Alzheimer’s Daughter introduces the reader to my healthy parents, Ed and Ibby, years before their diagnosis, then recounts painful details as our roles reversed and I became my parents’ parent.
Their disease started as translucent, confused thoughts and ended in a locked memory care unit after a near decade of descent into the opaque world of Alzheimer's.
I began writing Alzheimer’s Daughter one week after my mother's death––when I was stunned, realizing Dad had no memory of her or their 66-year marriage.
I write to pay tribute to the undying spirit at Ed and Ibby's core, and with the hope that the story of their parallel decline might be helpful to others.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Meet Rick Lauber, author of “The Successful Caregiver’s Guide” and “The Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians”
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Nearly five years ago, after presenting at an Alzheimer’s caregiver conference, a seed was planted in my heart to write a children’s book about Alzheimer’s and dementia. When the conference was over one of the attendees came up to purchase one of my books. As she was leaving she asked if I could recommend a book to help her young child with the changes her family was experiencing since her mother was diagnosed with dementia. I was at a loss. I had been so focused on education for adults that I had not researched current literature for children.
I soon learned there were several great titles available to help children understand the dementia journey. What motivated me to add to the existing collection was the growing need to help young children not only understand this difficult topic in a sensitive, age-appropriate way, but also a sincere desire to give families tools to help maintain connections for as long as possible.
Last year, I was blessed to partner in this project with a talented co-author, Dr. Beatrice Tauber Prior, and a brilliant illustrator, Julia Walther. The imagery in the beautiful artwork of Grandma and Me helps to capture the child’s imagination. My grandson liked the book so much he took it everywhere with him for two days, even into the movie theater!
Together with Beatrice and Julia, my vision for this book came to life in a much greater way than I could have done alone. Children aged five to nine are drawn into the story, learning how to help their loved ones while maintaining a loving relationship. There is a special counseling section for parents at the end to guide them as they continue to work with their child. Grandma and Me helps to address a young child’s feelings, provides tools to help them feel successful in their interactions, and provides answers on how to maintain the connections between family members, despite the disease.
The first review I received was from a young reader who bought the book to help explain dementia to her little brother. Both Beatrice and myself were deeply touched by her words: This book is about a sad topic, but it explained very well about the Alzheimer’s disease. The pictures are very entertaining and captivating. We were drawn right into the book with the exciting story. Now I know more about this, and I can help explain it to my younger brother.
I am thankful for the partnerships that brought this book to life. From the caregiver who planted the seed in my heart several years ago, to my co-author Beatrice, our illustrator Julia, our publisher Morgan James, and most of all, the many special people who have dementia that we have had the pleasure to care for, learn from, work with and know. You are all part of the tapestry that has made Grandma and Me – A Kid’s Guide for Alzheimer’s and Dementia one of the newest resources available for the dementia care family.
Amazon: Grandma and Me – A Kid’s Guide for Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
On Facebook (Kathi Macias—personal page; https://www.facebook.com/Kathi-Macias-75996188045/ --author page).
On Twitter (@alandkathi).
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
“What’s going to happen to Rodger?’ was the first thing most people asked upon hearing of my mother-in-law’s passing. Extremely introverted, unable to drive, and not in good health, he’d been dependent on her to care for everything it took to run a home for many years. Fortunately my husband and I had talked about taking in one of our parents when and if the time came. We had both the room and the desire to do it. We knew it would be hard at times, but were convinced we would make it work.
We didn’t know how sick he was, how hard it would be, or how long it would last. The first surprise for both my husband and I was learning that he was schizophrenic and had been since 1947. It certainly explained a lot about his odd behavior over the years, but until the medical records arrived, no one in the family had ever mentioned the 13 years he’s spent in mental hospitals from 1947 to 1960. In addition to being mentally ill he developed dementia, Parkinson’s disease, congestive heart failure and dysphagia.
I did what I could to educate myself about the various diseases and how to help him have the best possible life as long as possible. It was harder than I ever thought it could be. I called it creative problem solving on the run. All day, every day and night was a challenge. I doubted myself so many times. Why couldn’t I figure this out? Why couldn’t I make him understand I loved him and wanted the best for him?
I often heard caregivers ask the same questions, express the same frustrations, and cry for help. “Why doesn’t someone write a book that tells people what it’s really like to care for someone with dementia at home?” I decided to write that book.
Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver is the true story of one family coping with one of the most difficult, and fastest growing issues of our day. It’s raw and it’s real. I invite readers to cry, shout, despair and laugh with me as I did the best I could to save him from himself, while he did everything he could to convince everyone I was crazy and he could take of himself.
I had one patient for seven years, my father-in- law, and became fearless when taking doctors, nurses, and other health care providers to task to make sure he always got the care he needed.
After Rodger passed away, I decided to become a caregiver advocate and do all I can to support caregivers. I am now a caregiver support group leader, blogger and national speaker on issues dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Caregivers have thanked me for writing the book and expressing in vivid detail what it takes to be caregiver and the toll it takes on those who do it.
“Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver perfectly encapsulates the human experience, not just the caregivers. When we live in a world of worry, stress, and self-doubt, where do we go to find the strength to go on? Bobbi’s retelling of her caregiving years unfold in a beautiful answer to the questions posed by sickness, health, care, and loss.” Alexandra Axel, Media Director, The Caregiver Space.
About the Author
Bobbi Carducci as a national speaker on the subject of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, how it affects entire families and how to Prepare to Care – What Adults need to Know about Alzheimer’s/ Dementia Before and After It Strikes Home.
"Brutally honest and written from the heart, Carducci’s intimate chronicle of caring for her father-in-law is a poignant story of strength, compassion, and humor that will linger with you long after you read the last page. Highly recommended for anyone caring for an elderly parent.” Jan Neuharth, author of the Hunt Country Suspense novels
Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver is available on Amazon and through Open Books Press and her website www.bobbicarducci.com @BobbiCarducci2 @BobbiCarducci