About the Book
This book is for those who find themselves in a primary or secondary caregiving role for an aging parent or other loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or other type of dementia. Part memoir, part self-help guide, I hope it will serve as the roadmap I wish I had and help other caregivers know what to expect and how to plan for the challenges they are likely to face.
Managing the comfort, health, safety and finances of a loved one in their declining years is not easy. Especially if that loved one increasingly becomes depressed, agitated, delusional, or worse. The physical, mental and even spiritual demands can come on gradually, or quickly. They can re-open old conflicts within a family and usually do eventually take over the primary caregiver’s life.
In addition to presenting five rules for being a caregiver that I learned over the course of dealing with my mother’s 15-year plus struggle, in clear, plain, non-medical jargon I discuss the differences between the practical and the clinical definitions of Alzheimer’s and dementia for both the patient and the caregiver. I talk about the stages of being a caregiver in addition to the stages of the disease, the importance of coping with and managing the associated stress that comes with being a caregiver, the pros and cons of different types of care facilities and treatment options to consider, what to look for, what to watch out for and how to make the most out of the time you have left with your loved one.
I hope that by being honest about my journey and sharing tips for admitting to and coping with the stress of being a caregiver, other caregivers will understand the importance of caring for themselves on their own caregiving journeys. Because no matter how great a job you’re doing as a caregiver, a dead caregiver is the worst caregiver of all.
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