God inspired me to write and publish the book. The startling Alzheimer’s disease statistics helped me to persevere. Alzheimer’s is at epidemic proportions in the United States. Currently, there are 16 million (and growing) unpaid caregivers providing care to 5.5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease. I have been a caregiver and I understand the challenges. I have a passion for making the journey for caregivers less stressful and more rewarding.
What is your goal for this book?
I would love to see a cure for Alzheimer’s disease making this book obsolete. I am active in helping researchers find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. I am a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Alois Society and an advocate and volunteer for fundraising events. The book will be used for fundraisers for the Alzheimer’s Association (The Longest Day) and other groups focused on finding a cure.
What is the theme of the book?
The Caregiving PrincipleTM is the theme of the book and the chapters are organized around the principle. The principle provides a deeper understanding of a person with Alzheimer’s and a simple framework for the caregiver’s role. It defines the needs of a person by looking at the total person by using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Physiological, Safety, Social, Esteem, and Self-Actualization).
How does the book make the journey for caregivers less stressful and more rewarding?
Time and time again while speaking with caregivers, a light went on in their eyes when I shared a little information, advice, or tips. Education on the disease and advance preparation for the next phase can reduce stress. Caregivers are encouraged to get help and are given tools. Caregivers can reduce stress by adjusting the manner in which they interact with their loved one. Suggestions are provided on enjoying time with the loved one.
There are a lot of books on Alzheimer’s. What makes your book unique?
The book is easy to read and understand and introduces The Caregiving Principle®. In addition, original family emails demonstrate caregiving concepts, convey emotional ups and downs, and provide information in a unique and intimate way. Many books on Alzheimer’s chronicle the author’s journey but I only use my personal journey to demonstrate the concepts.
What are your qualifications?
I developed the Caregiving Principle™ while analyzing interactions while caring for my mother. She suffered with Alzheimer’s disease for over ten years. I have read extensively, attended many workshops, and observed professional caregivers diffusing delicate situations. I recently received the Alzheimer’s Association EssentiALZ / Cares Dementia Specialist certification.
What was your biggest regret about your mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s?
I wish my niece could have grown up knowing my mother without the Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s robbed my mother of an opportunity to enrich the life of her granddaughter.
What else should I know about your book?
Each chapter begins with a personal reflection and ends with a checklist for caregivers. Scriptural references to encourage and edify the caregiver are scattered throughout.
What future projects do you have in mind?
I want to continue to help improve the life of caregivers. Also, since my mother had Alzheimer’s, I spend time keeping abreast of Alzheimer’s prevention and reversal research.