My mother acknowledged her assertion that the woman she pointed out at the rehab center as being her dead husband was a bit of a stretch. But this was the kind of information Mom routinely shared as her cognitive abilities declined and her psychosis fully bloomed.
The true, heart-wrenching and hilarious story at the center of Dementia Sucks was borne of a journal and blog kept by Tracey Lawrence as her mother transformed from classic Jewish mother to mildly forgetful Floridian grandma to geriatric delinquent removed by police for knife-play at a rehabilitation facility.
Tracey's journey takes her from being an established graphic artist in northern New Jersey through bouts of full-time, hands-on caregiving of her aging parents. She hits on many of the common challenges families face, and provides a humorous and highly educational perspective on her emotionally-charged ride through geriatric illnesses, doctors, hospitals, insurance, facilities, family dynamics and much more.
Anyone who has family they care about will want to read this book. Whether dementia visits or not, some aspect of Tracey's caregiving journey will likely resonate with, amuse and enlighten many readers.
Tracey S. Lawrence is the founder of Grand Family Planning LLC and author of Dementia Sucks: A Caregiver's Journey With Lessons Learned. Having been primary caregiver to two parents who succumbed to dementia, as well as to her husband, a cancer survivor, Tracey has a unique perspective on the issues surrounding caregiving and the challenges of staying healthy and productive under extreme pressure and stress. She started Grand Family Planning in 2014, while her mother was in hospice. Realizing that millions would be facing the same struggles she had endured, she conceived of a team approach to coaching families through life transitions and health crises. During her time caring for her mother, Tracey kept a journal, which formed the basis for her groundbreaking work, released by Post Hill Press in May 2018. Tracey's commitment to raising awareness of the growing family caregiving epidemic drives her business and her professional speaking and training programs.
"When I face the challenges in my life, I use journaling as an outlet for my thoughts and emotions. Never before have I read someone else's, until now. Dementia Sucks is a revealing journal-based story exploring the rapid decline Alzheimer's brings about. For all the horror of this disease, the journey of this book reveals something beautiful. You will discover the humanity, the joy, and the hope that is ever present, even in the darkest hour with tears streaming down your face." Mike Michalowicz, author of Profit First
"Dementia Sucks says it all in two words. But if you are looking for answers to what is happening with someone you know who seems to be in slow mental descent, or has been diagnosed with dementia, Tracey Lawrence has left a brave, revealing, and valuable diary in your path. Pick it up and read it. You will find humor, pain, honesty, answers, and proof you are not alone. It is on one hand a manual for the multitudes coming to grips with this broad category of brain disease, on the other hand, a love story. Thank you, Tracey, for sharing your courageous tale." Gary Donatelli, producer, 23 Blast and director of One Life to Live