REVIEWER: TRACI SANDERS
RATING: BLUE BOOKWORM
The title of this book intrigued me, so I took a chance.
Having nearly twenty years of combined experience educating young children, I completely understand and appreciate the importance of the caregiver role.
However, I have the utmost admiration and respect for those who care for the elderly because at least the children I care for have the capacity to learn something new and retain that knowledge. They have the ability to be disciplined and taught what’s right and wrong, what’s appropriate and not appropriate, what’s real and pretend. Some elderly people lose these means of discernment, depending on their age and mental state. They forget things, act out in public when events don’t go their way, and often times can’t do tasks by themselves. Unlike with children, where these things can be managed and, with proper discipline, prevented in the future, the elderly often have diseases and mental impairments which only worsen with time. Discipline is not warranted because they are not always acting out of their own defiance and stubbornness; their minds don’t always register that their behavior is inappropriate, and they cannot be taught to “behave properly.” It simply is what it is, and what it becomes with age.
It was refreshing to read this author’s journal entries about a-day-in-the-life-of-a-caregiver-for-the-elderly. While she shares the hardships of taking on such an enormous task of caring for both of her aging parents alone, she also sprinkles in humor and inspiration to offer a ray of hope for those who may be going through the same thing now or sometime in the future. She doesn’t claim to be a saint, stressing that just as they say it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a strong support system to care for aging parents, which she eloquently words as: “If family is the hardscape of your garden, then friends are the flowers.”
Reading this story was a bit nostalgic as well, for me. As this author explains, growing up, her home was the hangout house, and her parents took in a multitude of non-biological children, offering them loving, discipline when needed, and teaching them life skills that they were unable to attain anywhere else. My childhood home was just like this. After reading this book, I feel as if I know this author and her parents because we’ve had some of the same experiences – especially the one about the TV remote. Oh my goodness! My father does that same thing when he falls asleep in his easy chair.
There were just so many things I loved about this book. One of my favorite quotes was: “Sometimes caregivers need caregivers.” I can definitely identify with that sentiment, as I’m a person who always put others’ needs ahead of my own as well. It’s how I was raised.
In summation, the message I took from this book was: our parents raise us, wipe our noses and bottoms, dry our tears, help us pick out our clothes, feed us, and soothe our fears. Why should we not do the same for them when the time comes?
Though this wasn’t a perfectly edited read, it was engaging enough to keep me turning pages. I give it a BLUE-worm rating! I highly recommend it to anyone, as someday, EACH OF US will either be the ones doing the caregiving, or perhaps we will be on the other side of the equation, needing to be cared for.
Other titles by Theresa Snyder – Click on an image to learn more!