|Published 2014 by Pressman Books|
Then I started the book. It's more of a caregiver's memoir.
Finally, I noted the subtitle: "A Love Story of a Different Kind." That was my big hint, and I skimmed past it. However, author Stafania Shaffer shares the tender feelings she experienced over five years of caring for her increasingly dependent mother.
[Note: I receive a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.]
The books starts when Shaffer discovers that her widowed mother is living in a cluttered, unhygienic home. Shaffer's mother is having trouble maintaining her finances, her diet, and her own cleanliness and grooming.
After making these observations, Shaffer takes on the task of caring for her mother, first from a distance of two hours until she can secure a new teaching job and move back into her childhood home.
True, the book is filled with a lot of detail about how Shaffer overhauled every aspect of her mother's life. Readers might adopt the same organization system, but most will probably tailor the task to their own work style.
More interesting to me were the details about the many relationships among Shaffer, her mother, her boyfriends, her siblings and some of the people who came to care for the house and to care for Shaffer's mother. And let's not forget the three cats and one dog. They add to the complex dynamics of the household.
There is no easy path for extended family members to walk when a parent grows increasingly dependent. If readers do not have a clear idea how family caregiving works, Shaffer's book provides vivid details of issues that could very well emerge during the process. Note that this book comes with a workbook that is more practical and full of resources. It's called The Companion Playbook.
Books on the Dying Process