Deborah Lyn Stanley Shares Alzheimer’s Memoir Caring for Mother-in-Law: Mom & Me–A Story of Dementia

Deborah Lyn Stanley Shares Alzheimer's Memoir Caring for Mother-in-Law: Mom & Me–A Story of Dementia

Mom & Me - Deborah Lyn StanleyBy Deborah Lyn Stanley

Mom and Me: A Story of Dementia & the Power of God’s Love is a book of my experiences while caregiving memory-impaired seniors, and my dear “second mom” Helen, for many years.

It started when Mom went for groceries and forgot how to get home. Eventually, she recognized the gas station, bank and market. She could get home now. Sometime later, fears and illusions began. When hearing a noise on the roof one day, Mom was convinced men were coming down the chimney to “get the old one.” We calmed her by saying, “Tim will take care of it.” Tim, her son and my husband.

The memoir embraces Helen’s journey from the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia through stories and letters to caregivers. The stories and letters are portrayed through the lens of my personal knowledge as her daughter-in-law and caregiver. They speak of challenges common to caregivers, day-to-day needs and the progression of dementia disease. They are about joy and sadness, trauma and triumph, peace and anxiety. They are stories of love, the exhaustion of caregiving, denial, and mending; about high-stakes decisions, stressful days, and knowing you did the best you could at that crucial moment.

The stories you find here comprise my journal, stories and lessons learned, initially written as posts over a period of two years for my website dedicated to caregivers. They are assembled for you now as a single book. My hope is caregivers and families will find the essays in this book helpful. I think I’m well-suited to write about dementia, because I’m a caregiver acquainted with crisis healthcare. I’ve worked with memory-impaired seniors, am Alzheimer’s Association trained, and I recognized Mom’s situation early. Thus, I became an ambassador for our family to help each one let go of denial and gain understanding about what was happening to Mom.

I continue to write to help caregivers grasp the debilitating nature of dementia disease. And, also, to recognize that memory loss is devastating to the loved one who struggles to hold on to every bit of diminishing ability and dignity daily. My goal is to promote understanding, respect, compassion, and encouragement for healthier living for caregivers and the loved ones under their care. The feedback I receive from my readers is one of appreciation: “What a beautiful article, Deborah” — “You helped me … understand better”— “I’m sharing and telling other caregivers about it.”

Dementia is always cruel, but our loved ones are not empty. “She’s still there inside. She’s still the same person, holding tight to her abilities and dignity.”

Deborah Lyn - StanleyAbout the Author

Deborah Lyn married her high school sweetheart and quickly fit in with his family of seven. They have two children but no grands yet. She enjoyed a successful 28-year career as a project manager. When the commercial properties sold, she devoted her attention to writing and caregiving.

As a caregiver, Deborah Lyn is an advocate for the compassionate and respectful care of the memory-impaired elderly.

Connect with Deborah Lyn:

Her caregiving website, a refreshing retreat: The Caregiver’s Retreat — a Place to Refresh, Restore, Affirm and Supply
Facebook: The Caregiver’s Retreat
On LinkedIn: Deborah Lyn Stanley
On Twitter: @TheCaregiversR1
On Amazon:

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3 Responses

  1. Deborah, your book has been a terrific help to me in my ongoing challenge with my husband, who suffers from dementia. Your book has given me hope, renewed enthusiasm to do everything I can for him, and also many, many ways to feel rewarded in his and my fight against this terrible disease. I highly recommend your book to anyone whose life is touched by dementia.

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