Dementia Diary, A Caregiver's Journal
by Robert Tell
What's it like to be the only son of a widowed mother who is sinking into the opaque fog of dementia, and who lives alone half a continent away?
Robert Tell answers this question with compassion and humor. "Dementia Diary: A Caregiver's Journal,"reads like fiction and covers the fifteen year period from his father's shocking death in a department store to his mother's 92nd birthday.
Laugh and cry with him as he takes away her car keys, helps her move into tiny quarters with all her furniture, tries to undo mismanagement of her finances, and refuses to promise never to put her into a nursing home. One reviewer called it "a Neil Simon laugh and cry scenario."
It is a personal, warm and witty tale. It's also heartbreaking. Tell is open with the pain one suffers watching the personality changes dementia brings to a beloved parent. He is an only child. This brings a unique loneliness in handling the sometimes slow, often startling changes dementia can bring. There is a deep feeling that no one can truly understand. Tell brings this home powerfully in his memoir.
This sensitive and well written semi-autobiography is unusual for its male perspective and a must read for all who are going through the challenging years of caring for an elderly parent. It educates the reader about many significant issues such as geriatricare management, driving and pre-need funeral planning--to mention just a few.
It is a "portable support group" for anyone with "caregiver burnout." If you have watched helplessly as your parent, spouse or friend's identity disappeared into the sinkhole of Alzheimer's Disease (or another dementia), this heart-wrenching memoir will touch you deeply. It has won much praise from geriatric care professionals everywhere and is available for purchase from your favorite on-line booksellers.
- Robert Tell, February 2010
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