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Reviewed by Danita Dyess for Readers' Favorite
If you are one of the millions of caregivers taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you must have “Stop and Smell the Garbage: A Caregiver’s Story of Survival” by Christine McMahon Sutton as part of your toolkit. Sutton was a caregiver for her husband, Gery, a 56-year-old family physician who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She proves that the average person dealing with this disease is misinformed; what you think you know is wrong. Consider the facts -- patients may not exhibit the same symptoms and early-onset Alzheimer’s is more prevalent than previously noted. So, how do you deal with the day-to-day challenges? Develop a sense of humor, get support from family and friends and keep this caregiver’s survival guide within reach at all times.
This book was uplifting. Sutton’s story was so personal and brutally honest. For the first time, I cried, laughed and embraced my own circumstances. Though I did not like the title and the constant images of the garbage can, they are appropriate as they depicted Sutton’s account of a specific experience with Gery. The zebra icons and the tell-tale symptoms of the disease are invaluable. I loved the quotations beginning each chapter. The discussion of financial and legal matters was pragmatic. The comprehensive Resource section will help you make informed decisions. “Stop and Smell the Garbage” is a must-have for anyone taking care of an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient.