Dementia Sucks: A Caregiver's Journey - With Lessons Learned

Dementia Sucks: A Caregiver's Journey - With Lessons Learned

by Tracey S. Lawrence


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The surprising true story of one woman’s journey through the nightmare of losing both parents to dementia, as she learns that a sense of humor is mandatory for survival.

“Not buying it, huh?” My mother acknowledged her assertion that the woman she pointed out at the rehab center as being her dead husband was a bit of a stretch. But this was the kind of conversation I had with Mom as her cognitive abilities declined and her psychosis fully bloomed.

The true, heart-wrenching, and yet hilarious stories at the center of Dementia Sucks were borne of a journal and blog that author Tracey Lawrence kept as her mother transformed from classic Jewish mother, to mildly forgetful Floridian grandma, to geriatric delinquent removed by police for knife-play at a rehabilitation facility. Really.

Tracey’s journey takes her from being an established graphic artist in northern New Jersey through bouts of full-time, hands-on caregiving of both her aging parents. She discusses many of the common challenges families face, and provides a humorous and highly educational perspective on her emotionally charged ride through geriatric illnesses, doctors, hospitals, insurance, facilities, family dynamics, and much more.

Anyone who has family members they care about will want to read this book. Whether dementia visits or not, some aspect of Tracey’s caregiving journey will likely resonate with, amuse, and enlighten you. The trick to surviving loss after loss is to find the humor in it all and avoid punching anyone, least of all yourself. This irreverent look shows you the way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682616710
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Publication date: 05/15/2018
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Tracey S. Lawrence had a successful career in graphic arts when she became her father’s caregiver in 2003 until he died in 2004. She then became her mother’s caregiver until her death in 2015. As a result of her experience handling her parents’ financial, health and caregiving concerns, Lawrence founded GrandFamilyPlanning, a membership organization that works with families seeking help related to parents, children, health issues and protection of assets.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Spring 2017 1

Chapter 1 Drowning in STUFF 3

Chapter 2 Oh, Crap 7

Chapter 3 False Alarm 9

Chapter 4 Supernatural 11

Chapter 5 Happy Holidays 15

Chapter 6 Welcome to Stage VI 18

Chapter 7 New Medication, Possible Revelation 20

Chapter 8 It's Not a Linear Path 22

Chapter 9 Dementia Is Contagious 24

Chapter 10 Happy New Year 26

Chapter 11 Mom's "Visit" 30

Chapter 12 Held Over by Popular Demand 32

Chapter 13 On Lying 35

Chapter 14 Painless 38

Chapter 15 View of the Falls 40

Chapter 16 Sweet Relief 43

Chapter 17 Farewell to Florida 45

Chapter 18 Jewish Mafia 53

Chapter 19 Rehab 57

Chapter 20 Geriatric Delinquent 60

Chapter 21 Metaphorically Thinking 65

Chapter 22 A Place to Crash 70

Chapter 23 Next! 73

Chapter 24 Paste on a Happy Face 77

Chapter 25 Love in Bloomers 83

Chapter 26 "Unforgettable" 85

Chapter 27 Pride in the Name of Love 88

Chapter 28 Unexpected Dividends 91

Chapter 29 So Moving 94

Chapter 30 Not Guilty 98

Chapter 31 Vestigial Impulses 103

Chapter 32 Bee Here Not 105

Chapter 33 Poor Kid 111

Chapter 34 Playing with Matches 113

Chapter 35 The "F" Word 116

Chapter 36 Aloha 121

Chapter 37 Reflections on the Year 128

Chapter 38 Riding It Out 130

Chapter 39 Subject to Interpretation 133

Chapter 40 Time to Kill the Cat 135

Chapter 41 Repeat that, Please 141

Chapter 42 Designer Genes 146

Chapter 43 Wait Until Morning 149

Chapter 44 Delayed Reaction 156

Chapter 45 Long-Term Carelessness 160

Chapter 46 Don't Get Old 167

Chapter 47 The Warrior 170

Chapter 48 Rock Star 172

Chapter 49 Super Model 175

Chapter 50 Sugar Puss 177

Chapter 51 Shedding Light 182

Chapter 52 Seeing Through the Anger 186

Chapter 53 A Quickie 189

Chapter 54 At the Holidays 190

Chapter 55 Happy New Fears 191

Chapter 56 He's Licking My Toes! 193

Chapter 57 Another Moving Experience 196

Chapter 58 The Gray Line 201

Chapter 59 Papered 206

Chapter 60 Herb's Eye View 208

Chapter 61 Roller Coaster 210

Chapter 62 So Gifted 214

Chapter 63 End of the Ride 217

Epilogue 223

Lessons Learned: Articles to Get Families Started on Their Path 227

Coping Strategies for Caring Kids 231

Seven Habits of Doomed Caregivers 235

Acknowledgments 239

About the Author 241

Connect with Tracey on Social Media 245

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