Martha Stettinius is a sandwich generation mom; an editor and writing instructor with a master's in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University; and an advocate for the needs of family caregivers. She serves as a volunteer representative for New York State for the National Family Caregivers Association.
From broken memories to broken bones, Alzheimers catalyzed terror and defeat in my family. My parents were terrorized by the scrambling of their minds. We who loved them had to suffocate our feelings of defeat as they returned to innocence.
As a caregiver, God allowed me to share in my parents passages back to undefeated innocence. I gained loving moments that I would have missed if I hadnt been involved and if I hadnt taken up the proper vantage point to see them.
Undefeated Innocence offers hope to caregivers by weaving poignant personal experiences, humor, and biblical stories with a study of the Beatitudes. It answers Where is God? in Alzheimers. It confirms that caregiving experiences are abnormally normal, and its okay to store toothpaste in an underwear drawer. Undefeated Innocence reveals Gods grace through the storms and affirms that caregivers are not alone in wondering if life can return to a place of peace.
Growing numbers of people are falling victim to dementia, and the condition challenges health care professionals and the health care system because there is no cure or treatment. Many people unexpectedly find themselves in the same role as Jim -- caregiver -- because they don't want to see their loved ones institutionalized before it is necessary. But caring for someone suffering from dementia is enormously challenging, and there are very few places to look for useful information and guidance. Jim's experiences offer insight, understanding, and hope for others facing the same situation.
The past is often key to understanding the present for someone caring for a person with dementia. A caregiver who has shared a life is often able to understand what others could hardly guess at. Time and again in Jim's narrative, he is able to bring the perspective of his knowledge of Pat, her values, her loves, her fears, and her life experiences to shed a light that makes her words and actions more understandable. For many, the best approach to coming to grips with dementia has been through the worlds of literature and film. To these resources we can now add Jim Lotz's moving and compelling account of his life with his wife Pat before -- and after -- the onset of her dementia. In Pilgrim Souls, Jim has written a clear-eyed, emotionally honest and tremendously moving love story.
Featuring useful takeaway messages and informed by recent research into the causes of and the search for therapies to prevent or cure dementia, this edition includes new information on
• devices to make life simpler and safer for people who have dementia• strategies for delaying behavioral and neuropsychiatric symptoms• changes in Medicare and other health care insurance laws• palliative care, hospice care, durable power of attorney, and guardianship• dementia due to traumatic brain injury• choosing a residential care facility• support groups for caregivers, friends, and family members
The central idea underlying the book—that much can be done to improve the lives of people with dementia and of those caring for them—remains the same. The 36-Hour Day is the definitive dementia care guide.-- Jeffrey Cummings, MD, ScD, Director, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health