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The Caregiver: A Life with Alzheimer's
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The Caregiver: A Life with Alzheimer's

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  8 ratings  ·  3 reviews
When Aaron Alterra's wife, Stella, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she was an active 80-year-old preparing for a cello performance. The diagnosis radically altered the author's role form husband to caregiver. This account describes his attempts to maintain a connection with his wife and help her live at peace with her condition.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 30th 2000 by Steerforth Press (first published October 1999)
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Written by a man who cared for his Alzheimer’s affected wife Stella at home until her death, this memoir is level headed, sensible, and sometimes transcendently loving. Its practical observations and examples would help anyone to – not “deal with”, for that implies a more rigid caregiving philosophy than the author adopts --- understand and integrate living with a person progressing through Alzheimers.

I appreciated the author’s many reasoned musings on how to honor his wife’s autonomy and rights
John Thorndike
My father died in 2005, after descending into Alzheimer’s. During the time I took care of him, and in the years that followed, I read dozens of memoirs about Alzheimer’s and dementia, among them excellent books by Mary Gordon, John Bayley, Eleanor Cooney and Annie Ernaux. I found Alterra's book the best of them all.

From the first paragraph I knew I was in good hands. On page five I noted in the margin, “Every paragraph is perfect.” And so it continued, one rich page after the next.

I’m always sw
Feb 21, 2008 Vanessa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: social work students, people with aging parents, those working with caregivers
Shelves: 2008
An honest and thorough memoir of the author's experience as a primary caregiver for his wife. The book starts off with the lead-up to the wife's Alzheimer's diagnosis, and follows the author through the first several years of her disease, and his experience in trying to learn as much as he could while being an effective caregiver for her.
Duane Davis
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