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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Coach Broyles' Playbook for Alzheimer's Caregivers

Genre: Self-help
Publisher: Alzheimer's Association
Release Date: 2006

After my aunt died, my mom had an argument with me one day that was a little frightening. She insisted that no one had told her that my aunt had hemochromatosis. My own mom had told me a few years earlier. I wrote it off to the grief.

That was the first true sign I saw that made me question. Over time, she was often asking the same question dozens of times a day. Telling me she hadn't talked to me in ages when we'd just talked an hour earlier. She even started giving me clothing that she swore was my aunts, but I knew we'd bought it together when our shopping just a week earlier. I urged my dad to take my mom to a specialist and the diagnosis was Mild Cognitive Impairment. Every few months, he'd tell me he'd taken my mom for another check and she was find.

When my dad died, I quickly found out that MCI was the initial diagnosis, but it had progressed to Alzheimer's in 2014. We were suddenly fighting the truth. She is in the moderate stages and needs care. While dealing with grief, we were also dealing with sharing caregiver duties. It wasn't long before we were burning out and desperate for help.

I was handed a copy of Coach Frank Broyle's Playbook for Alzheimer's Caregivers. If you're a caregiver to someone with dementia. This book is a must! It lays out what to expect and how to best offer care in each stages. It also focuses on something that we'd shoved aside, and that's to care for ourselves too.

I keep a copy next to me and have made many notes in it while talking to doctors and assisted living specialists. It's a fantastic guide to what to expect, what to do, and how to care for yourself while caring for someone else.

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