Click below on the new infographic I created to see it in normal size.
This is the third in a series of posts that includes chapter excerpts from You Oughta Know: Acknowledging, Recognizing, and Responding to the Steps in the Journey Through Dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease.
This post includes an excerpt from chapter 2, which comprehensively discusses the step where our loved ones with dementia and Alzheimer’s are aware that something’s wrong neurologically, but they don’t know what and the internal and external conflicts that presents for them and us.
This series begins with the forward to the book and an explanation of why I wrote this book and why you should read it.
The steps in the journey through dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease are presented sequentially in the order in which they actually appear in the course of these neurological diseases.
There are no other books that literally walk through each step in sequential order as they emerge in the journey through dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Additionally, there is no other book that discusses:
- The process we as caregivers acknowledge each new step – there is an acceptance period that we have to go through
- The process we use to guide ourselves and our loved ones with dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease through the recognition phase of each step
- The concrete, loving, and practical information on how we should respond and how we can help guide our loved ones’ responses
These are the things that make You Oughta Know: Acknowledging, Recognizing, and Responding to the Steps in the Journey Through Dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease unique and stand alone in the plethora of books about dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Excerpt “Chapter 2: ‘There’s Someone in My Head, But It’s Not Me'”
“In this stage of dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease, where mild cognitive impairment is more obvious, but the extensive neurological damage characterized by the later steps in these diseases has not yet occurred, most of the time our loved ones will function fairly normally and will be lucid.
However, they have an, sometimes quite acute, awareness of their own mental slippage and that something is not quite right. In other words, they are aware they can’t remember things, they are losing things, they are having trouble following directions, and they can’t seem to hold on to new information for any length of time.”
This series of posts about You Oughta Know: Acknowledging, Recognizing, and Responding to the Steps in the Journey Through Dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease began with the forward to the book and an explanation of why I wrote this book and why you should read it.
This post will include an excerpt from chapter 1, which thorough covers the first step in the journey through dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease, which is mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
The title of the book, as well each chapter title, may, depending on your age and musical tastes (mine run toward eclectic, alternative, and indie) sound familiar.
That was intentional on my part for two reasons.
One reason is because music is a universal language, and music can often be comforting to our loved ones with dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease.
The other reason – one that caregivers do continually – was to look at something familiar in an entirely different context that broadens our relationship to and with it. If you’re familiar with these lines (a list of the song titles and artists for each song line/chapter title is included at the end of the book), you will never listen to these songs the same way again after reading this book.
And that’s the point: life is never the same after our loved ones and we have gone through the journey of dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease. Everything changes, including us.
Most of the changes are personal, internal, and deep. They should be positive in terms of growth in love, compassion, empathy, care, concern, gentleness, kindness, patience, and self-control.
But they will also reflect a greater recognition and understanding of a hostile world that needs change (we have faith that change will come) and a greater awareness – and peace with – our own frailty and mortality as mere humans who only dance on this earth for a short while.
And, on the other side of the journey, we often find ourselves mostly alone, except for a few along the way that we know or befriend who have or are sharing the same journey, in the changes to who we are and how we view the world and how we view life.
That’s not a criticism to those who haven’t been through this journey – and we pray they don’t have to go through it, but we know the odds are not in their favor – but simply a statement of fact.
It’s sad at times and painful at times, but it’s the reality that, for now, we have to live with and move forward in spite of.
Excerpt “Chapter 1: ‘I Don’t Remember, I Don’t Recall'”
“Because it affects short-term memory, mild cognitive impairment affects the recent past and the present.
What does this look like in practical terms?
Repeating things in conversations, stories, and writing
This manifests itself in telling the same things over and over, and with each retelling, it’s as though it’s the first time telling it. It is very similar to the effect of a scratch in an old vinyl record, where that point in the track gets replayed over and over until someone goes over and physically lifts the needle up and moves it beyond the scratch. However, with our loved ones, it’s rarely that easy or that simple.
Frequently losing and misplacing things
We all, from time to time, pick things up, get derailed in going from point A to point B, laying the things down somewhere in between, and then having no idea where we put them when we finally get to point B. However, with mild cognitive impairment, this becomes normal.”
The promotional video for You Oughta Know: Acknowledging, Recognizing, and Responding to the Steps in the Journey Through Dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease (published in April 2014) gives the background of why I wrote this book and gives a brief summary of each of the chapters in the book.
As someone who experienced this journey first-hand with my mom and who, since her death, has been actively involved in providing support, counseling, and information, as well as just listening, to many people who are on this journey themselves or with loved ones, I discovered the need for a book like this.
It’s personal. It’s accessible. And it’s practical. There is no other book on the market like it.
If you don’t read another book on dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease, you should read You Oughta Know: Acknowledging, Recognizing, and Responding to the Steps in the Journey Through Dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease (available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions). It will be an invaluable resource that will help you and your loved ones tremendously as you walk the steps of this journey together.
I’m creating this blog to continue to provide practical information related to the loving care of our loved ones with all types of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
I decided this was the best way to get salient information out quickly and also to answer questions as they have been coming in since the publication of Going Gentle Into That Good Night.