Jodi and Robyn, those amazing ladies from WOW, have done it again. They are stopping by with another incredible female author. I have the honor today to introduce you to Ms. Debra Stang!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In addition to her parents and two sister, Debra’s family includes four cats. The current crew includes a grouchy nine-year-old named Achilles; and orange tabby and alpha male named, appropriately enough, Alexander; and a black and white long-haired cat with attitude named Leroux. Then there’s the foster cat named Pumpkin. Of course, it all started with a three-month-old brown-and-gray tabby named Calypso who had strong feelings about most people. And not warm fuzzy feelings. Calypso even had the dubious honor of being banned by not one, but two vets.
When not caring for cats or writing, Debra spent many years as a social worker. She worked with AIDS patients, emergency room patients, and those with Alzheimer’s. Her final years as a social worker were spent with hospice patients. Although some would view that as a depressing job, Debra chose to view herself as a catalyst helping people make their final hopes and dreams come true. Sometimes it was making up with a family member after a decades long feud or leaving behind the stress of the office to reconnect with another aspect of their personality.
Debra took a clue from her patients and recently decided her writing–for years a part-time career–couldn’t wait any longer. Worried she would become one of those people who would one day say, “I wish I had…” she handed in her resignation and is now living her dream as a full time writer.
You can visit Debra at her website or blog
Is ItAlzheimer’s or Is It Dementia? Probably, It’s Both
By Debra L.Stang (author of HOSPICE TAILS)
Ispent four years of my social work career working in a facility for people withAlzheimer’s disease and related dementias. During that time, I ran into a lotof confusion about the condition. Many family members would say things to melike, “Mom doesn’t have Alzheimer’s; she just has a touch of dementia,” or “Daddoes not have dementia—the doctor said it was Alzheimer’s.”
Iunderstand that words like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are bone-chillingto many family members. If it’s easier for them to use one term or the other,that’s not a problem. But for people who are genuinely confused, this articleexplains why Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often used interchangeably.
First,let’s start with a quick definition. Dementia is a cluster of cognitivesymptoms including short and/or long term memory loss, impaired judgment anddecision making, difficulty understanding and completing simple tasks, andconfusion in time and space. In its later stages, it may also affect a person’sability to speak and understand speech.
Agreat many conditions can cause dementia. Some, such as medication sideeffects, depression, poor diet, or acute infections are reversible. Others,like Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and Pick’sdisease are not reversible or curable.
Alzheimer’sdisease is the most common cause of dementia symptoms, accounting for abouthalf of all diagnosed cases with dementia. It is a disorder which causesprotein deposits or neurofibrillary tangles and plaques to form in the brain,permanently and progressively destroying brain tissue. Alzheimer’s disease isnot curable, but there are certain medications that can slow its progression.
Oneof the reasons Alzheimer’s disease is such a hard diagnosis for patients andfamilies to swallow is that there is no definitive way to test for it. It canonly be confirmed through a brain biopsy which takes place after the patient hasdied. It is often called a “rule out” diagnosis, because once other testablecauses of dementia have been ruled out, Alzheimer’s disease is the most likelyculprit.
Alzheimer’sis a diagnosis no doctor likes to give, and it is certainly one that no patientor family member wants to hear. Early diagnosis is important, however, forseveral reasons. First, it gives the person with Alzheimer’s and his or herfamily time to put plans such as a medical and/or financial durable power ofattorney in place. Second, it gives the patient and family time to learn aboutAlzheimer’s and to try various treatments that might slow disease progression.Finally, understanding that the person with Alzheimer’s is truly ill, and notjust deliberately behaving in ways that are annoying, can help family membersrespond with caring and compassion.
Ifyou or a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, I am trulysorry. I know you are on a difficult path. Please know, however, that whileAlzheimer’s can steal memories, it cannot take away tiny pleasures like thesmell of a favorite meal cooking, the touch of a loved one’s hand, or the warmbelly of a sleepy puppy. True, these moments will be forgotten, but when theyoccur, they are precious and should be savored for the gifts that they are. Iwish you all the joy and peace in the world during this holiday season.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Hospice Tails shares the stories ofthose without voices. This books tells the stories of fourteen pets and the rolethey played when their loved one was ill or dying. The stories range from sadto touching to downright hysterical. There was King, who had the hospice nurses very nervous.Until they realized he was a lap dog in a pit bull’s body. Jasper and Jackie,Amazon parrots who put on a daily concert for their owner, even on the last dayof his life. As an Alzheimer’s patient’s world shrunk Washington, a goldenretriever, became the only “person” he recognized. This book is ideal for animal lovers as well asthose who are caretakers—either as a profession or for a loved one.See my review below.
I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.