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Choosing Joy by Helene Berger is a book of hope, a personal journey from a woman who was determined to stay positive in the face of her husband’s diagnosis and in the process became an inspiration to other caregivers.
Helene Berger began this book unwittingly, pieced together from a journal she began keeping after her husband Ady’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s. It describes her real life experiences – the mistakes and the successes that allowed the couple to build the best life possible in the face of this terrible illness. When Helene consciously chose to seek joy every day, both for herself and her husband, Ady began to experience a remarkable and unprecedented regeneration. During the last two years of his illness, he did what is often considered impossible: played Mozart on the piano, solved Sudoku puzzles, drew pictures, and wrote nightly love letters to his wife. Without downplaying the negative effects of Alzheimer’s, Helene writes about how she was able to craft a truly beautiful life for both of them. In addition to chronicling her individual journey, she offers the unthinkable to an Alzheimer’s caregiver – hope. She imparts strategies and advice for other caregivers to help make the final years of life together as positive as they can be. This book is full of practical tips on successful ways to avoid confrontation or deal with inappropriate behavior. Caregivers of patients with any type debilitating disease will find a wealth of information, ideas and inspiration in Choosing Joy.
About the Author:
Helene Berger has held top leadership positions in local, state, and national organizations devoted to Jewish, educational, and women’s issues. She has served for over forty years on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation (GMJF), a position she still occupies. She also served for two years as President of the GMJF Women’s Department and two terms as President of the Miami Central Agency for Jewish Education (now renamed the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education). On the national level she has served: two years as the National Chair of the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA); two years on the Council of Jewish Federations Board and Executive Committee (now merged into Jewish Federations of North America, JFNA); and over twenty-five years on the board of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, holding various leadership positions. Choosing Joy is her first book.