Friday, April 3, 2009

Have You Read Memory Lessons?

No? Well, you should. "Memory Lessons, A Doctor's Story," by Dr. Jerald Winakur, is (in the words of its press release) "an honest and courageous account of his father's last years, the life he slowly forgot, and what a family faces when dementia begins destroying memory after memory, ability after ability."

I've just finished this book and must say that the press release doesn't do it justice. It is a much bigger and better book even than are expressed by the superlatives of the PR, and it should be required reading for all caregivers.

When I wrote my memoir, "Dementia Diary, A Caregiver's Journal" I believe I was the only man at the time to have published this kind of portable support system for caregivers of Alzheimer's and other dementia disease sufferers. We all know that most caregivers are women, but we tend to forget that large numbers of men are also the sole caregivers to demented parents or spouses. The outpouring of positive comments I receive regularly from both men and women readers reinforces my belief in having male perspectives about caregiving widely available in published form.

So men caregivers need a voice in the book market place too and, until recently, "Dementia Diary" was alone in providing it. Now we also have "Memory Lessons," and what a powerful voice it is. Dr. Winakur brings the perspective of a physician, an internist and geriatrician, to the role of a caregiving son. What a combination! It belongs on your bookshelf (next to "Dementia Diary", of course).

Bob Tell
Author, "Dementia-Diary, A Caregiver's Journal"