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Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite
At some point in life, we will all grow older and live past the age of 55. As a part of the aging process, people may experience several types of diseases and illnesses. One of the highest on the list is dementia and Alzheimer's, both forms of brain disorders. Unexpected Gifts: My Journey with My Father’s Dementia by Eve Soldinger is a true account of the life of Reuben Soldinger through the eyes of his daughter, Eve. Reuben, a man, father and husband was once full of humor, responsibility, and respectfulness until one day his behavior changed. He became a new person, almost like a kid again. He began to lose the sense of time, place, and circumstances. Eve had seen her father just recently, and once she saw him again she couldn’t believe that he had taken such a turn for the worse; he had dementia. As Reuben embarked on his new journey with dementia, Eve, her siblings, and loved ones would also be along for the ride.
In having a father with a strong family history, I have seen dementia and Alzheimer's rip through the lives of half of his twelve siblings. I could truly relate to this story and was happy that Eve wrote Unexpected Gifts: My Journey with My Father’s Dementia because it gave a face, life, and history to this illness. In telling her story, I felt her joy, pain, and sadness throughout each chapter. Dementia affects the activities of daily performance and communication abilities while Alzheimer's, a form of dementia, affects more of the memory, thought, and language abilities. If you have a loved one that appears to be experiencing some unusual behavior patterns, here are some symptoms of dementia: sudden anger, forgetfulness, taking longer to complete tasks that once were simple, increased fatigue and frustration. Hopefully, one day there will be a complete cure for this disease, but until then let Unexpected Gifts: My Journey with My Father’s Dementia by Eve Soldinger be a part of your support system.