Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Reveiw

Through my dear friend Cheri Crane, I learned of a special book and I was immediately intrigued. Now that I’ve read it, I am so impressed, I thought I would pass word on. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. (Seriously, everyone should have a copy of this.)

There are three friends of Cheri’s, all of whom were sisters. Their names are Susan, Jean, and Trudy.

Their mother had declining health and had therefore spent a lot of time in various hospitals. Though the mother had a mind that was sharp and very much in tact, her speech had worsened to the point that her she no longer could convey her needs. Often times family members had to try to translate to the hospital staff for her because they could no longer understand what her wants and needs were. It became extremely frustrating for everyone involved.

One sister reported that on more than one occasion their mother would ring for assistance only to be walked out on and left in tears because the hospital staff couldn’t understand what she wanted or needed.

Their mother eventually passed away.

It was only a few short years later that this family learned that their brother in law ( one of the three sister’s husband) had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. While his mind stayed intact, his body was deteriorating. Speech was one of the things affected. Determined not to go through the suffering and frustration that they had experienced while their mother was a patient as she tried to express simple and basic needs, one sister was determined to find a way to help.

After much prayer and meditation, ideas began to form.

If they could write down simple sentences and he could point to that sentence, they’d know what he needed. The letters would be big enough for eyes that might find it hard to read and could be made out clearly. There would be icons with simple pictures for easy detection. All of this would be done in bright colors for cheerfulness, etc.

The sisters talked with each other and put it all their ideas together. As an end result, they came up with the book:

Communication for the Cognizant, Nonverbal Patient

The book was a success, there was a huge difference between their experience with the brother in law and the mother.

This book is very simple and easy to use. It’s designed to be used for those who have lost their ability to communicate verbally and gives them their voice back only to be heard in another way.
I want to add my personal experience and opinion about this book.

I have been a caretaker in a couple of different capacities. I know through experience how difficult and frustrating it is for the patient to lie there and have all their freedom taken away-- to be solely dependant on others for their well-being. Especially if they were once independent and liked to be the one who took care of others themselves.

For the caretaker, it’s hard to guess what the patient’s wants or needs could be. To burden them with a million questions can be frustrating for you and for them as well as you try to figure out a way to make them more comfortable. Doing so without communication skills can be not only frustrating, it can be stressful and even scary. In a patient’s most challenging times, you want to do all that you possibly can in such difficult circumstances. But without communication it can seem nearly impossible.

My grandmother is now 101. She is sharp and witty yet her health is declining. She has had strokes and other ailments that are causing her to lose clarity of speech. Her age is taking a toll on her dear sweet body. She lives in Denmark. We have decided to send this book to my aunt to help them communicate more easily with her. Though the book is in English, and my grandmother only speaks Danish, the pictures are universal and the words are in simple, large print, that it will allow my aunt to translate. I believe this book is just what they need. I hope to hear of their success with it.

I briefly told you the story behind the book taken from the introduction. You can read more about it for yourselves. It’s a very touching story. This family experienced many personal challenges and through their heartaches, loss, and absolute dedication and courage to their loved ones, a wonderful book has come forth to help us give those who have lost their voice another way to express themselves.

To order this book go to

Or to see more you can visit My Companion Voice and click “like”

1 comment:

Cheri J. Crane said...

Jeri, thank you so much for taking the time to review this book. =) What a touching tribute to this family who has lost so much. You are AWESOME!!!

And may this book help all those who have lost the ability to communicate.