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Prepare yourself for this raw and honest account of the author's experience of caring for his mother in his home for ten years, including end of life sequences involved. The grips of Alzheimer's disease and the transition through the dying process are depicted here in detail. This emotional testimony is the definition of love itself, demonstrated in the care provided, but also shows the stresses and strains put upon the caregiver. As uplifiting and satisfying as this labor of love can be, there are also life changing consequences to the caregiver, including exhaustion and burnout. The goal of this book is to help caregivers avoid the negative effects of these feelings and to asure that the family member receives excellent care until the very end of life. The downfalls of informal or formal caregiving, along with the motivation and strategies to avoid them are presented, based on the author's experiences while caring for his aging mother.
"I made mistakes caring for my mother. Some will say I am just being hard on myself, but I was there. I know. Complete honesty is expressed here. The details and emotions of this experience may be hard to understand or accept and may even be considered reprehensible by some individuals. I didn't understand many of my own feelings at the time, but I have tried to reconcile them".
"My ignorance about the caregiving process and the effect it would have on my life altered the care I provided for my mom. Alzheimer's disease added to the difficulty of managing her care. The person I became was very different from the son who began the journey with her ten years earlier. This unforeseen and unfortunate transformation could have been prevented".
The work necessary in caring for an aging individual unfortunately altered the relationship between my mom and me. The warmth and compassion I once had for her was replaced by as insensitive mechanical form of attention as the years passed. This unexpected transformation allowed me to be done with the work as fast as possible and onto what was important to me. I was already toward the end of my rope when the progression of Alzheimer's disease imposed its demnds on my time and patience. My stress level and sense of burden increased to the point where I wanted to be done. I had no strategy of dealing with this. These feelings negatively affected the care I provided my mom. Then an incident occurred that definitely led to her final decline toward death. This could have been avoided.
I want to help those who are on, or about to embark on a similar path. Strategies and safegaurds are needed to prevent the family caregiver from being devoured by the job of caregiving. The long term consequences of this loving, yet stressful work can be avoided. This story no doubt validates the feelings many caregivers already have. What happen with my mother is my inspiration and I dedicate this to her.