A lovingly recounted, intertwined story of the decline of four beloved elderly parents.

Isabel Anders, author of BECOMING FLAME and more, writing on

A yummy cultural buffet. . .recommended for all kinds of readers. . . .

David Bowman, The Pulaski (TN) Citizen

Magnificently constructed, gracefully, intelligently written . . . .

Robert W. Duffy, the St. Louis Beacon

I found this book fascinating. Rava brings to life the interesting background of all four parents, especially the life in Venice of the Rava family. . . .

Lois Caplan, SWIMMING SOLO is featured in “Kibbitzing with Caplan” in the St. Louis Jewish Light. For the full article, click here.

Swimming Solo wonderfully captures the complexities of caring for – not just one but – four individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. While each encounter with this horrible disease presented unique challenges, Susan Rava illustrates how caregivers can get the emotional and physical support needed – for themselves and their loved ones. Excerpts from Swimming Solo used in my gerontology class produced rich discussions about caregiving decisions, family dynamics, and the role of the social worker.

Diane Beckerle O’Brien, MSW, LCSW, Caregiver, Co-Chair of Gerontology Concentration, George Warren Brown School of Social Work Washington University in St. Louis

Good stories give us. . . the courage [for] life’s more challenging transitions.

Margaret Guest, Ph.D., Psychologist and Business Consultant

This beautifully crafted book provides support, insight and resources for all going through this experience. A must read for today’s boomer generation.

Karen Levin Coburn, Psychologist, & Madge Treeger, Psychotherapist.
Coburn and Treeger are co-authors of Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide To Understanding The College Years (HarperCollins).

Swimming Solo examines the depths of the experience of Alzheimer’s disease and immerses the reader in the intensities and complexities of the caregiver role. Susan Rava provides a unique perspective as caregiver for two sets of parents with Alzheimer’s disease – hers and her husband’s. Her rich narrative is infused with the love and devotion of a daughter and daughter-in-law who preserves the memories, stories, experiences, and traits of her loved ones. With great depth and clarity, she provides a careful, insightful account of the insidious and progressive nature of Alzheimer’s disease from the earliest subtle symptoms through the course of the disease. She conveys the recurrent urgencies and crises that occur in dementia caregiving, where the only constant may be change and unpredictability. She does not leave the reader lost in the depths of the Alzheimer’s disease caregiver experience, but rather provides guidance regarding supportive services and the importance of family education and respite. She conveys the loss and frustration that occur with the cognitive and behavioral changes of dementia, and she honors and celebrates the resilience of character, the unique traits that survive over the course of the illness – the glimmer of humor, the moments in which an individual with dementia provides a brief glimpse of the previous self.

Monique M. Williams, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO (HarperCollins).

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