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!"
I have found in reading this book that I am not alone and I don't have it nearly as bad as I thought. There were so many incidences that I said, Yep, Yep. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Teri M
This book was extremely helpful. We did not know about UTIs causing such anger in the elderly, nor did we know about adult day care outside of the home, which has been a... Read morePublished 4 days ago by V. Federici
A sad story that hit close to home. I was seeking some help for my family problem, and this book did not apply.Published 14 days ago by Mary Gilbert
I read this book while I was sitting in my Dad's hospital room. He was recovering from a back operation. I laughed and cried at the same time. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Sandra Cooper
Intriguing title, well written, many individuals are now coping with 80 plus parents and sometimes experiencing impatience and frustration during their caregiving experiences. Read morePublished 27 days ago by tori J
I read this book in 2 evenings. It was extrememly helpful for me as I could totally relate to the circumstances since we have been experiencing a strikingly similar situation with... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jennie Rasmussen
MADE ME HAVE A NEVER GIVE UP ATTITUDE, GRATEFUL, LEARNED SO MUCH!
I could relate to so many of the medical mistakes she had to deal with because they were a mirror image of... Read more
It's such a gift to use humor on a topic that is normally a downer. Jacqueline’s accomplishments are especially impressive given her father's disposition, and her knowledge is... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lisa
Just finished reading this book and could hardly put it down. While the topic of having parents with dementia/Alzheimers is certainly a heavy one, this book puts a humorous spin on... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer