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Elder Rage, or Take My Father... Please!: How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents Paperback – April, 2001
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"Jacqueline tackles that part of life that most think will never happen and shocks us out of our denial..." -- Dr. Dean Edell
"Jacqueline's story and style of writing will surely grab a large readership." -- Hugh Downs
“Your warmth, humor and courage in tackling this sensitive topic, speaks volumes for your strength and character.” -- Erin Brockovich
“Jacqueline’s heart-warming account of the love she gives her parents touched my heart. This is must-reading for Baby Boomers.” -- Leeza Gibbons
“Delightfully written with wit and compassion, this firsthand drama is a primer for anyone with aging parents.” -- Ed Asner
“There’s nothing like a real life story by someone who’s been there—done that. This is a gripping true story that will make you cry and laugh.” -- Phyllis Diller
From the Publisher
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!"
More About the Author
Passion to save others (especially from elder abuse) resulted in her first book, written with humor to make a tough subject palatable, 'Elder Rage, or Take My Father... Please! How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents' (print, audio, eBook). Over 50 endorsements include Regis Philbin, Leeza Gibbons and John Hopkins Memory Clinic.
ELDER RAGE is a Book-of-the-Month Club selection receiving 500+ 5-Star Amazon reviews and considered for a film. The extensive Addendum, 'A Physician's Guide to Treating Dementia', by renowned dementia specialist, Rodman Shankle MD, makes it also valuable for healthcare professionals and required reading at numerous universities for courses in geriatric assessment and management.
Includes TODAY, CNN, PBS Alzheimer's Documentary, AARP Bulletin cover story, Woman's Day, Prevention, hundreds of radio/television interviews and articles.
INTERNATIONAL KEYNOTE SPEAKER (CEU/CME)
Jacqueline speaks about Eldercare, her subsequent Breast Cancer, and Alzheimer's now termed 'Type 3 Diabetes' and the Obesity Epidemic. Hundreds of keynotes include for the California Governor Conference, Alzheimer's Association, Area Agencies on Aging, National Security Agency, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Florida House of Representatives.
Numerous Topics/References: www.ElderRage.com/SpeakingEngagements.htm
Help improve eldercare laws; Encourage long-term care planning; Show healthcare professionals how they can better help families; Empower caregivers with solutions and to put their health first; Advocate for funding for Alzheimer's research and heighten early diagnosis awareness; Expose elder abuse and exploitation; Bring attention to Adult Day Care services.
Jacqueline testified before the Assistant Secretary on Aging and received a Media Award from the National Adult Day Services Association--and was honored with Advocate of the Year from the National Association of Women Business Owners at their Remarkable Women Awards.
'Thank you so much for your inspirational presentations. You connected with hundreds of healthcare professionals (CEUs: Nurses, Nursing Home Administrators, Social Workers, Counselors) and families, seniors and those with disabilities. 'Jacqueline is a wonderful, thought provoking speaker! She was fun to listen to and made a tough situation into one you can handle!' Your participation helped make our conference a big success--thank you!'
-Northern Plains Conference on Aging & Disability, Fargo ND
'Thank you so much for your superb presentation at our Alzheimer's seminar. Audience: dementia specialists, senior neurologists, neuropsychologists, scientists, nurses, students, and caregivers who came specifically to hear you. And what a fabulous presentation it was! Your ability to combine humor, personal insight, wisdom and meaningful guidance to all of us involved in the care for those with dementia was sensational. Each gained useful tips and tools that will enrich our professional practices and personal experiences.'
-Director, Alzheimer's Disease & Research, Boston University School of Medicine
Top Customer Reviews
Jacqueline Marcell has a way of making you feel sane again, and at the same time, her wit and writing style will capture your heart and help you to understand you are not alone. Each of us must deal with the situation in our own way, depending on our financial situation, available resources, position in the life's cycle and the allowable time we have to take on the extra responsibility. However, the first-hand experiences of someone who has "been there and done that" can help tremendously.
Over the course of ten years, I watched my father regress, through cancer and age, from a strong, independent, brilliant, business professional to a babbling, hallucinating, demanding, dictator. There comes a time, when constant, professional, around-the-clock care is required, that it may necessary to place the parent in institutionalized care. That decision, in itself, ususally leaves the family with mixed feelings of love and guilt, frustration and betrayal, and a host of other unanticipated, gut-wrenching emotions.Read more ›
Marcell teaches by example. With a light heart she tells of her own experiences with an aging father and with a system that can be far more exasperating than dealing with her difficult father. The light heart did not come easily. Because of the hard-earned know-how Marcell shares in "Elder Rage," the process will be much easier for you.
This book has been endorsed by many self-help gurus including John Bradshaw and Bernie Siegel. It has a succinct and well-written addendum on treating dementia by Rodman Shankle, MS, MD. He is the former medical direct of the University of California at Irvine's Alzheimer's Center.
Occasionally Marcell lapses into lingo that may be too hip for some; because of that, it might not be understood by some of those in-between generations who aren't suffering from Alzheimer's (yet!), but mostly the humor comes through loud and clear and does exactly what it should do.
Pain and love are often inextricably intertwined; following Marcell's story is like reading any good memoir. Because it's told from the heart, we identify and learn and then learn some more.
(Carolyn Howard-Johnson [author of] "Harkening"
She has gone through a lot and thankfully she is sharing what she has learned with the rest of us by writing this book, creating a website ..., and doing speaking engagements.
I know that if this book had been available five years ago, I would have avoided a lot of the current unpleasantness of my family's situation. "Elder Rage" provides sound advice from the voice of experience. It is not only a heartfelt story, but an excellent guide to caring for the elderly and for locating appropriate help. It is useful both as a planning resource and a healing mechanism.
I have looked at and read other books on caring for the elderly, but none present the reality of the daily situation more clearly. I laughed and I cried as I read this book, and realized when I finished it that I felt less alone. I have a new perspective about my role and about my parents. My undying thanks to Jacqueline Marcell.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Poorly written, self-published whine about a dysfunctional family. The few helpful items are available online to anyone who can do basic research. Not funny, or kind, or useful.Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
I didn't find this to be a self help book or relay any valuable information. I found her writing really cluttered with her "trying to be funny" interjection every other... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Karen Diane
I am dealing with a dad with dementia, I found this book very honest and helpful. I recommend it as a tool for insight into this terrible disease.Published 1 month ago by Sue
Made a Huge Difference in My Life! Loved the Humor!
This is still one of the best books I've ever read on the challenges of caring for someone with dementia. Read more
A humorous account of a difficult journey of helping parents through the aging process. We all will have to deal with this subject in one way or another so why not try to plan... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Annomonous
I found Elder Rage to be an interesting read. This book is a true story about the author’s struggle to care for her two elderly parents, both of whom suffered from serious physical... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kathleen H. Wheeler
horrible book. just talks about her father, nothing about how to deal with elders in generalPublished 1 month ago by Bella