Dementia is a cruel disease. The often slow descent into irreversible mental decline is horrific and traumatizing. Challenges abound at every stage, and not surprisingly, caregivers are at the forefront of the battle. To make matters worse, there’s no known cure for Alzheimer’s. For caregivers, hope often proves elusive. Fortunately, there are many books on the subject that can lend both support and direction. At DYA, we have begun a series of New York Senior Book Reviews to help guide our followers through the maze of what is out there. In today’s selection, caregivers who struggle can find solace and comfort from Deborah Keys’ ground-breaking book, Why Do You Think I Call You Mama? A Journey Through Dementia.
A Caregiver’s Descent Into Hell And Journey Back To Hope
Deborah’s mother moved in with her after undergoing two hip replacement surgeries. The book title is the result of intense interaction between Deborah and her mother.
Imagine a woman telling you that her daughter never visits her. These words would be particularly hurtful if you are this woman’s only daughter. Magnify that by the fact that you have quit your job to become her full-time caregiver. These words were like a stab in the heart to Deborah Keys. After that, a terrible and eye-opening experience followed.
When Deborah asked her mother to name the members of their family, she had an important revelation. Shockingly, her mother truly didn’t recognize her. After some prompting, her mother finally remembered that she had a daughter named Deborah. However, it took a while before the older woman finally understood why Deborah kept calling her Mama. Imagine that from the woman you relied on for physical sustenance and emotional support in your formative years. You know you were as central to her life as she was to yours, but now it’s all gone, vanished.
For her part, Deborah remembers her devastation the first time her mother didn’t recognize her. The book comprises careful journal entries Deborah kept while caring for her mother full-time. As a former junior high school teacher, Deborah credits her teaching experience for giving her the grace to endure the challenges of caregiving.
What Reviewers Think Of Why Do You Think I Call You Mama? A Journey Through Dementia
Understandably, the book has struck a chord with many. Her book is written with honesty, humor, and compassion. Amazon reviewers give the book 4.5 out of 5 stars. Each reviewer appreciates the raw honesty of emotions in Deborah’s journal entries. In particular, each negative emotion lays bare in its entirety: anger, resentment, and guilt. Deborah’s heart-breaking and uplifting book gives caregivers hope, even as it explores the ugliness of dementia.
David York Salutes Keys’ Courage In Why Do You Think I Call You Mama? A Journey Through Dementia
The pain of losing a loved one to dementia is often unrecognized by others. Although you may have your mother or father or loved one physically with you, you have lost them cognitively to a world you cannot enter. Your shared memories or even the memory of your existence at all is victim to the ravages of this disease. Caregivers need not navigate the challenges of dementia alone. David York can help.
If you need more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.
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