Walking Each Other Home

Spiritual Companionship for Dementia Caregivers

Jean M. Denton

Nov/2021, 176 Pages, PAPER, 5½ x 8½ in

ISBN-13: 9781640654150

Dementia changes everything—and not just for the person who receives the diagnosis.

Each of the 5.6 million Americans with dementia has one or more caregivers struggling to make meaning while watching their loved one’s personality vanish. The caregiver is sure to be changed—not only by the myriad tasks and responsibilities, but by the soul-searching questions: Dare I hope? Who’s to blame? What do I do with my anger? Where’s God in this? These questions of doubt, guilt, intimacy, depression, and acceptance are ultimately questions of spirit.

This book is distinctive: it directly addresses the spiritual needs of the caregiver. It invites the reader to explore his or her own spiritual journey rather than offering pre-determined answers. Appropriate, both for people with faith and people without religion, it encourages dementia caregivers to probe their spiritual questions along with a sympathetic author, one who walked her husband through early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. 

Read an excerpt.

JEAN M. DENTON has woven together two careers: nursing and public health and spiritual direction and priesthood in the Episcopal Church. She is the author of Good is the Flesh: Body, Soul, and Christian Faith. She lives in California.

“With great honesty and sensitivity, Denton questions how it is possible to find God and any meaning in such a draining task, concluding that in the end all that matters is love.”
—Rev. Dr. Albert Jewell, Dementia Network Secretary of Christians on Aging

“As a dementia caregiver myself, I testify that I have indeed met myself in Denton’s book; reading her simple, graceful words and reflecting upon her well-chosen questions has led me more deeply into myself and helped me to see more clearly not only where my wife and I are but where our companionship can lead us both.”
—Dr. Steve Smith, author of Eastern Light: Awakening to Presence in Zen, Quakerism, and Christianity

“In addition to dementia caregivers, I’d recommend this book to hospital chaplains and healthcare workers as they assist dementia caregivers to find meaning through their difficult journeys.”
—The Rev. Dr. M. Lorraine Coufal, MA, MPM, MDiv, spiritual director and retired chaplain

“Jean Denton invites caregivers to walk, explore, and articulate their own feelings. If you are a dementia caregiver, you will find yourself understood and helped here.”
—Paul S. Bay, DMin BCC

“Denton’s book is certainly needed!”
—Dr. Pauline Boss, author of Loving Someone Who Has Dementia

Keywords

  • Alzheimers
  • dementia
  • elder care
  • spiritual direction
  • journaling
  • healthcare

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