The “Sandwich” Parent

The "Sandwich" Parent - Parenting Like HannahFor a time in our lives, we were raising and homeschooling our young daughter while also helping my father-in-law who was suffering from dementia. It was a difficult time in our lives, with lots of stress and quite a few tears. My husband especially became interested in avoiding that same dementia in his older years.

And we are not alone. As many are marrying and having children later in life, they are caring both for their own children and their parents. Such a high percentage of older people seem to have some sort of dementia, that it will touch most of our families at some point.

So I was interested when offered the chance to review The Aging Brain by Timothy Jennings, M.D. Jennings gives a little background on aging – particularly in the brain. The majority of the book, however, breaks down the many factors that contribute to an aging brain and possibly dementia. He provides lots of suggestions for how to slow aging in our brains in each factor.

Most of his suggestions are things you have probably heard in bits and pieces before – like watching what you eat and exercising. He does go into more detail than many sources though, and it’s nice to have everything in one book.

I will say a bit of it is a little on the fringes of what I would say is mainstream medicine. Nothing really odd, but counter cultural to (for example) counsel abstinence before marriage and monogamy after marriage. The book is published by a Christian publisher, so those faith elements are there. The advice is correct, but not what your average doctor would be brave enough to advise the average patient.

I did struggle with the chapter on “Our Beliefs and Aging”. I think perhaps because it was just trying to accomplish too many things at once. The result makes that chapter read more like a philosophy book or a debate about various religious practices – even throwing in Galileo for good measure. The point that you have to really examine your beliefs for absolute truth is good, it just gets lost at times in the midst of everything else in the chapter.

This is a good basic book on maintaining brain health and slowing aging based on current research. It does have faith elements to it, but is not a Bible study. If you want to make it a quicker read, the summary tips at the end of chapter give you the basics. You can go back and read any information in the chapter that interests you in more depth, instead of reading about everything.

As with much of science and medicine, the claims always sound full proof – until the next new study showing the opposite is true is published. There is enough basic healthy living information in here though, that even if you don’t slow brain aging, you will be healthier in general.


A copy of this book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.


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Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

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