One Family’s Alzheimer’s/Dementia Journey and the Lessons Learned Along the
Date Published: July 10, 2020
“I Love You Always” introduces you to Lottie Mae Polk Berry, am self-proclaimed badass who battles Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia for years, hoping to make it to age 90. Her daughter, LaBena, gives a detailed account of Lottie’s life from her teenage years, through diagnosis and beyond.
“I Love You Always” will have you on an emotional roller-coaster as Lottie’s wit and antics send you into hysterical laughter one moment and leave you silently sobbing the next. Calm, turbulence, and laughter are recurring themes throughout.
Her children struggle to see that she receives the best medical care while hoping, in spite of her condition, that she makes it to her 90th birthday. LaBena shares valuable caregiver tips she’s learned, in the form of “lessons” throughout the book as well as messages of faith in the form of beloved biblical passages. Believers and non-believers alike can benefit from reading this story.
I am no one special. I am simply the daughter of a mother who was diagnosed with dementia. I’d had the privilege of working with a hospice provider for several years prior to my mom’s diagnosis, and it was during that time that I learned about dementia.
Sitting in our team meetings, I would hear about disease progression, caregiver tips, etc., and I was afforded the opportunity to receive special training on the basics of dementia that prepared me to educate community members who were caring for loved ones with the disease. Once I began caring for my mom, however, everything I thought I knew went right out of the window. It’s one thing to learn about dementia, but it’s totally different when you live it.
This book holds my truth: the good, the bad, and the ugly. My prayer is that you will be able to learn from my experiences, that you will look for light in the darkness, and that you will see and take advantage of the beautiful moments that present themselves during the journey. More importantly, I pray that you hold on to faith. It is faith that sustained me when I felt I couldn’t go on for one more moment. God didn’t promise that we wouldn’t go through storms, but we can find comfort in knowing that He is right there with us through it all.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
Author’s note: All biblical quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.
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