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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
If the colorful photo of a group of smiling seniors on the cover of this memoir with the strongly visual title of Poopy Fingers: One Person's Account of Working in the Delightfully Strange World of Assisted Living grabs your attention, just wait till you read what Kevin Donner has inside! Discarding any thoughts of what’s proper, for honest, unabashed reality, Donner, a former senior activities director for an Assisted Living Community reveals that poopy fingers are just one of the hazards of his job. Prepare yourself for some unforgettable close encounters with all sides of the seniors of Gleeful Meadow…the good, the sad, and the ugly. These residents will have you both laughing and crying in this delightfully entertaining, but sensitively written and poignant memoir. At Gleeful Meadows, you’ll need to watch out for Millicent who drives her motorized wheelchair like a Ferrari, clipping doorframes and purposely throwing herself out of the chair and onto the floor. Then there’s Tom, who’s eagerly awaiting a letter from the President when he turns 100. A trip to IHOP with this eager bunch of seniors leaves readers in stitches and Donner in panic when one goes missing. But watching that same group perform a play brings enthusiastic applause and tears of joy to those family members who have come to watch Grandma regain a sense of pride and usefulness. How beautiful!
There is so much I could share with you but, if you are wrestling with a major decision such as putting a beloved family member into an assisted living community, you need to read this book and carefully consider all options. Yes, this memoir is often very funny but care for the aged is also a very serious subject. Donner alerts readers to the concerns and dangers faced by seniors with Alzheimer's or Dementia, and also those caregivers who look after them. It’s anything but an easy job. Apart from thoroughly enjoying this book, I learned so much. I laughed and cried, sometimes fearful for my very near future, and in some ways, hoping I don’t live too long. I can’t leave this review without thanking Kevin Donner for writing Poopy Fingers. His sense of humor and excellent conversational style of writing made this such a wonderful read. But what I will most remember is the sincerity and genuine love he gave to the residents of Gleeful Meadows. How lucky they were to have him!