Monday, September 5, 2011

Book Review: Alzheimer's: A Mother Daughter Journey

[Reviewed and updated June 22, 2021]

Consider clearing some space in your heart for Alzheimer's: A Mother Daughter Journey, a photojournalistic memoir about the journey of Celia Pomerantz, a woman who embraces the role of caregiver for her mother. At first ambushed by the demands of caregiving, Celia anchored herself by developing a series of compassionate mission statements to meet each phase of the disease, remaking her initial anguish into a blend of marketing, Zen Buddhism, and salsa dancing.

Like many caregivers, her journey begins with the struggle of convincing her mother to move out of her home and into an assisted living facility, while struggling with the Latina guilt of institutionalizing an elder instead of keeping her at home. Shortly after taking that courageous step, she finds creative ways to manage her mother’s daily living activities like showering, swallowing pills, and general hygiene.
Using the guiding principle she calls “Safety and Happiness,” Celia learns how to make thoughtful decisions about her mother’s medications, family holidays, and effective communication and collaboration with the staff at her mother’s facility. As the disease progresses, her mission statement also changes. At the end of this mother-daughter journey, Celia relies heavily on the guidance she formulates from the mission statement she calls “Peace and Simplicity.” It is here that we discover how she keeps connected to her mother beyond words by finding magic in love, salsa music and her iphone camera. Taken with her iPhone, the sepia-toned, Zen-like photos reflect her effort to have a mother-daughter journey that was calm, mindful and loving.

This entertaining and inspiring book is really a story about finding one’s purpose with a divine and magical spark, even as you lose a parent or loved one to this all-consuming disease. In a call to action to all caregivers, Alzheimer's: A Mother Daughter Journey reminds us that learning to live in the moment can be the gift and the profound comfort that you’ll receive from this journey – be it for one day, one month or several years. It is one woman’s journey, but everyone's story. The book is available for download on If you don’t have a Kindle, a free Kindle app is available for your PC and for your MAC.

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© by 
Marty Tousley, RN, MS, FT, BC-TMH

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