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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book stands out amidst the increasing numbers of books about Alzheimer's and other diseases related to dementia, because of its intensely personal focus and the invaluable recommendations and insights from its 2 authors.

The authors are resilient women whose husbands suffered from dementia; they met in a Support Group and formed a super-strong bond that sustained them and their families through difficult times, based on shared emotions, commitment and laughter.

The format of the book is SO readable, consisting of short emails between the wives, discussing their pain, joys, frustrations, heart-breaking decisions, possible solutions and trade-offs, with humor relieving the anxiety at times. The frank and honest details they provide about sensitive topics will provide a special source of support for spouses dealing with the same struggles. They are open enough to describe the times they felt they disappointed their husbands, and to consider how to do better in the future - sharing their vulnerabilities is a very special gift to other caregivers who have the same concerns.

The insights the authors share about their personal stories are valuable for any family with a relative with dementia. But the book also includes a Caregiver 101 section, with lots of very specific practical advice in areas such as:

· Selecting the right doctor
· Insuring a safe home environment
· Reducing agitation in your loved one
· Indepth analysis of various types of alternative living arrangements to identify the best option in your area
· Medicaid application checklist and eligibility info

This book is a very special resource that caregivers will turn to for both emotional support and day-to-day advice to manage the difficulties of dementia.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
A wonderful account of both the ups and downs of caring for a loved one with dementia. I've been a care giver of an other than dementia person and I found I related to many of the emotions that Ann and Vicky experienced. It gave me permission to accept my feelings without the guilt all caregivers feel on occasion. I highly recommend it for anyone who is a caregiver to a loved one.
I am so thankful that they wrote it so well and that I had the chance to read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
It is tragic to lose a spouse, slowly, inevitably and too soon. The correspondence between these two authors as they watch the deterioration of their husbands is raw and realistic. We see fierce love and tooth-grinding frustration -- those "good days" and "bad days" our friends politely refer to when asked how they are doing.

What really stands out in this book, over and above the loss of a spouse, is the importance of friendship. The two authors can tell each other anything, no need to put on a brave face. They take the journey of this life-shattering ordeal together. Heartbreak makes us lonely, but these brave women tell us it doesn't have to be that way. Their lesson is in their openness and in their ability to put what they were going through into words, as it was happening to them.

I recommend this book, not only as a manual for caregivers, but also as a guide for women helping one another.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
If you've known someone who's lived with Alzheimer's or other dementia, or his/her Caregiver(s), you'll want to read this insightful, memorable book. Not only an invaluable resource for navigating regulations and systems of care, but foremost a poignant narrative of tremendous courage, enduring patience and steadfast, unconditional love. Brutally honest, a thoughtful and inspiring chronicle of REAL life, recounted by two lovely and amazing women/wives/mothers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I have read and bought this book for several family members as we are dealing with 2 relatives, one shows the symptoms of Ralph and the other Jim's. I my case ours are both female.

When Ann & Vicky started talking about not being able to use the phone that was an ah-ha moment for me with reference to Mom, and the hallucinations being vivid when the eye sight wasn't clarified my Aunt's issues.

Thanks for sharing your journey through this devastating disease process, I hate the disease and how it has robbed me of enjoying my family fully; but I will take your love you shared with your spouses and continue to share that with my family.

Recommend this to anyone with friends or family suffering with one of the dementias.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Good book. I liked the back and forth of email chatting. I identified with this since often it can be your one constant form of communication while in the role of caregiver. Also, the fact that one individual had Alzheimer's and the other a different form of dementia, since early on it is difficult to determine which dementia. The tidbits of useful information urging one to prepare early on were great sources to help get things in place.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book is full of honest feelings about being a caregiver for a spouse.
I felt all of them while reading this book.
How fortunate for Vicky & Ann that they had such wonderful support from family and friends. I admire them both for their honesty, courage, love and compassion.
I recommend all caregivers read this book. I know it will help them as it did me to understand the feelings that I had caring for my elderly parents.
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on October 14, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
One of the most difficult parts of being the primary caregiver for a spouse with Alzheimer's is the foreboding sense that you are alone on a journey whose end is known but whose itinerary is a mystery. For the past 11 years, I've been watching my beautiful wife slowly taken from everything she knew and loved by this insidious disease.

About a year ago, a friend asked if I had read Vicky and Ann's book. I had not. The only other books on dementia I had looked through were more clinical, more advisory in the areas of legal matters and care arrangements. There was nothing in them that suggested to me that the authors had ever traveled the road on which I found myself.

From the time I first opened the pages of Singing in the Rain, I felt like there were new members in my family; two women who knew about the road, and had wonderfully warm and compassionate advice about how best to navigate it. It sounds trite, but experiencing Vicky and Ann's frustrations, anger, tears and fears caused me to feel that I had known both these wonderfully brave women all my life, though I am unlikely to ever meet either of them.

If you find yourself on caregiver road whether for a spouse or some other family member, you are well acquainted with the common advice that, as a caregiver, you must look out for yourself. It's good advice. One of the best ways to find those moments of respite is to read this book. Two of the best friends you never knew you had are waiting to guide you on the way.
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on February 1, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I'm a Licensed Social Worker and a volunteer for two separate non-profit agencies supporting 1) Alzheimer's sufferers and their families and 2) those caring for loved ones in hospice. I've looked over a fair number of resources for caregivers and, strange as it sounds, I started to fall in love with this book within 10 pages. It is filled with actual emails between the two authors, along with related documentation, over the course of four long years of personal and familial loss. In these years and filling these pages, the authors lose their precious husbands - in vicious little bits and in great big bites. All along the way, what stands out for me is how much joy and love, humor and grief entwine these two friends and embrace their spouses. These are two exceptionally bright, vivacious, engaged, hilarious, astute women who wake up every day to the "new normal" that replaces the old crazy normal from yesterday. Those struggling with unique yet related challenges with their beloved (and sometimes not so beloved) spouses will recognize intimate details and farcical situations. And they will feel so much less alone. And not so guilty. An excellent, tragic, hilarious, keenly insighful read from two women who know what's what.
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on May 23, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Excellent for caregivers of loved ones traveling on this journey. Great support that knowing others have traveled this road before and how they coped with it. Warning: this book is not for beginners. It will scare people just diagnosed with Alzheimer's. But for those in the mid to late stages, it's a great help. It's a support to know that the authors "have been there, done that" in this struggle and survived with their minds intact. Where we live, there is no support group for caregivers, but reading this book really helped me know that others have had the same problems and how they managed to work through them. Anyone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's needs to read this book. Very helpful to me.
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