Coffee with Mom: Caring for a Parent with DementiaMike GlennB&H Books / 2019 / Trade Paperback$12.99 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 5 Reviews
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Theron St. John4 Stars Out Of 5A Book for Dementia CaregiversSeptember 17, 2019Theron St. JohnQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4One of the hardest experiences is seeing a parent or grandparent suffer with a disease like Alzheimer's or dementia. Yet, one of the most honorable and humbling opportunities is to serve as a caregiver to that person in the midst of their suffering. Because it can come with moments of discouragement and despair, caregivers can struggle with feelings of loneliness and that no one understands the experiences they are going through in caring for a loved one. That's what makes Coffee with Mom: Caring for a Parent with Dementia by Mike Glenn such a valuable resource.
Counsel from a Caregiver
Mike Glenn is the senior pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church in Tennessee and understands the desire to honor parents while caring for them in their declining health. Serving as a caregiver for his mother over a period of four years, Glenn had to make the hard choices of moving her from the comfort of her home to an unfamiliar place. He had to face the false accusations that come with having a parent lose their memory and not always knowing or remembering what is going on. This is what makes Pastor Glenn the perfect candidate to author Coffee with Mom. He opens the book with a call to caregivers to put on their oxygen mask (chapter 1) before helping those in need. Each chapter contains stories of Mike with his mother. He opens up about their conversations, sharing struggles he and other caregivers may face while also providing counsel to caregivers who may need it. The occasional "Coffee with Mom" sidebars feature quotes from his mom as well as tips from one caregiver to another.
An Open and Pastoral Heart
While a few places in the book seem to repeat stories or points already made (see chapter 17 for example), the author's transparent and thoughtful approach helps walk anyone through serving as a caregiver for their aging parents. The author reminds readers they are not alone in this honorable, yet hard, work. Mr. Glenn does not shy away from highlighting the challenges, such as taking the car keys from his mother who was told previously she could no longer drive. His pastoral heart shines through in some of his counsel as he reminds caregivers, "A person doesn't just lose their memories; they lose themselves" (Glenn 88). He is wise to take some time to speak to adult children who may not have had good parents or who have been wounded by abusive parents (Chapter 20). He offers a word of exhortation to all caregivers when he states upfront, "remember: this is a marathon, not a sprint" (Glenn 13). In Coffee with Mom, this marathon has been given markers along the way.
A Book of Conversation and Counsel for Caregivers
Coffee with Mom is a recounting of Mike Glenn's own marathon of caring for his mother and dealing with his own grief. If you are someone who has been given the responsibility of making decisions and caring for your loved one as their health declines, then get this book and let it encourage you. If you are a caregiver of someone with dementia or Alzheimer's, then you will want to get this book to help you grieve and to remind you that you are not alone. Coffee with Mom: Caring for a Parent with Dementia by Mike Glenn is a book of conversation and counsel for caregivers.
I received this book from B&H/Lifeway Bloggers Program in exchangefor this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.
homesteadingHampton Roads -- VAAge: 55-65Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5Emotive read!September 17, 2019homesteadingHampton Roads -- VAAge: 55-65Gender: FemaleI found Coffee with Mom to be an extremely candid look at a son's experience of caring for his mother through the last years of dementia. Glenn explains how we perceive it is going to be but in actuality how it really is. Of course, everyone's experience won't be exactly the same but there are enough similarities that I feel this book might need to be a 'must-read' for anyone in the roll of long term caregiver.
I read this book in small doses because my heart twisted at some of the recollections. My husband and I experienced similar emotional pain through the years with our daughter who was physically and mentally challenged. I appreciate Glenn's honesty and transparency and it encouraged me not to go back and second guess any decisions my husband and I made. Even in the midst of life's greatest trials, there is humor to be found (we know that for a fact) and Glenn displays a keen wit. Really, his mom was a hoot. I'm so glad he wrote this book!
As I read along, I couldn't help but share passages with my husband (okay, I basically read the book to him) because 1) our own experience and the ensuing years of grief and healing and 2) he has a co-worker (CW) who is a co-caregiver to both parents who have Alzheimer's. He said CW has confided a few of these same emotional and physical challenges of caring for his parents. My husband told me he thinks he is now better prepared to pray for and encourage CW through this challenging time.
I appreciate Lifeway and B&H sending me a copy for review purposes. No compensation has been received.
AmyL5 Stars Out Of 5Helpful and healingSeptember 2, 2019AmyLQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5When I completed my undergraduate degree, I lived in Nashville. And the church I ended up connecting with was Brentwood Baptist church and their young adult program, Kairos. Mike Glenn was the senior pastor of Brentwood and we got the benefit of listening to him during Kairos as well.
Even though I no longer live in Nashville, I've still listened to Mike Glenn's sermons from afar.
I hadn't heard the full story of what Glenn went through with his mom until I sat down to read the pages of Coffee with Mom. And though the subtitle is "caring for a parent with dementia," I found his story so helpful and healing to read through.
Watching a parent suffer through any kind of illness never feels good. And yet, Glenn shares his stories in ways that will pierce your heart one minute, and have you laughing the next.
I was surprised that I didn't want to put this book down. For me, hearing a story that pointed out the highs and lows, with a few suggestions for how to best go through this type of trial was freeing. I also wished I had read this book last summer before mom got so seriously sick.
Glenn shares his story in ways that point back towards hope. It's like a light shining at the end of a dark tunnel. Even though this particular story focuses on dementia, I think it truly is beneficial for anyone caring for a sick parent.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review is my own, honest opinion.
PatSays5 Stars Out Of 5From Debt, to Disease, to Death: Book Review of COFFEE with MOMAugust 13, 2019PatSaysQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 3Hi, Mike. My name is Mrs. Patricia Ann Timbrook. I am a book reviewer with B & H Publishing and I finished reading your book, COFFEE with MOM. I have never before written any of my reviews in this format: directing my words to the author. But, for some reason, today I seem that I must. Your title caught my attention immediately--always a good thing for any writer. Also, the book's cover intrigued me momentarily, as I studied the coffee in the nine identical mugs, coffee (symbolically of your mom's life) that started out strong and full to the brim, and then, progressively, its contents lessened until the cup was empty. It was then, that as I opened to the preface, I wondered if I, as an adult, oldest of three siblings, was going to read about someone infested with an almost identical illness as that of our mom. Soon, I discovered that was sadly, but realistically, exactly so.
Your mom, Mike, like too many of the seniors in the United States, was diagnosed with two intertwined mental illnesses: Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. They, like two ugly and harmful weeds, had germinated in a fairly healthy garden. Over time, the illnesses (or weeds) grew until one day everyone knew "they" were there-- everyone, that is, but your mom, Barbara Glenn, herself. "They" had "announced" themselves to you, Mike, your siblings, your wife Jeannie, and your other family members at a time when you were still working full-time, and enjoying your children and grandchildren. Your book begins with your mom and her diseases and ends with the same at her death and following.
There is something noticeable throughout the contents: So much of the substance and the stories in the 21 chapters repeat themselves or overlap. Is that because that's the path that Alzheimer's and dementia take, as well? Perhaps you and your editor intended the style of the book to be that way. Even so, I believe that what separates your book from others of its kind is your mom, Barbara Glenn herself. Even though her illnesses destroyed certain parts of the brain, which in itself is common to thousands of seniors, it's her personality, and how she alone responded to those diseases that becomes the story coupled with your love debt to her.
To future readers, let me say this. I re-lived our mom's story as I read this book. I felt Mike's distress with his mom's situations, his search for "right" answers to decisions, and his pain and sadness. Not all of you who read this book will identify with any of that. However, I believe that you will understand some things-- you will understand more about aging diseases, more about its effect on the families surrounding them, and hopefully, understand more about unconditional love that comes from Jesus alone.
Kendra4 Stars Out Of 5caring for a parent with dementiaJuly 12, 2019KendraThis book is the story of a son caring for his mother who had Alzheimers and dementia. Or as Mike Glenn would say, "WE had Alzheimers." Throughout the four years that he cared for his mom, Mike would share quotes from his conversations with her on Twitter. The response he received from others in similar situations prompted him to write this book. The book is intended to help those who care for parents with dementia know that they are not alone, to embrace the grieving process, to accept the responsibilities that have become theirs, and to find humor in the midst of it all. It isn't preachy or teachy, so much as Mike telling his story and the conclusions he came to as he wrestled with decisions and a very strong-willed mother who spent every day angry at him for the choices he made. One chapter toward the end includes ways people can assist and encourage caregivers. The last chapter talks about difficult family relationships and how children should honor parents who haven't been good or loving. One thing the book does not touch on is siblings and care-giving for parents. In Mike's case, he says upfront that he was the primary and sole caregiver, but later in the book he says he has a brother. Maybe his situation is such that he can't talk about it, but it felt like an important piece in the discussion of care-giving for parents was omitted.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher (B&H) in exchange for my review.
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