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Author Shares Journey of Love and Despair as Caregiver for a Mother Ravaged Dementia

In Books, Education, Entertainment, Health, psychology, Senior Lifestyle, sociology, Uncategorized on May 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Elaine Pereira yearbookGREENE COUNTY, OH –  Author Elaine Pereira shared the seemingly never-ending journey of caring for her mother stricken with dementia in her newly-released book I Will Never Forget: A Daughter’s Story of Her Mother’s Arduous and Humorous Journey through Dementia (ISBN 978-1-4759-0690-5). The award-winning author will be visiting Xenia for two public events, June 6 and 7.

I Will Never Forget is a powerful true story of the author’s talented mother, Betty, and her poignant and humorous journey through dementia. As their mother-daughter relationship evolves, Elaine copes with her mom’s uncharacteristic verbal assaults and watches as her brilliant mind is slowly destroyed by dementia’s insatiable appetite for brain cells.

Elaine Pereira earned a BS in Occupational Therapy and an MA in Family and Consumer Resources from Wayne State University and worked as a school occupational therapist for more than 35 years before retiring in June 2010. In this moving account, Pereira shares warm and humorous incidents as well as tragic and overwhelming encounters from the death of her father, sister-in-law, brother and her mother’s journey through a new world after her familiar world fades from her memory.

“This is a true story which validates the incredible events that happened in my mother’s life,” says Pereira. “From writing nine checks to the same payee, on five consecutive days, and later on the Great Houdini Escape when she nearly froze to death, Mom’s journey through bewildering dementia is real.

Cover I Will Never Forget 1-15-13I Will Never Forget is educational and therapeutic but is a journal full of insights that will provide helpful assistance and tips to other caregivers of dementia patients. “I want newly-commissioned caregivers to learn from my unwitting mistakes, to realize that reasoning and logic are rarely helpful dialogue techniques with a dementia patient,” explains the author.

“That approach is confrontational and often creates agitation and a fear response in someone. Redirection, re-phrasing, waiting and patience are the most helpful response strategies to diffuse potentially hostile situations.”

During the year long writing process, Pereira was able to put the troubling incidents in her mother’s final years in perspective. “The little problems faded away and the core of her wonderful life surfaced for me. That is how I want to remember her, as she was in my eyes as a child.”

Pereira’s book was named a finalist in the Best New Non-Fiction category of the 2012 USA Book Award and was an honorable mention finalist in non-fiction in the 2012 Hollywood Book Festival and was bestowed a ‘Rising Star’ and ‘Editor’s Choice award by iUniverse. The book most recently won the aging category in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards.

At 7PM, Thursday June 6, Pereira will speak to the members of the Western Ohio Writers Association at  Blue Jacket Books, 30 S. Detroit St. in Xenia, Ohio, with an emphasis on how and why she wrote the memoir about her experience. The event is $5 per person, open to the public, and RSVP is requested by emailing the organization’s director, Gery L. Deer, wowainprint@gmail.com

The next evening, Friday June 7, beginning at 7PM, the author will be at Blue Jacket Books, 30 S. Detroit St. in Xenia, Ohio, to speak about the experiences so many people now have in caring for a parent or other loved one suffering the ravages of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. There is no charge for this event and seating is first come first served. For information call 937-376-3522. The author will be selling and signing books at both events.

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