This book was written out of a desire to share with others who have loved ones with Alzheimer's disease what I have experience as Grace' caregiver and friend. I wanted to capture the emotions, the expected and the unexpected issues, the painful times as well as the humorous and loving moments that Grace and I have shared as a result of this disease. This is not mean to be a handbook for dealing with Alzheimer's disease, but I hope that by sharing my feelings and experiences, readers may recognize they are not alone on this particular journey.
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Connie Ruben is an entrepreneur with well developed management skills. She has run several large companies, and prides herself on empowering others to work to their full potential. Connie also has an intimate knowledge of the challenges and joys of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, as her mother-in-law Grace was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s disease in 2003. While Connie still struggles to balance her work life and home life, her understanding of this disease has made it easier for her to negotiate the demands of being a caregiver, as well as a wife, mother, and employer. She has written this book in order to share the insights she has gained as Grace’s primary caregiver and friend. Most importantly, Connie wants this book to assure others that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be enjoyable, life-affirming, and emotionally significant.
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Interview with Connie Ruben
- Do you have a career outside of writing:
I’ve been a professional business women most of my adult life and am currently the President of a holding company in Calgary. Balancing work, family, Grace and the other aspects of life has been an interesting adventure. Then of course there are the three girls and now four grandchildren..
- How did your husband feel about you sharing your family life with the public in this manner?
I’m pleased to say Peter was very supportive though I believe a little surprised that I took this project on. As he was part of the story, it was nice to get his feedback but also important that I stayed strong and made sure I was writing my story and not his.
- Did you ever get writers block, did you ever want to quit?
I don’t believe I suffered from writers block, but there were many times I wanted to quit. As writing is not an enjoyment for me, I struggled many times with the concept that other people would take the time to read this. I had to constantly check in with myself as to the real motivation for writing. For me, it was to help others and in the process I helped myself.
- In your book you mention different geographical locations, which is your favorite?
This is tough has they each have special qualities. Our home in Sausalito is quite unique as we live on a 128 year old Steam Schooner. Living on the San Francisco Bay part of the year not only provides a respite from everyday life in Calgary but completely recharges my personal batteries.
- In the book you made a decision to keep Grace at home with you. Have you ever regretted that decision?
I’ve never regretted having her with us. That said, there have been and continue to be times when I feel overwhelmed and that I took on more than I could handle. Each day you get up not knowing what stages of the disease will show itself and yet hopeful that a glimmer of the old Grace might show through. My love for her keeps me going and I continue to learn from all she still has to give.
Prizes: Win a copy of The Stages of Grace (print for USA & Can, ebook for int’l) with a $10 Amazon GC or win the grand prize of a copy of The Stages of Grace (print for USA & Can, ebook for int’l) with a $20 Amazon GC (2 winners)