In June I’ll be releasing my newest book – Open Circle. This one has a special place in my heart for several reasons. First is that I started writing it when my mom and mother-in-law were on their Alzheimer’s journeys. Writing helped me find good things along the way – the depth of care they received, the connections my family and I made with caregivers and elders alike, the unexpected joy that surfaced in the midst of pain–laughter when we wanted to cry, a spark of recognition, time to just be with Mom.
Another reason Open Circle is special to me is that over the past decade I’ve encountered so many people who truly love seniors, who find great joy in caring for them in the face of difficult behavior and utter confusion, and who take time to offer a smile and words of encouragement to families stumbling along the unpredictable journey. Caregivers, nurses, aides, van drivers, cooks, housekeepers, maintenance workers. Activities directors, volunteers, entertainers, doctors. Yes, there were a few who needed to move to a different career, but the majority BY FAR truly loved the people they were caring for.
Third, I’ve had the privilege of watching professionals in action–creating unique, fun, inspiring, and even challenging programs for those afflicted with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Professionals who went above and beyond the scope of a “normal” day (if there is such a thing working in the aging industry!) to provide the best possible environment in settings like adult day programs and assisted living facilities.
“Open Circle” provides a tiny glimpse into the complicated, amazing, surprising world of caring for our elders. Here’s a peek at the new book (with more peeks to come in upcoming posts)!