Thursday, August 29, 2013

Green Kitty - a book review

By: Alexandra Faer Bryan

I was asked to read and write a review of this book. This is not easy for me, but here it is.

Green Kitty is a story of a grandchild (female) visiting a grandmother who has been placed in assisted living in the early stages of her illness. The grandmother is suffering the onset or one could say already in the beginning grips of Alzheimer’s. The girl goes weekly to visit her grandmother with her aunt and sometimes with her father. They seem to make a point of going the same day each week. While it is not directly stated, in doing this they are giving grandma something to look forward to on a certain day each week. This gives the elderly lady a sense of normalcy, whether the family really realizes it or not. See, we with Alzheimer’s, or any form of dementia, exist in a realm of non changing things around us. Change can bring great confusion, anxiety and sometime rage.

On her visits the grandmother tells the young girl stories from her past as she remembers them. Stories about the dogs they had, her father and has promised to tell her about the Green Kitty.  But the elderly woman tells the girl she can not remember the story but as soon as she does she will tell her. You will have to read the book to get the story; I do not kiss and tell as they once said.

This is a very gently written story filled with fun and laughter. However the young girl has been told of grandmother’s condition and is very respectful of it. When grandma repeats herself the girl in gentle and listens to her stories over again.

Although the book is written to help those from ages 8 to 12 to understand about a love one living with dementia, I feel it speaks to a greater audience. It shows that we living in that world remember the past sometimes with great accuracy. The grandmother does not speak of things in the present.

When I was in school they gave us the following grades S=superior, E=excellent, C=good, D=you in deep doo doo and F=you found the bottom of the well. Based on that rating system, since I am older than dirt, I give this book a very solid S.

Reviewed by: Joseph V. Potocny

You can Green Kitty at the links below.

Additional Information:

Helpful information, I did not write the following, it comes from Alexandra.

It will be included in an advocacy packet that is being developed called "What I Can't Do - We Can Do - Memory Advocacy for Families" which will include:
* list of blogs about Alzheimer's
* list of available books about this illness for both children and adults
* list of medical supply sources online
* sources for journals for families to keep track of medications, visits by family, friends, doctor visits, etc.
* websites related to dementia
* sources for clothing for patients
* the 24/7 helpline for the Alzheimer's Association
* a sample of a POA
* sample of living wills/advance directive including the veteran's one which is valid for all states
* information about the new wrist band program for hospital visits
* links for GPS systems for wanderers and medical ID bracelets
* links for food thickeners for those that develop swallowing problems
* four books

      The books chosen to be included are: "His Name Was Merle - Out Journey Through Alzheimer's Disease", - "Green Kitty", which can be read to children under the age of 8 and is aimed at 9-12 year olds, "Staying Afloat In A Sea of Forgetfulness", by Gary Joseph LeBlanc which is 300+ pages of excellent advice to help manage behavioral problems, and "Color Me Your Way", an activity book for the patient.

It has placed as a finalists twice as entertaining children's fiction; USA Book News "Best Books 2011" and "International Book of the Year 2012"

God Bless,

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