Author Toni Kanzler Finds Joy in Caregiving for Mom with Early Onset Alzheimer’s: Life Giving Dementia Care

About Toni Kanzler - Life Giving Dementia Care

Life Giving Dementia CoverHow to bring Confidence, Compassion, and Joy into Your Role As a Caregiver

By Toni Kanzler

“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” – Winnie the Pooh

Once a caregiver, always a caregiver – it changes you that much. This quote from Winnie the Pooh about weeds and flowers is a perfect summation of the message in Life Giving Dementia Care. With the right perspective, weeds are wondrous. With the right perspective, the caregiving experience can be one of confidence, compassion, growth, and even joy.

From the summer of 2013 until the spring of 2016, I was the primary caregiver for my mom, diagnosed with the Alzheimer’s form of dementia. Most people don’t prepare to be a caregiver. Rather, it falls into your lap. We don’t necessarily plan to be a caregiver. If you’re new at caregiving, you simply don’t know what you don’t know. This book is written to fill that need from a practical, not technical, standpoint.

Why Author a Book About Dementia?

As a new caregiver, I didn’t realize the difficulties ahead. My goal was to make a list and check mark every box. Unfortunately, my checklist was missing lots of boxes. Despite my best efforts, I made many mistakes. My mean words, misunderstanding Mom’s behaviors, and impatience took an emotional toll on both of us. It took me too long to learn to adjust, relax, and go with her daily flow.

I have three loving sons who will care for me if I develop dementia. Initially, I planned to document what I learned to help them avoid my mistakes, be less stressed and more joyful. Over time, I noticed friends struggling to care for loved ones with dementia or who had friends who were struggling. Sharing my experiences seemed to help them. The more open I was about my mistakes and successes, the more encouraged they were.

Life Giving Dementia Care was written to help you be a more prepared caregiver and find encouragement for this challenging journey. It’s part how-to guide, part memoir, and fully transparent. Together we will cover how to recognize early signs, navigating diagnosis and medical care, moving through stages of the disease and required care, and finally handling estate settlement.

Chapters are designed to stand alone and be plucked out as needed. There is an executive summary closing each pointing out key steps to take. Most chapters include italicized sections. These are uniquely written from the dementia patient’s perspective, in their words, sharing what they may be, or will be, experiencing, helping you know how to react or help them. Sort of like being inside their head.

My goal for readers is simple: I want you to feel like you’re having coffee or lunch with a good friend who has been a caregiver, discussing your fears, questions, and emotions. I want you not to feel as lost or afraid.

I want you to see what Pooh and I see—the weeds, they are flowers, too, once you get to know them.

About the Author

Toni-KanzlerLife brings lots of challenges that might steal your joy. Being a caregiver is among the most difficult. The key to overcoming these challenges is having an optimistic perspective and positive attitude. Toni’s writing encourages you to look beyond the obvious, to see truth that lives in the ordinary…and extraordinary.

Toni wears several hats: wife, mother, friend, CPA, entrepreneur, private school administrator, non-profit volunteer and board member. But it was as a daughter that she had the privilege of being her mother’s caregiver during her years-long battle with dementia. Toni is passionate about helping others have greater confidence and experience joy in their caregiving journey.

Toni lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband, Dan. They are blessed that all three grown sons live in town. When she’s not writing, Toni likes to read, learn, watch movies and historical series, and listen to Disney, Broadway or Acapella music.

Connect with Toni Kanzler at:



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