“Staying Afloat in a Sea of Forgetfullness: Common Sense Caregiving” was written by Gary Joseph LeBlanc who was a primary caregiver for his own father who was stricken with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Gary states that his goal was to write a book that was as “caregiver friendly” as possible and that is just what this book is.  Gone is the usual medical jargon and diagnostic mumbo-jumbo that often accompanies books related to Alzheimer’s Disease and caregiving.  Even as a nurse, I don’t enjoy reading the more scientific books…as a caregiver, our brains need a break and some down to earth advice.

Perhaps because Gary also writes a weekly caregiving column for the Hernando Today, he begins each of his chapters with a “Dear Caregiver” note that includes a quotation and his interpretation of how that quotation relates to caregiving or to the dementia itself.

An example from his book is “Dear Caregiver, American philospopher and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “it is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”  You will find that after being a caregiver, you will have a different and better outlook on life.”

When I cared for my own father, I always felt guilt that my father spent over 2 hours reading the paper each day (which gave me some time alone but made me feel guilty for not entertaining him).  In his book, Gary stated how much his father enjoyed playing solitaire and could often spend several hours doing so.  I was relieved to learn that other caregivers were also not always at their loved one’s side.

Gary’s book is a very down-to-earth, easy to read and poignant account of his successful caregiving journey.  It offers readers hope and enlightenment and can help to affirm to a caregiver that as long as they are doing their best, the way they are caregiving is just perfect.


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