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Dignity and Grace: Wisdom for Caregivers and Those Living with Dementia

Author: 
Janet L. Ramsey (Author)
Series: 
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Description

Discovering how to live with dementia

"I'm a stranger in a strange land," sighed the dignified gentleman Janet L. Ramsey met walking down the care-center hallway. Those words, her first glimpse of the confusion that comes with dementia, led her into a lifetime of work with older adults.

If you have been diagnosed with dementia or you are accompanying someone with this illness, you may find yourself on a journey that began with a sudden diagnosis and an acute sense of panic. Or perhaps your journey started gradually, as you noticed changes in yourself or in your partner or parent. Whether sudden or gradual, the impact of a diagnosis of dementia reorganizes a family's entire life.

Drawing on her own experience as a pastor, teacher, therapist, and family caregiver, as well as on interviews with eight family and professional caregivers, Janet L. Ramsey helps caregivers and those with impaired memories learn as they listen to each other. She also shows them how the Holy Spirit can awaken their imagination and understanding while they discover how to live with dementia.

ISBN: 
9781506431789
Price: 
$18.99
ISBN: 
9781506434223
Price: 
$17.99
Release date: 
August 1, 2018
Pages: 
178
Width: 
9
Height: 
9

Look Inside

Excerpt: Table of Contents
Excerpt: Introduction

Endorsements

... an honest, personal, and wise book.

Janet L. Ramsey has written an honest, personal, and wise book about living with what she calls the ‘tough hope’ that can sustain people through the dementia journey. From her experiences as caregiver, pastor, chaplain, marriage and family counselor, and professor, she weaves together stories of individuals living in what she aptly describes as the ‘messy world’ of dementia. She introduces readers to several ordinary, courageous individuals whose stories animate this book.  Like other books about dementia, Ramsey’s work offers many practical approaches to issues like communication strategies. However, unlike any I have read, she relates how the practices of giving and receiving dementia care can support and sustain spiritual resiliency.

Susan Mcfadden | University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

As a therapist myself, I found this to be an elucidating read and have already used its insightful content to deepen my own work with caregivers.

Ramsey’s book is unique in that it offers both useful, practical advice (such as how to communicate with someone with dementia) as well as emotional and spiritual guidance for those who are confronted with this challenging but also (potentially) very rewarding job. Ramsey pulls directly from her experiences as a caregiver, a therapist, and a pastor, weaving them together into an inspirational but also realistic handbook for caregivers. Hers is an elegant voice that lends itself to engrossment! As a therapist myself, I found this to be an elucidating read and have already used its insightful content to deepen my own work with caregivers. I would definitely recommend this book to those who find themselves on this spiritual journey called caregiving, as well as to therapists, pastors, or other helping professionals who support caregivers and want to expand their empathy and understanding of what the experience of caregiving is like at the core level.

Katherine Luedke | Salem VA Medical Center, Salem, Virginia

This book is more than a read; it’s worth rereading over and over.

How much I wish I had had this book as a resource when our family sought to give care to our parents in their final years with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is a helpful book for people worrying about dementia and about those as caregivers for people with dementia. This book is faithful and confessional and devotional. Ramsey helps us all to not look at dementia as a long, tedious, hopeless journey; she, rather, encourages us to take the journey a minute at a time with those we love, and to allow ourselves to be surprised with ‘tough hope.’ This book is more than a read; it’s worth rereading over and over.

James Mauney | Virginia Synod, ELCA

a must-read for individuals with dementia and all of those who join them on the care journey.

While information about dementia and management strategies for caregivers abound, the relational and spiritual aspects of the lives of older adults and their care partners is often missing from both family and professional conversations. Dignity and Grace: Wisdom for Caregivers and Those Living with Dementia fills this gap. Grounded in research, theory, and practice, Ramsey draws upon her own experiences as an educator, researcher, pastoral counselor, and family caregiver as well as persons with dementia and their caregivers to provide meaningful and inspiring guidance for those living with dementia and engaged in dementia care. By bringing to light the importance of living and caring with dignity and grace, Ramsey gently weaves together the realities of the losses associated with dementia with spiritual guidance to meet the challenges and reap the rewards of dementia caregiving. Her elegant use of psalms and infusion of Christian beliefs and practices makes this carefully written book a must-read for individuals with dementia and all of those who join them on the care journey. Ramsey’s engaged writing style and the practicality of the information provided makes reading this book an insightful, meaningful, and comforting experience.

Karen Roberto | Virginia Tech University