Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Dr. Patricia Hernandez Arnazzi
“Locked up in silence, my father was unable to fully interact with his family the last eight years of his life, and the challenges we faced while taking care of him were grueling. Among the struggles was the pain of not knowing what he would have wanted us to do. We never asked, and he never told us,” Dr. Patricia Hernandez Arnazzi writes in her book, I Am My Father’s Keeper – The 10 Steps to Caring for the Elderly.
This eighty-six page paperback book is targeted toward family and caregivers who have the daunting task of taking care of a loved one or elderly person, especially one with the challenging Alzheimer’s disease. After acknowledgements, author biography, a letter to readers, contents page and preface, there are ten chapters with highlighted summary endings along with an epilogue, suggested reading, other contacts and resources. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.
Since Arnazzi had to not only deal with her own mother’s death when she was a twelve years old girl, she became a devoted daughter to her aging remarried father as he battled memory loss, incontinence and finally, death. Her story focuses on her relationship with her father, step-mother and siblings as they deal with this debilitating illness.
Starting with depression, her father’s forgetfulness and restlessness became the first step of caring by the author being proactive in researching the disease. She found resources both locally and online to maintain her father’s sense of well-being. Viewing the care as a labor of love, one must have humor, faith, gratefulness and a healthy attitude to survive the day to day trials. By joining forces with others, everyone must push for resolution and not put his or her life on hold while being devoted to caregiving.
Although the writer goes off topic often trying to correlate stories to her father’s care, one can easily see the book is more of a loving tribute to her father. Throughout the book she mentions Chinese medicines, herbal teas, the four stages of mourning and avenues for assistance blended with quotes from the Book of Mormon, the Bible and Yiddish proverbs.
Granted dealing with aged loved ones is traumatic and emotional, Alzheimer’s makes it more heart-breaking as memories fade and personalities vanish. One feels sorrow and loss for anyone who has to go through or deal with this devastating disease.
This book was furnished by the author for review purposes.
Follow Here To Purchase I Am My Father's Keeper: The Ten Steps to Caring For The Elderly (Volume 1)