Kill Me First: The Dangerous Side of Alzheimer's

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9781467504287: Kill Me First: The Dangerous Side of Alzheimer's
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This is the moving true story of two women: a mother, falling into Alzheimer's disease, and her daughter, struggling to protect her from herself.

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From the Author:

Out of the top ten causes of death in the United States, Alzheimer's ranks sixth. Out of the top ten causes of death, Alzheimer's is the only one with no known cause, no cure and no treatment. By 2050, one in eight people will suffer from this brain-wasting disease. Currently, it's one in twenty.
No family can be too prepared for the onset of Alzheimer's. My family certainly was not.
The range of personality disorders that can accompany Alzheimer's disease is not fully understood as each person's brain fails in different ways, depending on which part of the brain is affected.
My mother became a paranoid, violent person. Although she had always been a willful, her drastic personality change stymied my family and me.
I had no choice. I had to pursue legal control over her life and that was a battle that was worth the fight, both in the cost and the time that it took to be successful.
At times I did think that I should just let her go out into the world even though I knew that she had been diagnosed as a danger to herself and to others. But those intuitive feelings I had, that she could disappear, would not stop rattling around in my brain, haunting me every waking moment.
My mother's irrational fears drove her to drastic measures. She would leave the protection of her assisted living facility and wait for a bus where there were no bus stops. She would call a taxi insisting that she be taken to an Amtrak station where she hoped to catch a train to where ever it may take her.
She injured my fragile father so seriously that he died five days later. She spent all of the money in her fifty-four thousand dollar checking account and was about to lose the money that was in her savings account as well.
She bought cheap, useless items that she hoarded. The filth and chaos that she created was immense.
When we moved her out of her assisted living facility, we filled our one-ton pick-up truck bed eight times in order to clean out her apartment.
In the end, when she died, she died in a peaceful, protected, clean environment where she was loved by her caregivers. She passed away on a sunny afternoon just two days away from her ninety-third birthday. She had been bathed, fed, loved and cared for.
My battle to win legal custody of her was worth it. It kept her from becoming homeless, losing all of her assets, and from being taken advantage of. My battles were sometimes daily as my mother did not want me to protect her. She wanted her independence more than anything, irrational as those desires were.
My experience with my Alzheimer's person was not an education that I particularly wanted or even expected. But with the help of my family, my legal support, my mother's medical support and care, and those angels who live amongst us and give so generously, my mother's quality of life was ensured.
My book, Kill Me First: The Dangerous Side of Alzheimer's, documents my experiences in creative care giving. We will all have an Alzheimer's person one day and no one can be too educated or too knowledgeable about this horrific disease.
Peace,
Karen Olivia Peck

From the Back Cover:

"Kill me first, Karen. Just kill me. I don't want to be one of those la-la land people. You make sure that I'm dead."

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