Pam Ostrowski’s Caregiver Guide, It’s Not That Simple, Will Help Families Through an Alzheimer’s Journey

About Ostrowski, Pam

By Pam Ostrowski

It's-Not-That-Simple-Pam-OstroskiSo many times as I left Mom at her memory care community, I felt sad, lonely, alone, questioning whether I was making the right decisions. None of my friends understood what it was like. It wasn’t something I could easily explain.

Mom and I had been so close all of my life, with hours-long conversations. And now, Alzheimer’s took her and who she was away from me.

Once I got through the worst of my grief after she passed, I realized as a writer, I had a purpose – to write a book that would help other family members with loved ones with Alzheimer’s cope, from having all of the difficult conversations, making so many decisions, and dealing with the emotional rollercoaster on this four to eight-year journey.

In It’s Not That Simple, I relay my experience with my dad, who couldn’t care for my mom anymore but didn’t want to move. It required several conversations, each like walking on a tightrope, trying not to damage our relationship but ensure their best care.

I cover how I learned to best communicate with mom as she lost her language skills and wished that others learned those skills as well. Once, she fell and went to the hospital. With the memory care floor full, we had to accept a room on one of the main floors. The nurses weren’t trained on how to communicate with someone with Alzheimer’s. They would give her instructions (go to the bathroom) which she couldn’t follow or ask her questions (do you feel pain?) that she couldn’t answer. It was so frustrating for both of us that I vowed we’d never go back.

I talk about how my dad’s struggle with dementia strained our relationship and made it even harder to keep he and my mom on an even keel and well-cared for.  For each for these topics, I’ve included conversation starters and possible wording to help the reader. Dignity, respect, and patience go a long way on this journey and having someone to support and guide you gives you strength.

I want other Alzheimer’s family members to know that you are not alone in coping with your intense emotions and impending loss or in handling delicate relationships, baffling logistics and processes, and financial pressures. The goal of this book is to help these family members create the best story possible so that they can look back with no regrets or guilt, just peace of mind that they did the best they could for their loved one.

I was the first to recognize my mother’s Alzheimer’s symptoms and spent 14 years with her on her journey. With my experiences, along with my Dementia Practitioner and Dementia Care certifications, I now work directly with Alzheimer’s families to help them navigate the difficult conversations and the many processes, decisions, and emotions. This is unfamiliar territory and you want the best for your loved one. I’m here as an Alzheimer’s family consultant and companion to help you through the fear, frustration, and overwhelming amount of details. You are not alone.






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One Response

  1. Hello Pam,
    My friend Renee was just at you seminar yesterday, it was with people who have colostomy’s. She talked to you about my husband who was diagnosed with dementia FTD &PPA 2 years ago. He refused to go to neurologist and any other doctors. Since then he has done some things that put me in a ” get your shit together”! I do have POA but still have trouble. With Covid it’s been hard. My husband is very antisocial. He has a catheter now with inlarged prostate. This week I have to convince him to go to doctor for 2 procedures before they will do surgery. Last week was colonoscopy& EDG, which they found stomach ulcers. He’s getting upset having to take medication all the time. I just know that will be an issue soon. Sorry to dump this all on you. But as you know talking about it to someone helps.
    Thank you for doing this. I look forward to reading more of you work.
    Mary Thorman

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