Within a year of receiving her husband’s diagnosis, Susan Kiser Scarff had a classic case of caregiver burnout. She couldn’t concentrate at work. Friends drifted away. Overwhelmed, she struggled to make the transition from Red’s wife to his protector, nurse, and mother.
Experts predict that the current number of dementia sufferers—six to eight million in the United States alone—will continue to double every twenty years. In 2011, the Alzheimer’s Association estimated that up to 15 million unpaid caregivers reside in the United States alone. These are staggering numbers, made more so by the increasing age of the baby boomer generation; chances are, the number of family caregivers will increase, too.
Susan’s experience as a first-time caregiver, recorded in these pages with grace, wisdom, and humor, prove just how much there is to learn: finances have to be handled a different way in case the patient decides to make a lone trip to the bank; aggressive behavior is a constant threat; safety becomes a concern in every aspect of daily living.
Filled with practical advice for every stage of the disease’s progression, including information on support groups to help you prevent burnout, questionnaires designed to keep your loved one safe, and checklists to give you control in this time of unknowns, Dementia: The Journey Ahead will help you help your loved one—every step of the way.