The 60-Minute Health Literacy – common sense approach to informed decision making By Jo Kline, J. D.,  


 

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Preparing for Decision Making – Managing the Long Range Treatment of Multiple Chronic Conditions

In her new book “The 60-Minute Health Literacy” attorney and bestselling author, Jo Kline, J.D. provides the reader with the practical tools of managing health care decisions for yourself or a loved one. Kline describes health literacy as “the tools and resources needed to make informed decisions regarding preventative, routine, emergency, and end of life care.”

I found the Index of decision-making dilemmas and the medical profile forms, as well as the chapters on The Building Blocks of Health Literacy, Palliative Care, Assembling a Health Care Team, and Keeping accurate Paperwork, especially helpful.

As an aging senior and designated as the durable power of attorney for health care for my wife, an Alzheimer’s patient, I plan to keep my copy of “The 60-Minute Health Literacy” within arm’s reach of my desk for easy reference at all times as I put into practice this “common sense approach to informed medical decision making.”

In today’s complex world of modern technology, advanced research in medicine, new life-sustaining pharmaceuticals, and artificial means of life support Jo Kline’s “The 60-Minute Health Literacy” is important reading for every senior adult, caregiver, designated executor or guardian.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Providentia Publishing, West Des Moines, Iow978-0692955062, $ 14.99, 2017, 80 pages

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Well – Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africa, By Sarah Thebarge – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Lessons You Can Learn when Love Looks Around

After reading the editorial reviews on Sarah Thebarge’s new book, “Well – Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africa” I knew I had to read the book for myself. I thought I was ready to consider the hard questions we seldom want to face.

Author, Sarah Thebarge, a spokesperson for Compassion International, describes the seemingly hopeless conditions in Togo, West Africa, including the suffering, disease, the cultural conditions, and the discomfort of the climate extremities.

Chapter after chapter, Sarah kept me spellbound as she related her experiences. From baggage claim at the airport in Lomé the capital city of Togo, her first shift on the job at the Hospital of Hope in Togo, right on through her three months of Medical Ministry, I was drawn into the reality of a broken world and burdened by a deep concern to find my place in making a positive difference in the healing process.

Sarah writes with candor and an intense vulnerability that draws the reader into the conflicting reactions of the physically demanding, and emotionally challenging trauma of her experiences and in her search to find hope in an intolerable situation. Sarah’s writing grips your heart. Her sense of compassion becomes contagious.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Faith Words, Hattchet Book Group, Inc.1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N. Y., 10104, 978-1455553198, $20.00, 2017, 322 pages

 

 

 

Cares Reflections For Nurses – Traducido al Espanol By Carrie M. Dameron – A Book Review


Cares Reflections For Nurses – Traducido al Espanol

By Carrie M. Dameron

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

52 Inspirational Bible Study Devotionals – with a Passionate Cross Cultural Relevance

“Cares Reflections For Nurses – Traducido al Espanol” by Carrie M. Dameron contains 52 inspirational devotional studies. Each reading offers encouragement to nurses, to strengthen their faith and to pursue the call of God on their life to recognize nursing as a ministry to the sick, the disabled, and to the mentally ill.

A unique feature of the book is the bilingual translation with a cross cultural emphasis. The English language is featured on one side of the page and a Spanish translation on the opposite page; an interesting practical approach for cross cultural training.

The book is designed to equip Christian  nurses to understand how to make spiritual applications in health care situations. Carrie offers practical instructions on to how to implement this concept into specific situations the readers are faced with on a daily basis in the lives of their patients and their families, as well as their colleagues.

Carrie has over 25 years as a professional nurse. She has served in the fields of acute care, home/hospice, and gerontology. She is currently teaching pre-licensure nursing students, and has a regular column in the Journal of Christian Nursing.

“Cares Reflections For Nurses – Traducido al Espanol” is spiritually and theologically significant, inspiring, insightful, filled with practical golden nuggets; an ideal resource for use in a professional classroom, in a one on one mentor relationship, a small group study, or as an individual Bible study devotional.

Nurses for Him – 978-098883620, 2016, $ 5.95, 118 pages

 

 

 

 

It’s A New Life – Mom is Gone – A Memoir about Living Independently with Severe Cerebral Palsy – By Steven Salmon – A Book Review


It’s A New Life – Mom is Gone – A Memoir about Living Independently with Severe Cerebral Palsy

By: Steven B. Salmon

Robert D. Reed Publishers, P. O. Box 1992, Bandon, Oregon, 97411, 9781944297152, $ 12.95, 2017, 154 Pages

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake,

A Candid Message of Living with the Difficulties of Severe Cerebral Palsy

“It’s A New Life – Mom is Gone – A Memoir about Living Independently with Severe Cerebral Palsy” is Steven D. Salmon’s story.  This is an amazing Story of the aspirations, determination, dedication, and diligence that have motivated Steven in his passion to become a recognized, successful, and accomplished author. Steven shares his story of overcoming challenges to write about the physically disabled. He serves as a voice and advocate for the many who do not have a voice that is being heard

Steven’s mother dedicated her life to help him succeed. Steven has a Bachelor of Science degree in English with a writing minor from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens point and a Liberal Arts degree from Madison College. All these years his mother served as his primary care giver, so he could go on to pursue a writing career

When his mother could no longer meet all of Steve’s physical needs, health attendants were hired to become a care team. Things dramatically changed the day his mother fell several times. Steven alerted the family with a call for help. When help arrived his Mom was taken to the Emergency Hospital, she never returned home. She died of a cardiac arrest.

The realization that “Mom is Gone” thrust Steven into a new stage in his story. He now had to face the challenge of living independently with severe cerebral palsy.

I found it hard to put Steven’s book down. There were other times when he was so gut wrenching honest it was hard to go on reading.  I felt uncomfortable. As I continued to read Steven’s story, I begin to see life through a new set of eyes. I felt ashamed and embarrassed for living in an uncomfortable vacuum of hypocritical empathy, without recognizing the dignity or character of the individual in a wheel chair, quietly seeking acknowledgement, affirmation, or maybe even an act of friendship.

Steven has ignited a new flame and refueled my passion to write with the reminder to:  Believe in yourself, be patient, never give up. He encourages us to exchange our fears, failures, and impatience for hopes and dreams of success. This is the advice and encouragement he received from his friends, and now passes along to his readers.

I am left with an indelible picture of Steven at his computer, in four hour blocks of time, using a Morse code word choice program.  Since he cannot use his hands, he uses his head to tap out his words.

“It’s A New Life – Mom is Gone” is a gripping story of the severe physical limitations, the pain of loneliness, of feeling being lost, scared, and tired; all while in the pursuit of bringing an influential message of hope to a unique people who have been looked upon as unemployable, who are relegated to become wards of the state living in group houses, highly medicated, forgotten victims of the “system.”

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

 

40 Days to Wholeness – Body, Soul, and Spirit By Beni Johnson – A Book Review


40 Days to Wholeness – Body, Soul, and Spirit, By Beni Johnson

 

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Devotional Guide Leading to a Healthy and Free Lifestyle

In her book “40 Days to Wholeness – Body, Soul and Spirit” Beni Johnson masterfully presents a progressive positive approach to attain and maintain a lifestyle of health and wholeness from the starting point to a natural sense of relationship of physical health, mental acuity, and spiritual power.

Each of the 40 days open with a carefully selected passage from the scriptures, a word of practical instruction, encouragement or motivation drawn from Beni’s own pursuit healthy living and wholeness. A unique feature of the book is the thematic continuity and consistency by putting an emphasis on “Body, Soul, and “Spirit.” The instructions, words of encouragement, and prayers with declarations of thanksgiving strengthen the reader for their journey.

I found the chapters addressing: the importance of a support circle, practicing self-control, and pressing toward the goal to be especially helpful and motivating.  The suggestions for being intentional about keeping an exercise journal resonated with me.

Christians who have struggled with basic discipline in exercise, diet, and devotional consistency will find Beni Johnson’s “40 Days to Wholeness – Body, Soul and Spirit” practical, easy to implement, and motivating. Highly recommended.

The book is a part of the Healthy and Free video curriculum. A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257. 97807687410846, $16.99, 2017, 184 pages

 

 

Dr. Huntley’s Recipe for Optimum Health – A Nutritional Approach to Overall Wellness and Detoxification of the Body by Elizat Huntley, PhD – A Book Review


Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Dr.  Huntley’s Recipe for Optimum Health – A Nutritional Approach to Overall Wellness and Detoxification of the Body

By: Elizabeth Huntley, PhD.

Taking Charge of Your Health – Dietary Guidelines for Optimal Health

In her book “Dr.  Huntley’s Recipe for Optimum Health – A Nutritional Approach to Overall Wellness and Detoxification of the Body,” nutritionist, Dr. Elizabeth Huntley introduces the reader to a dietary plan that includes underlying principles and dietary guidelines designed to produce optimum results for preserving all possible nutrients from the foods we eat.

Huntley includes tools and tips that will enable the reader to better understand the truth about their body and the cause and relationship of our heavily polluted environment; she highlights the electromagnetic and radiant pollutants in the atmosphere as a contributor to the many chronic diseases prevalent today.

High on the list of important steps we can take to reduce and minimize the adverse impact and danger of these threats to health include: recognize and adopt the practice of using pure water, eat high quality food with a balance of natural nutritional supplements, take responsibility for your environment, and for those in highly populated areas, install an air filtration system.

Dr. Huntley has included a full section of recipes with tips for preparation. These recipes include foods in several categories: basic foods, salads and dressing, seasonings, and sweets. She also offers suggestions for substituting ingredients that will turn grandma’s mouthwatering sweets into “lick smacking good” healthy desserts.

“Dr.  Huntley’s Recipe for Optimum Health – A Nutritional Approach to Overall Wellness and Detoxification of the Body” is an important addition to every homemaker’s personal library.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Robert D. Reed Publishers, PO Box 1992, Bandon, Oregon 97411

 

 

Lessons from Zachary – A Book Review


Lessons from Zachary – Turning Disability into Possibility

By Sandy Scott

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake, richard330@yahoo.com

Engaging and Releasing Hidden Powers Within – Standing Strong Through the Storm

Just twelve days after his birth Zachary Scott was diagnosed as severely physically and intellectually disabled. This news began a journey into the uncharted territory of the unknown for Sandy and Jonathan Scott; a heart-rending journey plagued by unexpected disappointments and uncertainties. The daily stresses of hectic schedules, social pressures, and the demands created by Zachary’s disabilities became overwhelming.

Sandy was devastated and frustrated by an unexpected and unusual combination of strained relationships and in desperation was forced to look within herself and to choose a new perspective – one that unleashed in her the power of love.

Sandy reached into the resources of unexplored potential to become a leader in coaching leaders in healthcare, to parents of children with disabilities, and to train professionals in the healthcare and educational fields.

Sandy’s writing is authentic, genuine, realistic and relevant. Her premises are well thought out, her choice of words stir the imagination of the reader and enable them to relate personally to her journey through a complex set of circumstances. As the reader becomes deeply involved in Sandy’s story; her insights and the lessons she learned become personal and identifiable and provide a new understanding into the complications, experiences and unknown potential of their own lives. Dozens of well-chosen pictures and good photography add a whole extra dimension to the heart felt emotions of love, pathos, and positive impact of Zachary’s life.

“Lessons from Zachary” will resonate with readers who have been touched by the challenge of disappointment in broken relationships and other personal tragedy; readers in need of a message of hope, and a strategy for tapping into their unknown potential.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

International Publishing Works, P. O. Box 415, Bellevue, Colorado 50512-0415, 978-097759205, 1995, 2017, 264 Pages

 

 

 

 

 

The Physically Fit Messiah, Wellness Wisdom Past and Present by Cal Samra – A Book Review


The Physically Fit Messiah – Wellness Wisdom Past and Present

By Cal Samra

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Fresh Look at Jesus’ Exhortation to His Disciples to “Be of Good Cheer,” With Sage Wisdom from Wellness Advocates Past and Present

Award winning humorist, editor and publisher, Cal Samra’s “The Physically Fit Messiah – Wellness Wisdom Past and Present” is a refreshing approach to the relationship of faith, humor, and health. Pastors and church editors subscribed to Samra’s “Noiseletter” for over 30 years. The newsletters provided reproducible cartoons and humorous illustrations for church publications and for introducing humor into sermon applications.

“The Physically Fit Messiah”  is packed with fast moving facts, wellness principles to live by, real life stories that illustrate and confirm the healing power of exercise, the healing power of prayer, and  the healing power of pets.  He reinforces the healing power of humor with tongue in cheek cartoons, jokes, and stories that help the reader experience personally the benefits of laughter. He highlights the work of Patch Adams, and the impact Chloe the clown on the healing process.

Readers from all faiths will find encouragement from the history of the early Greek Christian physicians, the Franciscans, John Wesley, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ellen White, Mary Baker Eddy, the Quakers, and modern health reformers.

Samra is highly recognized for his reputation as a health and humor historian, for his strong Christian faith, and as an advocate for physical fitness and nutrition, and health care reform.  He demonstrates his keen sense of wit and subtle humor in his writing as well as his passion for historical research and for his skill as a newspaper writer and editor.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Robert D. Reed Publishers, P. O. Box 1992, Bandon, Oregon 97411

978-1934759998, $ 14.95, 2015, 216 Pages

 

 

 

 

 

Sunrises and Sunsets, By Holley Kelley – A Book Review


Sunrises and Sunsets, Final Affairs Forged with Flair, Finesse, and Functionality
By: Holley Kelley, M.S, C.P.G.
Robert D. Reed Publishers, P. O. Box 1992, Bandon, OR 97411
978-1934759974, $ 19.95, 2016, 212 pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

A Template for a Life Long Planning Guide – Preparing Your Own Personal Living Legacy

In her book “Sunrises and Sunsets” gerontologist and journalist Holley Kelley helps the reader’s perception of end of life issues from a taboo subject into a non-threatening road map or planning guide; leading the reader into an exciting exercise in finding a life of fullness and a legacy for experiencing a new richness in family relations, and a unique sense of peace through simplicity.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section is devoted to a discussion of life and death, and your thoughts on these. I enjoyed her insights into the origin of the term “bucket list and of the benefits of having one.

Section two covers the importance of having: Advance directive, a will, preparing a written record of your finances, insurance policy. This section also includes important insights into making your final wishes and funeral preferences known.. Valuable sample forms, templates, with important commentary help the reader think through and record each of these issues. Interesting illustrations and stories reinforce the need for advance planning.

I especially liked section three. Forms are provided that will helped me create a summary of special dates, events, family traditions, early memories, core values, family history, and some parting “words of wisdom.” A sample chart is provided for tracing your family tree, final planning checklists, and much, much more.

I enjoyed Kelley’s writing style, appreciated her expertise, and plan to incorporate her suggestions in my advance care planning, with the intent of deepening family relationships and continuing a memorable and honorable family heritage. The importance of the content, reader friendly format, and universality of the subject make this a “must” addition to the family of every household at whatever stage of life being entered. Highly recommended.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

From my Caregiver’s Journal – A Tribute to Caregivers – Friends, Family, and Community


From my Caregiver’s Journal

November 9, 2015

I am blessed and I speak for Thelma too.

We rely on a group of individuals, caregivers, whom I have come to think of as friends. These friends provide Thelma’s physical needs with a tender touch, a warm smile, and a genuine sense of sacrificial service and love.

Twenty-four hours, seven days each week, they help Thelma through her confusion, comfort her when she is lonely, and tenderly encourage her through her times of edginess, as well as her stubborn moments. They demonstrate compassionate care while monitoring her meals, bathing her, dressing her, making sure her colors don’t clash, brushing her hair, applying makeup, and attending to those inevitable “messy” unmentionables. They show their affectionate concern for Thelma’s comfort.

These acts of thoughtfulness and kindness do not go unnoticed. These friends specifically refer to the faithful team of caregivers on the Woodland Terrace – Magnolia staff.

There are others we think of as friends of Thelma, and friends of Magnolia Court. These are the other residents; some who hover over Thelma in a motherly way, comforting, touching, and affirming; others, as sisters, chatting, laughing, or exasperated, but always loving. There are also the family members of other residents, who, while visiting their loved ones, shower Thelma with smiles, love, and warm acts of kindness.

A core of healthcare professionals, therapists, hospice caregivers, and Woodland Terrace Administrative staff, while regularly serving other residents, offer Thelma, a smile a touch, or a word of encouragement.

I treasure each of these deeds of thoughtfulness as acts of love and friendship beyond what I can extend to Thelma by myself.

I also benefit from many of these same “friends” as they extend, to me, words of encouragement, as they express concern for my welfare, my physical health, and emotional needs.

I am blessed. I am also blessed with a community of friends who demonstrate concern and care. These include our church family, my Alzheimer’s support group, the Bridgman “Writer’s Group” and the many acquaintances who greet us with smiles and conversation while shopping, or eating with friends at nearby restaurants, and many others.

And lastly, my family, my four sons, Rick, Ken, Jim and Rob and their precious families; our extended family, those of my brothers and sisters, and their offspring, Thelma’s aunts, uncles, and cousins and their offspring.

And there is a friend that is closer than a brother; that friend is Jesus. We are truly blessed.