Meet Me Where I Am

An Alzheimer's Care Guide

Non-Fiction - Health - Medical
192 Pages
Reviewed on 12/20/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite

Meet Me Where I Am: An Alzheimer's Care Guide by Mary Ann Drummond is a non-fiction book mainly designed for caregivers who deal with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In this book, Mary Ann Drummond draws upon her personal experience in the field of nursing and management of facilities that are specifically created for elderly people who have dementia and require long-term care. The book is divided into several broad chapters including an introduction to the book, understanding what Alzheimer’s disease is, how to maximize success and minimize loss, providing a calm, therapeutic environment for the patient, how to manage challenging symptoms and behaviors such as sexual inappropriateness, personal hygiene, caring for the caregiver themselves, and a quick list of questions and answers for easy reference, among other things. The book also includes a list of some reference books and websites for further reading on Alzheimer’s disease.

I really enjoyed Meet Me Where I Am by Mary Ann Drummond and I felt that this was a comprehensive, well-thought out book on Alzheimer’s disease and how to cope with it in the best possible way from the perspective of a caregiver. Indeed, this book is applicable to all forms of dementia in the elderly and perhaps the title can be modified to broaden the scope of this book and give readers an accurate idea of what to expect. Mary Ann Drummond obviously comes from a place of compassion for these patients and this shows through in her thorough and careful writing style. This is definitely a must-read for anyone working or living with someone with any form of dementia for helpful guidance and tips.

Jack Magnus

Meet Me Where I Am: An Alzheimer's Care Guide is a nonfiction health/medical elder care book written by Mary Ann Drummond. Drummond, an RN whose mentor was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, notes that approximately 5 million Americans currently have the disease, and 15 million caregivers are involved with their care. Through her work with patients. Drummond has learned a crucial lesson -- an Alzheimer’s patient can function optimally and have a greater quality of life when their caregiver recognizes where in their memory world that patient is currently inhabiting and interacts with them on that plane. A husband may one day be seen as a long-lost parent or a child or even the younger version of himself when he and his wife were first courting. Trying to wrench the patient out of that temporal sphere and into ours leads only to frustration and loss for all. Even patients who seem to have lost all interest in life can sometimes be reached by discovering the key to where they are and what makes them remember.

Mary Ann Drummond’s Meet Me Where I Am: An Alzheimer's Care Guide addresses the elephant in the room for those who are not directly involved in caring for a family member or friend with Alzheimer’s and provides hope for those who presently are caregivers. This terrifying and insidious disease seems to have affected many people’s lives, either directly or through friends, relatives and people in the news, such as President Ronald Reagan and British author Terry Pratchett. Drummond’s techniques offer a marvelous way for caregivers to make the most out of their interactions with their patients and to help those patients maintain their sense of dignity and quality of life. While at times a grueling and very sad book to read, Drummond’s advice is timely, uplifting and motivational in so many ways. Meet Me Where I Am: An Alzheimer's Care Guide is most highly recommended.

Amy Raines

Meet Me Where I Am by Mary Ann Drummond describes her personal experiences as a Registered Nurse (RN) as she worked closely with patients afflicted with different forms of dementia. Applying personal experience to her level of care proved to be a worthwhile endeavor as she discovers that joining the patient in their memories helped them more than physical restraints or attempting to force the patient to ‘live in the now’. Drummond lays out the real cause and effect of dementia based on actual experience and research as well as the history in realizing how Alzheimer’s disease progresses. As the disease progresses so has the clinical research and the medicine that helps. While there is no cure for dementia, there is more help available due to a better understanding of the disease that has made the use of restraints almost unnecessary as well as a better understanding of how to assist an Alzheimer’s patient as they relive memories without causing further trauma and stress by attempting to convince them that their ‘reality’ is incorrect.

I love Meet Me Where I Am as Mary Ann Drummond discusses her real life experiences as a caregiver of patients of dementia and how they were her ‘teachers’ concerning the degeneration of brain and body functions. Drummond provides real stories backed up by real research that makes Meet Me Where I Am a very useful tool for an RN, a medical professional or anyone else who may come into contact with someone suffering from this disease. My favorite thing about this book is how Drummond explains Alzheimer’s and dementia in a very clear, understandable way, leaving the reader with newfound knowledge about a disease that can be a very confusing subject. I could personally see Meet Me Where I Am added to the curriculum that teaches caregivers how to help patients afflicted with dementia. I truly hope to see many more books like this by Mary Ann Drummond that will educate caregivers and family members of the sufferers with facts rather than stigmas attached to other diseases and disorders.

Barbara Fanson

Author Mary Ann Drummond has worked in the industry for over 25 years so she provides lots of information for dealing with most forms of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease. Drummond shares her observations on working with Alzheimer’s patients versus other forms of dementia. “The more I observed, the more I learned, including to expect the unexpected when caring for Alzheimer’s patients and to celebrate the successes.” Over time, she realized the best methods to use with patients. “If the patient wanted to go home, convinced their small children were alone and needed them, I would assure the patient their children were safe and being cared for rather than remind them their children were grown with children of their own.” She also goes into depth explaining the various stages of Alzheimer’s disease, what medications are available and their side effects, and takes on questions like "What causes the disease or how can I prevent it?"

Meet Me Where I Am is a must-have book for all caregivers because it is written from the point of view of the patient. I highly recommend Meet Me Where I Am to caregivers, family members, and staff at long-term care facilities. Libraries and retirement homes should also stock this book because it includes Care Do’s and Don’ts for Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients. Author Mary Ann Drummond provides a lot of insight into the disease and helpful tips for handling patients with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Drummond explains some good techniques for patients that want to go home or who accuse others of stealing from them.

Alyssa Elmore

Empower yourself with knowledge and learn what to expect when caring for those suffering from dementia in the self-help book, Meet Me Where I Am: An Alzheimer's Care Guide by Mary Ann Drummond, RN. Alzheimer's is a rapidly increasing disease. With one out of ten Americans over the age of sixty-five diagnosed, and an estimated forty-four million people worldwide suffering from this malady, it is necessary to know the signs, symptoms, and treatments. Discover the varying stages of this disease and what to expect with each stage, and how best to prepare for the journey. With lists of steps to take once Alzheimer's has been diagnosed, and suggestions on how to prepare for the future, this book dives into the hard to answer questions with honesty and compassion. The author guides the reader on the very nature of the ailment, with real-life examples to help the reader better understand how to treat patients with Alzheimer's, and advice on how to simplify otherwise difficult daily tasks.

I was very impressed with this book. Meet Me Where I Am: An Alzheimer's Care Guide by Mary Ann Drummond is a heartwarming guide on how to best take care of loved ones with varying degrees of dementia. Filled with love, understanding, and hope, this guide teaches those that are closest to the patient and the patient that is recently diagnosed what to expect and how to deal with the pain and initial shock. I appreciated how the author broke down the phases of the disease and explained gently and succinctly what to expect and how prepare, evoking a feeling of power. As the caretaker of a dementia patient, it can be especially tough to understand a loved one's sudden irrational and erratic behavior. As most family members do, reacting from a fear-based place can cause the patient to withdraw and symptoms to become worse. By utilizing the techniques presented in this book, many family members have found that they can bring back parts of their loved ones that they thought had vanished months and even years ago. This book is an inspiring look into the future of mental health care.