Tthe unflinching and hopeful story of one woman's journey into family caregiving, and a vivid overview of the challenges of Alzheimer's care. With the passion of a committed daughter and the fervor of a tireless reporter, Martha Stettinius weaves this compelling story of caregiving for her demented mother with a broad exploration of the causes of Alzheimer's disease, means of treating it, and hopes for preventing it. She shares the lessons she's learned over seven years of caregiving at home, in assisted living, a rehabilitation center, a "memory care" facility for people living with dementia, and a nursing home. She learns not only about how to navigate the elder care system, but how to grow closer to her mother and nurture her mother's spirit through the most advanced stages of dementia.
In the course of the author's experience, she discovered what could have been done earlier to help her mother, and what can be done now to help us all. Ms. Stettinius's greatest gift to readers is that of optimism--that caregiving can deepen love, that dementia can be fought, and that families can be strengthened. Her book is appealing, enlightening, and inspiring.
Dementia is a condition that affects millions of senior citizens and the number of people afflicted is increasing annually. In this compelling memoir, Stettinius shares the struggles she faces when her mother, Judy, is diagnosed with dementia. Stettinius chronicles Judy s story, from the near-invisible early signs of the affliction to the struggles over elder care, assisted living, rehabilitation, and finally a nursing home. Readers will sympathize with the author s plight and that of her mother as Stettinius learns more about dementia and how little support exists for people suffering from the condition or people caring for an afflicted family member. Stettinius ably illustrates the challenges she faces and shares wisdom and advice she s learned along the way. While the story has no real conclusion Stettinius s mother continues to deteriorate the book offers a wealth of resources for readers dealing with dementia.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good and Informative
I found the book very easy to read and interesting with a compelling mother/daughter relationship very similar to my own. The author has taken some extremely complex medical information and described them in an understandable way through milestones in her journey with her mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis. Anyone who has ever been the caregiver for their mother will instantly recognize the stages of movement from living with you, the independent senior living (she didn't have that option), the assisted living challenge, the ER visits, the Rehab, the financial stress, the connecting, resolving the angers from childhood...all of it is address with one glaring omission.
I hope the author is reading this. The answer to your prayers is Hospice. Wrongly, most people think of hospice as the final stage and the last person one calls when the prognosis is imminent death. In actual fact, hospice should be brought in the minute a diagnosis of a terminal illness is given and the decision to officially sign the DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) has been made. This is especially true with Alzheimer's because these nurses, care givers, doctors, case managers are all going to be the last people besides the family, that your mother sees. If you bring them in that last two weeks, there isn't the chance to connect and what's worse is that you, as a family, do not have a chance to take advantage of the wonderful tools they offer you, such as counseling, spiritual guidance, medical information, and someone's shoulder to just sit and cry on when you are feeling alone. Furthermore, your Medicare pays for all of this end of life care. The doctors must reapply every 2-3 months for Hospice Care, but no doctor is God and knows when a patient is going to die, so Hospice Care can go on for years without regard to your bank account. It very rarely, if ever, is denied. My first husband died of cancer. I made the mistake of bringing Hospice in at the very end. I did not make that mistake with my mother. She has round the clock care, as needed. What a wonderful gift it is.
My recommendation is to definitely read the book and then add the missing component...Hospice