The 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, 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.
Through its intimate scenes and skillful storytelling, "Inside the Dementia Epidemic" is a call to action for better dementia care, more funding for dementia research, and more support for family caregivers. In the appendices, the author shares facts she wishes she had known years ago, including how to get a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease; what medications are approved to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease; risk factors for dementia, and possible preventive measures; promising explorations in dementia research; the link between insulin resistance, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease; the benefits of "memory consultations" and early diagnosis; and national and international movements for more dementia research and better care.
"Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Daughter's Memoir" includes source notes, resources for caregivers, and an index.
Winner of an honorable mention in the category of Life Stories from the 20th Annual Writers Digest Book Awards. The Library Journal describes "Inside the Dementia Epidemic" as "honest, compassionate, and informed" and "compelling reading."