A Note from the Author

When Caring Takes Courage



I wrote “When Caring Takes Courage” with the intention that it would be a quick, “go-to” reference for family caregivers.  Reading it cover to cover or in sequential order is not necessary. Readers can choose the chapters that best answer current questions or challenges and then explore the rest of the book when they have time or when the need arises. 

In my conversations with many families over the years, the common complaint I heard about existing books for Alzheimer’s/dementia caregivers were, that the books were either way too detailed to find the information they were looking for quickly or that caregivers did not have the time to read a lengthy book. This handbook is about helping you in those moments when Dad won’t stop looking for his car or refuses to take his medication, for when Mom is too frightened to bathe, or you are having trouble getting your Wife in the car to go to her doctor’s appointment.  In When Caring Takes Courage, you’ll find effective scenario-based solutions for moments like these at your fingertips.

My hope is that readers think of this manual like their favorite cookbook. I want them to feel free to “dog-ear” the pages that helped, skip parts they may not need right now and mix in their own recipe for successful caregiving along the way. Feeling free to add and subtract from the best practices on the pages in the book to assemble something that works best for their loved ones and themselves. This is a book that is meant to be USED versus simply READ. An interactive guide that gives readers the opportunity to really tailor the information presented in a way that identifies and protects the successes in caregiving the reader is already experiencing. 

When Caring Takes Courage is divided into sections:  Part One: Getting through Your Day begins with the Biography Based Care® philosophy that will help readers customize the tips and resources found throughout the text. 

For those that like to go “in order”,  Part One of the book follows the path of Alzheimer’s disease from its onset, and what the disease is, to how to seek preliminary diagnosis up to hospice care and all that happens in between.  Popular topics in this section offer simple solutions for everyday challenges in caregiving such as: bathing, medication time, trips outside the home, toileting and “accident” prevention, communication, handling difficult behaviors and more.

Part Two: Creating the Best Possible Day supports caregivers in carving out more moments of connection with their loved one.  Tips and tools to help protect and preserve the unique relationship and life journey you were on together before Alzheimer’s entered your world.

Here are just a few of the interactive tools and tip sheets readers will have access to: 

•Biography Based Care® Biography Tool

•Frequency of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Symptoms Family Checklist

•Reduce the Risk of Wandering Safety Checklist

•Care Needs Calculator

•Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care Plan Template for At Home Caregivers

•Alzheimer’s/Dementia Patient Family Generated Health History Form

•Alzheimer’s Care Comparison Tool to Evaluate Communities and Home Care Providers

•Over 700 “Failure Free” Alzheimer’s Adapted Activity Ideas

It is my sincere hope that I’ve written this book in a way that will be of benefit to families coping with the impact of this disease every day, that this book will help them feel a little less alone, and a lot more appreciated. 

When Caring Takes Courage aims to serve readers as a constant companion on what can feel like a very lonely journey. It is a written reminder that, sadly, millions of other families have traveled this path before and much of the wisdom they gained along the way because of both their tears and their triumphs, are contained in these pages to guide and give silent support to others who are just now going on a journey that they know all too well.

-Mara Maitlin Botonis