Dementia Dolls: A Daughter’s Story

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I recently discovered this book: Dementia Dolls: A Daughter’s Story written by Mary Ann Kampfe. A Jersey native, Mary Ann chronicles caring for her mother, Josephine, diagnosed with dementia.

In Chapter One, she writes:

Mom and I throw everything we have at the world. Give us a void of any kind, and we will try to fill it. If there is a lull in conversation, or sadness in someone’s eyes, or a situation that seems unfair, we feel it is our sworn duty to step in and make things right.

For most of my life, I believed that a breezy attitude and a ready smile could get you through everything in life. Then things came crashing down, and I needed my rock. Not my jokester father, but my sensible mother. God answers your prayers in strange ways. Either that, or He truly does have a sense of humor.

He delivered Mom back to me, as a widow with dementia who could no longer live on her own.

 

Alz.org cites 83% of help provided to elders in the US living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia comes from family members or friends—2/3 of them being women. In my book I talk about the critical impact fulfilling the role of caregiver can have. Caregiver Overwhelm is known to cause extreme stress, high blood pressure, depression, exhaustion and other health concerns. The emotional conflicts many caregivers experience can amplify uncertainty around important decision-making.

In a NJ.com interview, Mary Ann admits, “I was never 100 percent sure whether my decisions regarding my mother’s care were unselfish or not,’’ she writes. “As my friend Harry reminded me, having provided in-home care for his own mother with dementia, guilt and self-doubt are huge parts of the equation. Confusion is a part of it as well, and not just in the mind of the (patient).’’

A very familiar journey for those eighty-three percent taking charge of profound responsibilities. For all of the caregivers out there, I highly recommend that you add Dementia Dolls to your “to be read” list.

Available on Goodreads Amazon

Mary Ann’s website: http://www.elderskelter.net/the-story/

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