Lifelines: A Care Partner’s Survival Guide


This is a must read for persons who are primary caregivers for a loved family member suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. The author, Roger E. Riley, is the caregiver for his wife, Marilyn who has been treated for Alzheimer’s Dementia since 2002. The story he tells concerns discovery of the disease, medical treatment and most importantly, learning to accept and cope with dementia and still provide the loving care that is so essential.


Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth largest killer of Americans today. Statistics indicate that 1 of every 10 persons and 1 in every 5 families are affected. In the majority of cases, the caregiver is a relative. The burdens on caregivers are overwhelming and increase with time. In Lifelines: A Care Partner’s Survival Guide Roger Riley shares insights based on his research, interaction with other caregivers through support groups, and personal experiences. The stages and symptoms of the disease are described. The importance of maintaining the health and lifestyle of the caregiver is stressed. This sensitive and deeply personal account offers many practical and proven methods to ease the caregiver’s burden and enhance the quality of life of those in their care.


In his story Roger tells of their early family life surrounded by three children, pets and friends. Tragedy strikes when he and Marilyn face the challenge of raising a child who becomes schizophrenic. Their son’s illness and untimely death become a life changing moment when they realize that they are unprepared and unable to face their tragedy alone. They seek the help of their faith to help share the burden of their care and emotion.


Roger’s experience in dealing with his son’s illness becomes a principal lesson as he next has to cope with the difficult job of being the primary care person for his wife. The thrust of this book is a lesson on how persons caring for a loved one can survive and conquer the grip hold dementia has on their lives so they can remain whole, productive, loving, giving, and joyful during this difficult period. In this heartfelt story, Roger freely expresses his openness to God and his reliance on his faith to sustain him.


Much of his support comes from a support group that he founded and facilitates. “Caring is Our Privilege Everyday,” (COPE) during the past three years has helped over thirty family caregivers with encouragement and support. These caregivers are not only for Alzheimer’s victims, but also those receiving care for Parkinson’s Dementia, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Lewy Body Dementia, and stroke victims. The diseases are different and the treatments are different; but the needs of the caregivers are identical. The book provides a detailed outline covering the needs of caregivers with insight into what they should do to remain healthy and vital through this demanding period of their lives.

In the closing chapters Roger helps us through the challenges of accepting outside help and living arrangements outside the home, when the burden of care becomes unmanageable. There is a heartfelt chapter on facing the death of a loved one that may provide comfort in this extreme situation.

Be prepared for a thoughtful, educational, emotional, and spiritual journey as you discover how author Roger Riley has dealt with the grip hold of dementia.






    Paperback (113pp, 8 illustrations)

    eBook (5 reviews, 4.8/5.0 stars)



  • Lifelines: A Care Partner’s Survival GuideRoger E. Riley was born in Tustin and grew up in Southern California, where he and his wife Marilyn raised three children. When Marilyn was diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, Roger not only devoted himself to her care, but also to creating COPE, a support organization he founded. In Lifelines: A Care Partner’s Survival Guide, Roger shares insights based on his research, interaction with other caregivers through support groups, and personal experience. In our aging population, 1 in every 5 families will be affected by this disease. Roger’s sensitive and deeply personal account offers many practical and proven methods to ease caregivers’ burdens and enhance the life quality of those in their care. Roger donates to the Orange County Alzheimer Association. Has useful check lists covering important issues and questions.

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