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.
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.
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