking glass is kept, even though you ve kept them in the same place for years You sit face to face with your own children or spouse and have no clue as to who they are These have to be horrible, scary feelings.In Memories Are Precious Ruth herself talks about her feelings and experiences in the early stages of Alzheimer s disease Her first indication that something was wrong was when she started forgetting things She couldn t remember what she had just eaten She couldn t balance her own checkbook because she couldn t remember how to add and subtract She went to the store, didn t remember going there and ended up getting lost going home.Ruth talks about the things she had to give up After driving the wrong way down a one way street, her car keys were taken away and eventually her car had to be sold One day she took a second dose of her medicine because she didn t remember taking the first dose This resulted in her not being allowed to dispense her own medicine As the disease progressed, Ruth lost the two things that matter most to all of us She lost her independence and her freedom.In Memories are Precious, Fran Lewis talks about the responsibilities of being a caregiver to an Alzheimer patient Her research on this deadly disease, and importantly, her experience from being a caregiver for her mother has given her the ability to write Memories are Precious, filling it with tips on subjects such as safety, changes, how to find help and how to take care of your own stress levels She discusses the role change of the child becoming the parent and the parent becoming the child and helps us understand those changes, offering advice that will help make the role change easier for the caregiver She also talks about the importance of other family members and friends becoming involved with the patient.As I read Memories are Precious, I found myself understanding this disease and the stress that is put on the family This is one book that I feel should be read by everyone of all ages As Fran Lewis says It is a disease that anyone can get at any time There is no way of knowing who will be next.Publisher XlibrisISBN 978 1 4415 8479 3Published 2009162 Pages Told from the perspective of the one suffering, and those that love, to those that care for the alzheimer patient, Memories Are Precious is a personal and up front look at alzheimers The inclusion of informative tips on how to properly care for a loved one makes this book a must read for those faced with this dilemma Fran Lewis did a terrific job in covering all the bases required to understand this deadly disease that doesn t discriminate. 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