Patience, Kindness, and Humor: Lessons from Caregiving with Vicki Tapia (Book Club Replay)

Images of Vicki Tapia and her book Somebody Stole My Iron, a Family Memoir of Dementia

By Marianne Sciucco, New York, US

Vicki Tapia is a founder of AlzAuthors and the author of Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia. In this replay of a recent Aging and Amazing book club discussion, Vicki shares profound insights from her personal experiences. She discusses how caring for two parents with dementia placed a considerable strain on her personal support system. A long-distance caregiver, she found the challenges of managing her parent’s concerning behaviors and medical needs from 200 miles away daunting. Their rural community and limited medical resources confounded the situation as well. Her only sibling’s chosen absence from the situation was another stressor. Newly married, she was reticent to lean on her supportive physician husband too hard. Her adult children were also supportive but lived far away, making it difficult to ask them for help.

A lifelong journaler, she resolved her feelings and worries by putting pen to paper, eventually coming to the realization that she had written a book. Initially, she hesitated to publish her book due to privacy concerns but was encouraged to do so by positive feedback. Her decision to publish was also influenced by her desire to help others navigate similar experiences. Somebody Stole My Iron was published in 2014 and was a finalist for the High Plains Book Awards in 2015. Each chapter ends with “Lesson Learned,” imparting valuable insight and inspiration to caregivers.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Finding Humor in Hardships: Despite the immense challenges of caregiving, Vicki emphasizes the importance of finding humor in difficult situations. This approach can provide emotional relief and resilience.
  2. The Necessity of Self-Care: Vicki’s guilt over taking a trip is a common sentiment among caregivers. Her mother’s philosophy, “life is for the living,” underscores the need for self-care and balance, reminding caregivers to also focus on their own well-being.
  3. Patience and Kindness: Through her experience, Vicki learned the crucial caregiving virtues of patience, respect, and kindness. She advises new caregivers to meet their loved ones where they are and to let go of guilt and expectations.

Learn more about Vicki at

About the Moderators

Marianne Sciucco, Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story

Christy Byrne Yates, Building a Legacy of Love: Thriving in the Sandwich Generation

Purchase our new anthology, Poetry for the Dementia Journey

About the Podcast 

AlzAuthors is the global community of authors writing about Alzheimer’s and dementia from personal experience to light the way for others. Our podcast introduces you to our authors who share their stories and insights to provide knowledge, comfort, and support. Please subscribe so you don’t miss a word. If our authors’ stories move you, please leave a review. And don’t forget to share our podcast with family and friends on their own dementia journeys.

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Ideas and opinions expressed in this podcast belong to the speakers and not AlzAuthors. Always consult your healthcare provider and legal and financial consultants for advice on any of the topics covered here.

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