I cared for my Mother through three years of Parkinson's disease with dementia. It was heartbreaking and frustrating for me. I was exhausted by the adversarial nature of our relationship each day. I so much wish I had found Elder Rage 2/E: How to Survive Caring for Aging ParentsElder Rage, or Take My Father... Please! How To Survive Caring For Aging Parents sooner. There were so many great ideas, especially on how to get help and get through to various agencies exactly what was happening since my Mother had been a very strong woman, used to taking care of others and herself. It was impossible for her to give up any of the responsibilities that had gotten her through many years of a difficult life. She would not stop driving until she broke her hip. She did not know how to accept help. She knew nothing of her finances.
Jacqueline Marcell had been through all of this and more. Her Father, in particular, was especially difficult, physically as well as mentally and emotionally. She found ways to distract him, get him the medical help he needed, find the right caregiving help and recognize that her parents still needed each other but could not be together until she found the right combination of help. She also managed to keep them from wasting the financial resources they had, another common problem among the elderly with dementia.
She also recognized that she could not care for them alone and still needed to have some life of her own through working. How many of us can just stop work and care for our parents? Very few, I think. She found solutions, always evolving but still solutions. The last part of the book gives many, many places to seek help. Her advice to never stop, that if one agency or person cannot help, then keep trying with the next one, is great advice.
The best part of this book for me was her spirit of never giving up. She obviously loved her parents very much. I can feel her exhaustion and frustration at the beginning but also her determination to find solutions.
I wish I had found this book so much sooner. It would have eased my Mother's situation and it would have eased my heart.