“I am the daughter of a 97-year-old Alzheimer’s patient. If you read only one book, this is it! This is a wonderfully helpful book for those of us who have family members or friends with Alzheimer’s and dementia. It is written by a wife and caregiver who has really experienced firsthand so many of the issues involved with this disease.

It is written by a wife, and caregiver, who has really experienced firsthand so many of the issues involved with this disease. It is a great comfort for readers who are in a caregiver situation with loved ones to know that we are not alone. Barbra Cohn has made this book so personal that you know she is with you and understands the stress and demands required in supporting a patient. The unusual aspect of her book is the fact that Cohn gives us so many tools that we can use to both alleviate stress for the caregiver as well as suggestions to engage the patient him or herself. Ideas in Art, Music, Nutritional Support, Journaling, Mediation and many more. She helps you think of ways to reduce your stress and accomplish a positive attitude by doing something positive.

Certainly her suggestions include some that you would think of on your own. But we are often so involved in the care giving process that we forget these tools are available. Cohen reminds us how we, and others around us, can create true support systems. This book is a new and refreshing look at the world of dementia and Alzheimer. Invaluable.”

Pamela Medina

“Calmer Waters” is the perfect handbook for caregivers, written with warm heart and soul, and filled with practical tips on everything from acupuncture and aromatherapy, to dancing and drumming, art therapy, color therapy, massage, and more. Both the caregiver and the patient/loved one will benefit enormously from the inspiring activities and wonderful ideas in this book. The author writes brilliantly and movingly about her own experiences caring for her husband, who had Alzheimer’s. The author has been a nationally published reporter and writer for decades, so after her husband’s diagnosis she naturally began digging for every scrap of information she could find that would help BOTH herself and her husband. If you know someone struggling with caregiving, and are unsure how to help, here is the answer: Give them this amazing book!

Deborah Houy

This is a terrific book. Cohn provides 20 different self-care and stress-reduction techniques that would be beneficial for anyone caregiving for another — not just for those caregiving for an alzheimer’s patient. It provides a real pick-and-choose menu of the techniques that appeal to you and the ones you feel like incorporating into your life. The memoir sections are very touching and provide a very intimate view of one family’s journey through first getting a diagnosis of alzheimer’s disease, all the way through death. They provide solace to other families going through this. I recommend this book to all caregivers and family members of those going through this tough disease or any other! Fantastic!

Hillary Aizenman

If you are or will be a caregiver for a couple of days, or years, or decades, I highly recommend Calmer Waters by Barbra Cohn. Barbra has masterfully woven her expertise with interviews with experts providing a variety of practical tools and techniques. These tools and resources can benefit both the caregiver and the patient. They range from nutrition, to behavior modifications, to dance, to meditation and/or prayer, to massage, to the creation of laughing buddies and more. In addition, Barbra also writes about her own experiences caring for her husband, who had Alzheimer’s. Her personal stories provide a rich, intimate, and touching depth to the entire conversation. This inspiring book would also be a priceless gift for anyone on your list who is a caregiver.

Barbara Foster

This book has everything I need to help myself be a better caregiver by taking better care of myself and understanding ways to help my husband with his memory loss!

Deborah L. Daugherty

This is a marvelous read. The author’s account of her experiences as a caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s is very enlightening for those of us who have not been there. And there is so much useful and helpful information throughout the book for others who are in similar situations. The presentation of all the material is easy and flowing, and I particularly love the thread of acknowledgment throughout of the importance of having a strong spiritual life to successfully navigate and emerge from the Alzheimer’s experience.


“My life wasn’t supposed to turn out this way” is a common feeling for many of us upon learning a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Disorientation, shock and fear can often rock our world as we are launched into the role of caregiver. “Calmer Waters” is a resource for how to live graciously with this unimagined challenge. Cohn not only provides a wide variety of caregivers’ stories but also includes twenty specific healing modalities to aid the readers’ creation of their own “platform of strength”. Read if you are looking for information, resources and/or hope.


Great resource for caregivers. No other book like this one out there – I highly recommend it.

Alex Raymond

Brilliant and sensitive. A very needed well done book. Thank you, Barbra Cohn

Randy Faulkner

Barbra Cohn has written a very helpful book for any family member or caregiver dealing with Alzheimer’s. Drawing on her own life experience and extensive research, Calmer Waters is part memoir and part guide for others in the same situation. This book is written with beauty and tenderness — helpful, honest and full of compassion.
Diane Frank
Author of “Yoga of the Impossible” and “River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the Twenty-First Century”

I just finished reading “Calmer Waters: The Caregiver’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s and Dementia.” Barbra Cohn has done a powerful job of laying out not only what she went through when her husband was stricken with this debilitating disease, but shares the experiences of other families and caretakers as well. I felt compassion for the author and the other contributors regarding what each family went through. I was also impressed with the amount of research Ms. Cohn did to offer caregivers insights into some of the best remedies and self-care they can use to keep themselves together, healthy and as uplifted as possible while going through the flip side of the ordeal, that their Alzheimer’s-stricken loved one is going through. It is clear that care-giving can be very depleting. I especially enjoyed her spiritual approach and overview which is an underlying factor in her life as she shares valuable wisdom, tools and techniques. I can highly recommend this book to any family or partner facing a similar situation.

Suzanne Penton

Sometimes it is tough to decide how many stars to assign a book–I’m a tough critic. This time, though, it was a no-brainer. The love and talent that went into compiling this uber-helpful information for caregivers and, well, people (because we all need to care for ourselves these days) kept me reading when I really should’ve been doing other things. I’m in that ‘people’ category, but I took much from the book that I could also apply to other contexts that wear on a person and to dealing with a close friend who has Alzheimer’s. While I’m not as ‘alternative’ as many people in our midst, among the modalities described here, there is a modality for everyone and the reader can take what’s useful and flip pages on what’s not.

The advice and encouragement that permeates this book is sure to help so many people grappling with the ironies of Alzheimer’s and dementia. The fact that the author compiled the information says so much,. both about the person she is and about the mountain she slogged to produce this wonderful work. Presented with such sensitivity, compassion, and wisdom (all while acknowledging the incomprehensibility of the context), it is a must-read for anyone caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s. I closed the book and closed my eyes and sat still.

Sage Reader

Dealing with my step-dad’s alzheimer’s was extremely difficult for me, as well as for my family. This book is a wonderful tool to help guide anyone who is going through a similar experience. It’s a must read.


Calms Waters Is a must read for anyone who is a caregiver or has a family member or friend in need of care. Barbara Cohn offers her readers wisdom and tools to help them feel happier, healthier and more at peace while caring for their loved ones. This book is wonderfully written and full of useful knowledge.

Nancy A Kirkendall

Calmer Waters by Barbra Cohn is a comprehensive guide for creative caretaking, not only for Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients, but for anyone in the position of caring longterm for someone they love and respect on a deteriorating journey. The author draws on her own experience, and the wisdom of many others, presenting clearly and compassionately the many paths available for caregivers. She reminds readers of the importance of creativity, compassion, and self-care through the alternately poignant, tragic, humorous, and mundane journey of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Highly recommended, a good read, and a valuable reference for anyone in the field.

Judith Landsman

Barbra Cohn has done us all a huge favor. In her book “Calmer Waters” she tells of her experience as caregiver, a role that has not been given the attention it deserves. Few are prepared for the ordeal that awaits them. Well into their new calling they might be unaware of its physical and psychological toll. The stress of caregiving invites an array of afflictions, many of which can lead to death. Barbra Cohn generously informs
caregivers of healing interventions which can be remarkably supportive. All those who are deeply stressed for any reason can profit from the wealth of information contained in this book.

A Reader

This lovely book about a very challenging subject is a balm to the soul as well as a practical guide to supporting those who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease. I’ve had it for just a couple of weeks and already shared copies with 4 people who find it quite helpful.