In this tender memoir, Geist details her experiences as she gave up her job and returned home to Northern Michigan to take care of her ailing father stricken with Alzheimer’s. Geist deftly describes the painful hardships of the disease and the factors that influenced her decision to return home, and shares the blessings of growing closer to both her parents.
Mary Ellen Geist decided to leave her job as a CBS Radio anchor to return home to Michigan when her father’s Alzheimer’s got to be too much for her mother to shoulder alone. She chose to live her life by a different set of priorities: to be guided by her heart, not by outside accomplishment and recognition.
The New York Times wrote a front page story on Mary Ellen on Thanksgiving 2005. It was one of the most e-mailed stories for the month. Through her own story and through interviews with doctors and other women who’ve followed the “Daughter Track”â€“leaving a job to care for an aging parentâ€“Geist offers emotional insights on how to encourage interaction with the loved one you’re caring for; how to determine daily tasks that are achievable and rewarding; how the personality of the patient affects the caregiving and the progression of the diseases; as well as invaluable advice about how caregivers can take care of themselves while accomplishing the Herculean task of constantly caring for others.
Geist’s years in journalism allow her to report on Boomers’ caretaking dilemmas with professional objectivity, and her warm voice brings compassion and insight to one of the most difficult stituations a son or daughter may face during his or her life.
Listen to an audio interview with Mary Ellen Geist from ‘The Diane Rehm Show‘ and read the article “”Measure of the Heart” author Mary Ellen Geist talks about her dad’s battle with Alzheimer’s” on mlive.com.
The Michigan Notable Books program annually selects 20 of the most notable books published in the year. The selections are reflective of Michigan’s diverse ethnic, historical, literary, and cultural experience. You can click to view more Notable Books featured on Absolute Michigan and learn more about the program at www.michigan.gov/notablebooks.