“Dementia Sucks: A Caregiver’s Journey – With Lessons Learned” is now on sale.
You can buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2Bik4YW
And Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dementia-sucks-tracey-s-lawrence/1127922824
Or just saunter into your favorite independent bookstore and ask for a copy. Really. That will help more than just about anything else you can do. Why? Because then they will have to buy it in order to sell it to you. And they’ll probably buy more than one. And then they’ll display “Dementia Sucks” where browsers can see it. And browsers will see the book and want one for their own. And they really need to know what’s in this book.
So thank you for visiting, thank you for caring and if there’s anything you want to know about dementia, feel free to ask. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll point you to someone who does. That’s the way I roll.
On May 15th, 2018, “Dementia Sucks” will be available. The book that came from this blog will be a real paperback book (and also available as a Kindle edition). The wait is nearly over. Order yours now!
I told you I was going to do it. I took the posts from this humble blog, weeded out the ones that might hurt the living (hey, I’ve got scruples) and created a manuscript. One month after committing to getting it published, I got a deal. “Dementia Sucks: A Caregiver’s Journey with Lessons Learned” will be published by Post Hill Press on May 15th, 2018. And you can pre-order your very own copy, right now, on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Better yet, march into your local bookstore and tell them you want to order it. (Don’t you love bookstores? I know do!) That would help me a whole lot and the world a lot more. Because if you know anything about dementia, it really DOES suck. And if people knew more about it, fewer caregivers would die before their loved ones, and more of them would emerge intact. Thanks for your support!
Special Offer: for the first 50 people who send me proof of purchase of “Dementia Sucks”, I will send you a beautiful and useful Dementia Sucks fan!
Where the fan idea came from!
…then you’ll love my new book, “Dementia Sucks: A Caregiver’s Journey with Lessons Learned.”
The original posts from this blog chronicled my journey with my mother, Rosalind, as she suffered five years of cognitive decline. A year after she died in April 2015, I revisited what I’d written and thought, hmm, this could be a book. My publisher agreed.
As terrible as her situation was, a whole lot of hilarious and unexpected stuff happened. It was challenging, infuriating and heartbreaking, but in retrospect, it’s a good story. And it’s important for people to know, because millions of people are going to suffer before a cure is found, and we have to be ready.
Dementia really, truly does suck. But you can survive it. And I can show you how.
“Dementia Sucks” will be published by Post Hill Press in May 2018. Comment below and I’ll let you know when you can order your copy.
And by all means, “like” the Dementia Sucks Facebook page.
“I’m Worried About Mom; Turning Worry into Meaningful Action”
Tracey Lawrence, elder care expert
No one likes to think about sad, difficult topics, especially when they have to do with people we love. But change is inevitable, and planning can make life easier for everyone. The key is starting a family conversation when everyone in the family is able to participate. Waiting until family members begin showing signs of decline is not the best strategy.
Covered in this seminar will be ideas for getting families organized and able to discuss the difficult subjects; who needs to be involved? What questions do you need to address? What requires immediate action and what can wait? Do we need to use professional services? We will look at care choices, insurance options and documentation every family should have in place.
Ridgewood Public Library is located at 125 N. Maple Ave, Ridgewood, NJ.
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As my mother’s mental state continues to deteriorate, I try to hold on to my own sanity by making some sense of what’s happening to her. She is 81 years old, and after having tried to live on her own in southeastern Florida following the death of my father in July 2004, it became clear that she was not able to function well. Money kept disappearing and turning up in places like the hamper. She claimed there was no heat in her apartment when it got cold, but I suspect now that she simply didn’t know how to turn it on.
In February of 2010, I brought Mom north to try living in a senior apartment 20 minutes from our home in Ringwood, NJ. She hated it and thought it was too expensive. I took her to look at another place, and she then admitted that she would prefer to come live with my husband, Bob and me.
This had been the first option I had given her, and we had tried it in 2009 for 4 months as she recuperated from the removal of her gall bladder. She didn’t want to “intrude” on us, so once she felt well enough, she returned to Florida with the assistance of an aide four hours a day, five days a week. She tried to make a go of it, but the caregiver found a full-time job and Mom didn’t want to try another one. She tried to resume completely independent living, but it just wasn’t working.
As I had told her the first time around, of all the lousy options available, living with us was the option that sucked the least. In April of 2010, Mom moved into our guest bedroom, and we’ve been acclimating, making changes to the house, seeking legal estate advice, providing her with a space heater to keep her room a balmy 90 degrees and getting her medical needs met.
We still have to deal with her apartment. Fortunately, Dad left her in good shape financially and we aren’t pressured to sell her place immediately. It’s a co-op with a great view and fairly low maintenance costs. It is filled with artwork, brick-a-brack, clothes, and remnants of the once-happy consumer frenzy my parents enjoyed together. I’ve brought Mom down to deal with some of it. Sort, identify what might have value up north, throw out what’s expired, useless or shot, give away what might have value for others, and leave what makes the apartment functional for us when we need it.
My folks bought this two bedroom, two bath split on the 14th floor overlooking the Intracoastal and Atlantic Ocean beyond it in 1987 for $85K. At the height of the market ten years ago, similar apartments sold for $350K. Then the crash of 2008 sent the values into the toilet. Comparable apartments now go for about $150K. I think we’ll sit for a while, but we still have to start dealing with all this STUFF.
Mom did give away most of Dad’s clothes and personal effects within the first year after his passing. But there is still so much accumulated crap in the walk-in closets, it’s a little overwhelming. And Mom needs to go through her clothes. She needs warmer items to wear up north as winter approaches. She’s lost considerable weight in the last year or so – the gall bladder surgery forced her to curtail the amount of food she ate, and later, she experienced toxicity from all her medications. I got her medications titrated and she’s on less than half the pills she was before. Losing weight addressed many of the conditions from which she had been suffering, so she needs a lot less. But we need to figure what fits her and what doesn’t.
The big problem she’s having is that she constantly misplaces things. I have managed to identify why this happens: 1) her eyesight is getting worse, 2) she spaces out and compulsively puts things together that don’t really belong together, 3) she doesn’t like to throw things away, 4) she has WAY too much STUFF. Having dealt with my father’s dementia seven years ago, I’ve educated myself about the various forms, and I’m confident Mom doesn’t have Alzheimer’s. Day to day, she knows what’s going on and remembers important events. She forgets names. And she misplaces important items and gets agitated when she can’t find things. She’s easily distracted. However, she’s not paranoid; she knows it’s her and she does trust me. So it could be worse.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to keep her on track, focused on the tasks at hand, allowing me to toss the truly useless crap and avoiding my suggestion that she try on clothes so we can figure out what items should go north and what should get donated or chucked. It ain’t easy, but as my dear father once opined, no one said it was going to be.