Life Giving Dementia Care

Let's Talk: How to Bring Confidence, Compassion and Joy Into Your Role as a Caregiver

Non-Fiction - Health - Medical
237 Pages
Reviewed on 04/08/2022
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Author Biography

Born and bred in the Midwest, Toni Kanzler wears several hats: wife, mother, CPA, entrepreneur, school administrator, volunteer, board member, and now a best-selling author.

But it was as a daughter that she had the privilege of being her mother’s caregiver.

Being a caregiver is really tough. There is too much to learn and you can’t know what you don’t know. Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body, or Vascular? How long will this last, what will happen, and how bad will things get?

Life Giving Dementia Care was written to help you, the caregiver, be better prepared for the challenges, behaviors, and decisions you’ll face every day. To understand how to care for your parent, family member, or friend, and for yourself. Toni’s hope is that you’ll find joy in this journey.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Life Giving Dementia Care: Let's Talk: How to Bring Confidence, Compassion and Joy Into Your Role as a Caregiver by Toni Kanzler is a self-help educational guide that first comes straight from the author's heart and, ultimately, is the culmination of their extensive personal experience as a carer. This is not a textbook, which is why the “first” matters. This is a partnership, a helping hand on a journey that may at some point become necessary in our own lives if it isn't already. Kanzler breaks the book down into four distinct and interconnected parts that are as straightforward as the support they contain: The Early Stage, The Middle Stage, The Last Stage, and The After Stage.

Life Giving Dementia Care landed in my lap about nine months after I lost a family member to Lewy Body[LBD], which was a years-long commitment and one that could have been made easier with Toni Kanzler's book. Still, looking back, I am able to empathize with so much of what Kanzler provides and I have no doubt whatsoever that readers will have moments of vigorous nodding, such as when Kanzler talks about the importance of keeping a behavior log, and moments of pain, like the goodbye you knew would always come but are still caught off guard by how organically it happens. Kanzler's Q&A section and the appendix and resources just make an already great book even better. I am so grateful for the compassion and care that went into writing this book. Very highly recommended.

Judge, 29th Writer’s Digest Self-Pub

"What an immensely helpful...very well-written book that will prove valuable to anyone facing becoming a caretaker to a loved one suffering from dementia. The advice is compassionately provided and easy to understand. You take a subject that can become overwhelming and break it down to manageable proportions." - Judge, 29th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Critic’s review, The BookLife Prize

"...Kanzler states that she wants the reader to feel that she is their friend - that she is there, giving advice while they drink a cozy beverage. She has succeeded! Written thoughtfully and with care, Life Giving Dementia Care is a calm, gentle guide for those who are walking this difficult path."- Critic's review, The BookLife Prize


Phenomenal Resource for Caregivers, Family, & Friends
I cannot recommend this book enough for all caregivers and loved ones of those suffering with memory loss. The narrative voice is engaging, insightful, and inspiring, while providing very practical advice that can be helpful for anyone connected to someone experiencing dementia. This book is helpful to read from start to finish and can also be used as a handy reference for any questions or difficulties that arise in your caregiving journey.

Sharon A. Walker

A book written from the heart.

Toni has written a book chocked full of tremendous information written from her heart. I have read many books on dementia over the years. This book has all the information of a text book but written from personal experience and with great insight of the day to day happenings with her beloved Mother. Unless you have lived it, as Toni did, you do not know the feelings and stages that you go through on a daily basis. The points at the end of each chapter give a summery of what is contained in that chapter. These points are easy reference for future use. The content is written so that the reader feels as if he/she is experiencing each day with Toni and her mother. I highly recommend this book.


Concise Caregiving from beginning to end

As an evaluator and treatment recommendation provider of dementias, this book provides a lot of insight from things that potential caregivers would benefit from tracking as well as acknowledging all of the changes that occur throughout the process. Will be recommending to patient's caregivers

Kindle Customer

A Caregiver step-by-step guide

The author breaks it all down step by step in an understandable and insightful manner. She walks you through her journey sharing the pain, the laughs, the sorrows and the struggles. As a person who was the primary caregiver for my Mom during the final two years of her struggle with dementia, she touched my heart with her experiences. The author tells her story with compassion, and I now wish my family would have had this book as a resource as we navigated the many obstacles we dealt with on our journey. For anyone, who wants an insight into this journey, this book is an incredible read


Such a timely book for me

Both of my grandparents had dementia. My grandfather on my dad’s side and my grandmother on my mom’s. I watched my parents care for both of them in different ways. My grandpa came to live with us for awhile when I was 15. My gram lived down the block with my aunt until she passed at 89. My mom was a nurse so had experience caring for her physical needs as she deteriorated slowly over time. She was on medication which helped but there were still times when she would be confused and not know us. Reading this book helped me to see how it may have been for both my parents and for my grandparents and it’s helped to prepare me a little for how it might be for both my in-laws and my own parents in a few years. I plan on sharing this with my siblings, husband, and brother in law so we can all get a dose of perspective to help us prepare when the time comes. VERY grateful to have read this

Indy Mom

A must-read for every caregiver!

This book captures the winding road of a caregiver in a very readable and relatable manner. The author shares her personal journey in a way that makes you feel like you are talking with a good friend. Like the journey of caregiving, there is humor, pain, struggle and joy beautifully woven throughout each chapter. As someone who has walked a similar path, I found the book healing, affirming, supportive and comforting, even though my time as a caregiver is now done. The author is compassionate and informative, with thought provoking suggestions and practical advice. Whatever you are facing as a caregiver, this book will inform and guide your next steps. You are not alone, and this book will help you regardless of where you are on the continuum of caregiving

Amazon Customer

Great guidance!

As I read this book, it reminded me so much of the experiences and stories of my family as we took care of my own grandmother. I wish we would’ve had this level of guidance when we were caring for her. I think it would’ve eliminated a lot of the frustrations and arguments we had with her during her life. It is so easy to get frustrated about the same stories and battles over driving, self care, etc. I am happy to have this guidance now as we embark on another experience in dementia care.

C Stewart

Great guide to caring for someone with dementia!

This story reminded me of the journey we walked with my grandma a few years back. We didn't have much of a roadmap and were struggling to understand her decline. I wish we had this book to help us as we cared for her. This book explains the struggles and helps alleviate frustrations and understand behaviors. I appreciated the honesty to relate to how the caregiver can feel on this journey. I love the heart and story behind it. This is a great read and I highly recommend this book


A down-to-earth primer on caring for loved ones with dementia

This book sheds light on a difficult topic to acknowledge and prepare for: the prospect of our loved ones experiencing dementia in their later days. In a very personable and friendly tone, it offers good-humored advice, points out additional resources (checklists, studies, etc.), and shares personal successes and failures from the dementia care journey. The book covers all stages of dementia care, from recognition to care to parting and beyond. A great book to read long before providing dementia care is on the horizon (as an eye-opener and expectation-setter) and then refer back to for encouragement and practical advice if/when the time comes


A much-needed resource to guide any dementia caregiver throughout their journey…

In many ways, the author boils down the topic of dementia and the many facets of the caregiver role while sharing her personal journey - giving examples from personal experiences with her own parent. Through personal research, gathering a support team of friends, family, and professionals, as well as, trial and error, she conveys the practical and emotional sides of the joys and hurdles for both the caregiver and the person progressing through various phases of dementia. For those caregivers who are fearful, grieving, overwhelmed, or just plain curious about the road that lies ahead, this is a much needed resource. And for those professionals who walk alongside the caregivers, they will come away with a better understanding of how it feels to walk in the shoes of a doting daughter who has now become a caregiver, a parent, a problem-solver, an encourager, and a guide. I came away from reading the book with hope to find new joys in the process one day at a time

Reviewer, Readers' Favorite book review

"Life Giving Dementia a partnership, a helping hand on a journey that may at some point become necessary in our own lives if it isn't already. Life Giving Dementia Care landed in my lap about nine months after I lost a family member to Lewy Body[LBD], which was a years-long commitment and one that could have been made easier with Toni Kanzler's book. Kanzler's Q&A section and the appendix and resources just make an already great book even better. I am so grateful for the compassion and care that went into writing this book. Very highly recommended."

Janet Rohlman

Having been a caregiver for many, many years for my mother through her brittle diabetic issues and then dementia, I wish there had been a book like this for my reference. I feel I made so many mistakes and could have made better decisions if I had had more information.

Ms. Kanzler’s book is a step-by-step guide that gives helpful insight as you travel the journey of dementia care for a loved one. Ms. Kanzler provides practical, first-hand advice for all aspects of dementia care. In addition, and the part of the book I found most helpful for me at this stage, was the caregiver recovery section. Learning to forgive myself for the times I was not my best self for my loved one and for the times I did not make the best decisions are areas I continue to work through even 7 years after my mother’s passing.

This is a book I am going to strongly suggest my adult children read/listen to now, before being faced with a dementia diagnosis. I believe it is a very insightful and full of excellent, practical advice.


A wonderful book!
Reviewed in the United States on August 31, 2022

This book is beautifully written and will be so helpful to anyone going through the experience of caring for a loved one diagnosed with any form of dementia. My own father passed away this year with Lewy Body dementia, and everything Toni conveys in this book about the caregiving process is something I can relate to. The reader will feel the sadness, joy, frustration, and humor that come with the caregiving experience and will gain so many practical insights that will aid in the journey. It teaches and encourages and is organized in a way that makes it an invaluable handbook that can be picked up for a brief reference or read in large chunks. Read it (or listen to the audio)! You won't be sorry.

Amazon customer

Great for Caregivers
Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2022

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This book is a great resource for those caring for parents or a loved one with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Being a child and caregiving for a parent can be a challenge. Toni shared her experiences and it is a wonderful guide for those caregiving. I highly recommend this book!

Kathleen H

A Personal Guide...One Caregiver to Another
Reviewed in the United States on August 29, 2022

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In a soothing voice Ms. Kanzler offers practical advice and encouragement for the caregivers of dementia sufferers as they cope with the uncertainly of their loved ones' futures. Her counsel ranges from the very pragmatic, to the humorous, to the "what not to do," as were all learned through her own firsthand experience as caregiver to her mother.
With a tone of all encompassing love, advice on key practical preparation, and a candid look at the progression of emotions and physical changes that will be taking place, Ms. Kanzler leads the reader along the journey from her mother's diagnosis to her ultimate passing. She speaks in a friendly, kind, gentle way that draws the reader/caregiver into a bond of caregiver to another. It is practical, not clinical, while always acknowledging the dignity of the patient and the needs of the caregiver.
This author also inserts interesting commentary as would have been from the patient's her mother and those with dementia a voice back to those giving care.
The journey through dementia as described in this helpful resource was never sugarcoated, but was presented from the perspective that there is still a lot of life and love to be lived and shared along the way and how caregivers can best navigate this uncertain territory to the best possible benefit of all.

Amy Gatman

A very well written, first-hand account to help care for a loved one with a dementia diagnosis.
Reviewed in the United States on August 17, 2022

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I loved this book! It is full of first hand knowledge from the care giver’s point of view and insights from her mother along the way. I feel this will help anyone who has a loved on with a dementia diagnosis.

Brenda Klingerman

Extremely helpful information presented in Toni's book.
Reviewed in the United States on April 23, 2022

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For those dealing with aging parents with dementia this is a must read. I wish I had read it well before I needed the information in order to prepare better for the effects of dementia on our family. This book provided such great resources as well as information on how to deal with the day-to-day challenges. I love how sections of the book provided perspective from Nana as to how she was feeling as dementia was overtaking her. I have many pages bookmarked that I am referring to over and over. Great read!


Delightful and comforting
Reviewed in the United States on October 28, 2021

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This book is encouraging, refreshing, and comforting for such a serious topic. The author’s writing style is delightful. It gives you the feeling that you are getting advice from your best friend, while providing essential information. The summary at the end of each chapter is helpful to remember key points. I wish I would have had this book to help me navigate through my caregiving experiences with my dad, who had dementia. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who may become a caregiver.

T Cluff

Encouraging and practical advice for those caring for a parent with dementia
Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2020

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The book contains practical advice from a person who has been through the difficult process of caring for a parent with dementia. I enjoyed the personal account and genuine love that the author displayed for her family. I also found the text written from the viewpoint of the parent to be interesting and thought provoking.


Great, comprehensive advice for all stages of caregiving
Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2021

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Happened to see this book when I realized I had a need to educate myself because of my parents’ declining health — bought and read it from cover to cover, immediately. I found it to have so many great resources, examples, personal anecdotes, and even sections written from the perspective of the person with dementia. I especially appreciated the information of evaluating care options, pre-planning for funeral arrangements, ensuring estate plans and related paperwork are in order, and consulting both doctors and elder care attorneys.

I expect that I will re-read numerous sections again as I have the need to. Thanks for writing this, and I’m looking forward to the promised companion workbook, which I will see is available yet on Amazon.

Whitney H

A truly exceptional book you should read immediately!
Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2020

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The author of this book does an amazing job of helping the reader see both sides of caregiving: patient and caregiver!! This book made me laugh, cry and feel like I'm doing a good job in my life even though sometimes I feel guilty. If you are feeling frustrated, tired, guilty and/or overwhelmed as a caregiver - please read this book immediately! The author is very relatable and does an amazing job of giving guidances and support. I especially like that the author provides some amazing resources as continued support such as podcasts, books and websites. In the appendix, she also has stories and interviews from others who have been care givers themselves. Asking them about what surprised them and how they made the decisions they did. A truly exceptional read!!