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Dancing with Rose: Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's

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Dancing with Rose: Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Like many loved ones of Alzheimer's sufferers, Lauren Kessler was devastated by the ravaging disease that seemed to turn her mother into another person before claiming her life altogether. To deal with the pain of her loss, and to better understand the confounding aspects of living with a disease that afflicts four and a half million people every year, Kessler enlisted as a caregiver at a facility she calls Maplewood. Life inside the facility is exhausting and humbling, a microenvironment built upon the intense relationships between two groups of marginalized people: the victims of Alzheimer's and the underpaid, overworked employees who care for them. But what surprises Kessler more than the disability and backbreaking work is the grace, humor, and unexpected humanity that are alive and well at Maplewood.

Dancing with Rose is forceful and funny, clear-eyed and compelling. An intriguing narrative about the relationships and realities of end-of-life care, it stars an endearing cast of characters who give a human face to what has always been considered a dehumanizing condition. Illuminating and beautifully written, Kessler's immersion offers a new, optimistic view on what Alzheimer's has to teach us.

Review:

"The growing number of readers who have relatives with Alzheimer's will warm to Kessler's excellent account of the months she worked as an unskilled resident assistant in an Alzheimer's facility on the West Coast. This facility, which she calls Maplewood, is a state-of-the-art institution, divided into small 'neighborhoods' of 14 rooms with private baths, a common space and enclosed patios. The author of several nonfiction books, Kessler (Full Court Press) was attempting to resolve her feelings after her own mother, with whom she had a troubled relationship, died of Alzheimer's; bittersweet memories of her are scattered through the narrative. At Maplewood, Kessler feeds, toilets and converses with residents in varying stages of the illness. Marianne, for instance, an alert and well-dressed woman, appears not to belong at Maplewood. She still regards herself as a successful working woman, and the author treats her as such. Kessler becomes strongly attached to some of the other men and women in her neighborhood, feeling bereaved when several die during her tenure. She comes to regard Alzheimer's sufferers as individuals who can still enjoy life, given the care and recreational opportunities extended at this facility — a powerful lesson in the humanity of those we often see as tragically bereft of that quality. (June 4)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Part immersion reportage, part memoir, Lauren Kessler's book shows that people with Alzheimer's are still capable of love, friendship, and humor. Unflinching and smart, repentant and honest, Dancing With Rose offers ways for all of us to connect with people at the end of their lives. I loved this book." Melissa Fay Greene, author of There's No Me Without You and Praying for Sheetrock

Review:

"Lauren Kessler has confronted the horror of Alzheimer's in the most direct and courageous way possible: After losing a mother to the disease, she went to work as a low-wage aide in an Alzheimer's facility. Dancing With Rose is itself a kind of miracle of caring: She manages to humanize the victims and shine a clear, compassionate, light on those who struggle to care for them. Anyone affected by the disease—and that's almost everyone — has to read this book!" Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch

Review:

"Lauren Kessler, who sent her parent away to a 'care facility' as so many of us do, here attempts a small act of atonement. But she achieves much more. In taking us on her months-long visit to the foreign land of Alzheimer's (a place which embodies so many of our fears), Kessler helps the reader to see that people with this disease are people we can touch, speak to, empathize with, and — more than I had known was possible — understand." Ted Conover, Author of New Jack: Guarding Sing Sing and Coyotes

Review:

"Are you ready to step through the looking glass? Lauren Kessler's book gently walks you into the strange and unsettling world of middle and late-stage Alzheimer's. And she does it the way it should be done: with open eyes, complete honesty, and a true compassion — no cornball sentimentality, no pulled punches. It takes a special quality to turn a subject this agonizing into an absorbing read, and this book has it." David Shenk, author of The Forgetting

Synopsis:

One journalists riveting — and surprisingly hopeful — in-the-trenches look at Alzheimers, the disease that claimed her mothers life.

Synopsis:

Previously published in HC as Dancing With Rose

One journalist?s riveting?and surprisingly hopeful? in-the-trenches view of Alzheimer?s

Nearly five million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer?s. Like many children of Alzheimer?s sufferers, Lauren Kessler, an accomplished journalist, was devastated by the disease that seemed to erase her mother?s identity even before claiming her life. But suppose people with Alzheimer?s are not slates wiped blank. Suppose they experience friendship and loss, romance and jealousy, joy and sorrow? To better understand this debilitating condition, Kessler enlists as a bottom-of-the-rung caregiver at an Alzheimer?s facility and learns lessons that challenge what we think we know about the disease. A compelling, clear-eyed, and emotionally resonant narrative, Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer?s offers a new optimistic look at what the disease can teach us and a much-needed tonic for those faced with providing care for someone they love.

Synopsis:

One journalists riveting--and surprisingly hopeful--in-the-trenches look at Alzheimers, the disease that claimed her mothers life.

About the Author

Lauren Kessler is the author of five works of narrative nonfiction, including the Washington Post bestseller Clever Girl and the Los Angeles Times bestseller The Happy Bottom Riding Club. Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, O magazine, and The Nation. She directs the graduate program in literary nonfiction at the University of Oregon.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

loganlazy, July 25, 2008 (view all comments by loganlazy)
I started working in health care settings in 1959. At that time women had few choices for careers, I couldn’t fight my way into the male dominated drafting field for which I had trained. So for the next 45 years I worked mostly with the elderly in situations that Lauren Kessler has written about.

This is one of the best books written about a segment of life that many people will deny until it is too late to grasp the complexity of it. Every description of RA [resident assistant] interaction with the resident and other staff members would apply to every facility that I ever worked in. The heart felt family interaction with RA’s is absolute truth. Both positive and seemingly negative inter actions, such as is described in Dancing with Rose occur many, many times every day all over our country.

As real as the descriptions of life at ‘Maplewood’ was, I was struck by the intricate lacing of personal life events of the author. This personal aspect tied together a segment of real-life, as many people know it today.

I have neither the time nor the words to adequately comment on this very special book. It is a ‘must read’ and ‘must have on your book shelf’ !.
That is the heart felt advice from an ‘Old nurse’.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 15 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670038596
Subtitle:
One Daughter's Hopeful Story
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Kessler, Lauren
Subject:
Health Care Delivery
Subject:
Eldercare
Subject:
Alzheimer's disease
Subject:
Caregivers
Subject:
Diseases - Alzheimer's & Dementia
Subject:
Alzheimer's disease -- Patients -- Care.
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20080527
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
1.00 in.
Age Level:
from 18

Related Subjects


Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Alzheimers
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General Disorders

Dancing with Rose: Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 272 pages Viking Books - English 9780670038596 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The growing number of readers who have relatives with Alzheimer's will warm to Kessler's excellent account of the months she worked as an unskilled resident assistant in an Alzheimer's facility on the West Coast. This facility, which she calls Maplewood, is a state-of-the-art institution, divided into small 'neighborhoods' of 14 rooms with private baths, a common space and enclosed patios. The author of several nonfiction books, Kessler (Full Court Press) was attempting to resolve her feelings after her own mother, with whom she had a troubled relationship, died of Alzheimer's; bittersweet memories of her are scattered through the narrative. At Maplewood, Kessler feeds, toilets and converses with residents in varying stages of the illness. Marianne, for instance, an alert and well-dressed woman, appears not to belong at Maplewood. She still regards herself as a successful working woman, and the author treats her as such. Kessler becomes strongly attached to some of the other men and women in her neighborhood, feeling bereaved when several die during her tenure. She comes to regard Alzheimer's sufferers as individuals who can still enjoy life, given the care and recreational opportunities extended at this facility — a powerful lesson in the humanity of those we often see as tragically bereft of that quality. (June 4)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Part immersion reportage, part memoir, Lauren Kessler's book shows that people with Alzheimer's are still capable of love, friendship, and humor. Unflinching and smart, repentant and honest, Dancing With Rose offers ways for all of us to connect with people at the end of their lives. I loved this book."
"Review" by , "Lauren Kessler has confronted the horror of Alzheimer's in the most direct and courageous way possible: After losing a mother to the disease, she went to work as a low-wage aide in an Alzheimer's facility. Dancing With Rose is itself a kind of miracle of caring: She manages to humanize the victims and shine a clear, compassionate, light on those who struggle to care for them. Anyone affected by the disease—and that's almost everyone — has to read this book!"
"Review" by , "Lauren Kessler, who sent her parent away to a 'care facility' as so many of us do, here attempts a small act of atonement. But she achieves much more. In taking us on her months-long visit to the foreign land of Alzheimer's (a place which embodies so many of our fears), Kessler helps the reader to see that people with this disease are people we can touch, speak to, empathize with, and — more than I had known was possible — understand."
"Review" by , "Are you ready to step through the looking glass? Lauren Kessler's book gently walks you into the strange and unsettling world of middle and late-stage Alzheimer's. And she does it the way it should be done: with open eyes, complete honesty, and a true compassion — no cornball sentimentality, no pulled punches. It takes a special quality to turn a subject this agonizing into an absorbing read, and this book has it."
"Synopsis" by , One journalists riveting — and surprisingly hopeful — in-the-trenches look at Alzheimers, the disease that claimed her mothers life.
"Synopsis" by ,

Previously published in HC as Dancing With Rose

One journalist?s riveting?and surprisingly hopeful? in-the-trenches view of Alzheimer?s

Nearly five million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer?s. Like many children of Alzheimer?s sufferers, Lauren Kessler, an accomplished journalist, was devastated by the disease that seemed to erase her mother?s identity even before claiming her life. But suppose people with Alzheimer?s are not slates wiped blank. Suppose they experience friendship and loss, romance and jealousy, joy and sorrow? To better understand this debilitating condition, Kessler enlists as a bottom-of-the-rung caregiver at an Alzheimer?s facility and learns lessons that challenge what we think we know about the disease. A compelling, clear-eyed, and emotionally resonant narrative, Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer?s offers a new optimistic look at what the disease can teach us and a much-needed tonic for those faced with providing care for someone they love.

"Synopsis" by , One journalists riveting--and surprisingly hopeful--in-the-trenches look at Alzheimers, the disease that claimed her mothers life.
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