Joel Thomas is a Christian leader, teacher, and counselor to troubled marrieds, singles, and parishioners-at-large with life issues that span from spiritual maladies to domestic upsets to social and moral sicknesses of every kind. He's never authored a book until now. After all the assistance he's offered the world, the day came when he faced putting his courage and outstanding achievements to practice right at home with his ailing mother. Thus, his book subject was born.
His book, My Silver-Haired Child, is structured in seven parts that include pertinent chapters plentiful in the highs and lows of male caregiving and salted with the heartbreak of watching helplessly while a malignant disease takes calculated lunges into the life of an adored mother. Throughout the book, he highlights how he went from uninformed to becoming well informed about Alzheimer's dementia. He asserts that once we know what we're facing, we can face it with boldness and authority. A caregiver must know what ails his or her loved one before being able to render the best care.
Each chapter offers entrance into personal caregiver experiences, with narratives of bygone days in contrast. The chapters also offer statistics, references, and practical instructions for caregivers to apply for optimum caregiving results.
In Part 1, the reader is immediately introduced to the vulnerabilities of the author as he is swept away by the surprise of his mother's need for emergent care. Since he has several sisters and is, himself, not only a son, but a working man who is in the throes of a teetering marriage, the question of his capacity to care for his mother on domestic, emotional, and financial fronts had to be answered in one way or another. After finally making the decision to become his mother's caregiver, without his wife's input or consent, the adventures of caregiving begin with the quest to find out just what stage of dementia his mother is in and continue with having her misplaced by a senior daycare facility. In this first part, the author hits the ground running, not only to comb the streets for his missing mother, but also as he weaves us a heartfelt tale of the love of a son for his mom when their roles are reversed, in the absence of female assistance.
Part 2 offers an up-close look into who Alma Thomas was, is etched boldly in a creative narrative. The author also credits his mother, as he states, "For the most part, I am what I am today because of her. I credit her for my life and wits…there was no way I'd deny her or myself the privilege of being her caregiver…." This part takes the reader on a major leg of the caregiving journey to doctor visits, to extensive Q&A's with the doctor on dementia, even to getting his mother ready for the visit. As Joel ultimately becomes well versed on the disease, he also learns he must be just as educated in executive decision making in the face of wary relatives and friends. He further offers information on the impact of the disease specifically in his resident Canada first, then in the U.S. and the world. Eventually, in this part, the author shares his vantage point with his readers, allowing them to see more of Alma Thomas, only this time we see the beginning, then the gradual decline of her health and personhood. By now, caregiving is beginning to take a toll, so he offers lessons on Self-Care for the Caregiver. Also, Joel's Advice to Care By is a broad umbrella covering details of daily living like grooming and dressing his mother, eating, exercise, and daily activities.
Parts 3 through 5 of My Silver-Haired Child can be considered educational. The text goes into the details of the seven stages of Alzheimer's dementia as well as the various types of cognitive impairments and who's prone to develop them. Also, a question of lunar influence on Alzheimer's patients is posed. Although there is no medical