Delivered with a humorous tone to make a tough subject palatable, Marcell relates how she fought through an unsympathetic medical system and endured her "Jekyll & Hyde" father's wrath, until she finally found help for him and her ailing mother. What she didn't understand was that his deeply engrained life-long negative behavior pattern of yelling to get his way (though never at her before), was becoming intermittently distorted with the onset of dementia, namely--Alzheimer's. Marcell points out that not everyone becomes aggressive with dementia, and that her mother was sweet and lovely before and after her Alzheimer's diagnosis.
Statistically families (and doctors who are not dementia specialists) ignore early warning signs because they incorrectly believe that intermittently odd behaviors are just stress and a normal part of aging. Marcell says, "By the age of 65, one out of every eight has some form of dementia, and by the age of 85, nearly one out of every two. Surprisingly, the fastest growing segment of our population is the 85+ group."
Marcell says her mission is to "spread the word about the importance of early diagnosis of Alzheimer's to 77 million baby boomers who are in denial until a crisis." She wants everyone to know that with proper treatment, dementia symptoms can be masked/slowed, keeping the person independent longer. "Seeking help early can save families so much heartache and money, and save our society the burden of caring for so many who decline sooner than need be."
The Alzheimer's Association reports that by delaying the onset of A.D. for five years, the U.S. could save $50 billion in annual health care costs. Even a one-month delay in nursing home placement could save $1 billion a year. Marcell says, "It's really very simple: When your loved one does something that strikes you as illogical or irrational--it is! You don't need to have a Doctorate degree to know something is wrong--you need the right Doctor who can diagnose and treat dementia properly."
Marcell credits the Alzheimer's Association for referring her to a neurologist specialized in dementia who after a battery of tests uncovered her father's early stage Alzheimer's, while all of his other healthcare professionals missed it entirely. He prescribed medication to slow the dementia and improve her father's cognitive functioning (Aricept, Exelon, Razadyne, Namenda), and treated the aggression and (often-present) depression. After balancing with optimal nutrition and therapies, Marcell implemented her own `Elder Behavior Modification 101', and succeeded in turning around her father's nasty behaviors the majority of the time. And when that didn't work she used distraction, redirection, reminiscence and validation... but discovered the offer of his favorite ice cream worked the best to get him in the shower--even as he swore a blue streak at her that he had just taken one yesterday (actually a week ago).
The final key was getting herself into a support group and getting her parents out of bed ("waiting to die") and enrolled in physical and emotional therapies at an Adult Day Health Care, which completely turned their lives around at 80 and 85. Marcell adds, "75% of dementia patients are cared for at home and sadly elder abuse is rising dramatically because families are unprepared for the frustrations. She believes that with education and the use of Adult Day Care, elder abuse can be reduced. The National Center on Elder Abuse published a very favorable review of Elder Rage in their national newsletter.
Marcell emphasizes, "Dementia costs American business multi-billions of dollars a year--largely due to lost productivity from absenteeism of employees who must take time off to care for ailing loved ones. Everyone should know the ten early warning signs of Alzheimer's and the importance of getting the right help sooner than later." Marcell says she learned caregiving the hard way which is why she wrote her first book, "so that no one would ever have to go through what I did." Determined to make a difference, Marcell says her ultimate goal is to help change our eldercare laws." She laughs, "I have an ulterior motive--I don't have children, so I've got to help straighten things out before I get there!"
Her book which I couldn't put down made me laugh and cry at the same time.
This book will help caregivers recognize that they are not alone,and that many of the feelings that they feel guilty about are very normal for the situation.
Author Jacqueline Marcell has written the go to book for caregivers involved in elder care!
I recognized my situation at almost every turn of this book and can't tell you how accurate and insightful it is. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Pam Harrell
This book was helpful b/c I am currently dealing with a raging parent. It had some practical information, and suggestions. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Ellis
I have learned so much from this book. At times, I have laughed and at times, I have cried. Wonderful for anyone who has an Elder family member or friend. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent suggestions that are definitely adaptable to caring for a spouse as well as a parent. Helped me a lot and reinforced the benefits of Adult Day Care. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tricia G.
This book saved my sanity. It's written with humor and had me totally engrossed from start to finish. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Josie P.
Very helpful with stories you can relate to when dealing with chronic illnesses in the familyPublished 1 month ago by Cindy Lacy
I commend Jacqueline on her perseverance! Her book (like no other) has been instrumental to my understanding and developing my strategy for helping my parents. Read morePublished 1 month ago by David Spriggs