“What’s going to happen to Rodger?’ was the first thing most people asked upon hearing of my mother-in-law’s passing. Extremely introverted, unable to drive, and not in good health, he’d been dependent on her to care for everything it took to run a home for many years. Fortunately my husband and I had talked about taking in one of our parents when and if the time came. We had both the room and the desire to do it. We knew it would be hard at times, but were convinced we would make it work.
We didn’t know how sick he was, how hard it would be, or how long it would last. The first surprise for both my husband and I was learning that he was schizophrenic and had been since 1947. It certainly explained a lot about his odd behavior over the years, but until the medical records arrived, no one in the family had ever mentioned the 13 years he’s spent in mental hospitals from 1947 to 1960. In addition to being mentally ill he developed dementia, Parkinson’s disease, congestive heart failure and dysphagia.
I did what I could to educate myself about the various diseases and how to help him have the best possible life as long as possible. It was harder than I ever thought it could be. I called it creative problem solving on the run. All day, every day and night was a challenge. I doubted myself so many times. Why couldn’t I figure this out? Why couldn’t I make him understand I loved him and wanted the best for him?
I often heard caregivers ask the same questions, express the same frustrations, and cry for help. “Why doesn’t someone write a book that tells people what it’s really like to care for someone with dementia at home?” I decided to write that book.
Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver is the true story of one family coping with one of the most difficult, and fastest growing issues of our day. It’s raw and it’s real. I invite readers to cry, shout, despair and laugh with me as I did the best I could to save him from himself, while he did everything he could to convince everyone I was crazy and he could take of himself.
I had one patient for seven years, my father-in- law, and became fearless when taking doctors, nurses, and other health care providers to task to make sure he always got the care he needed.
After Rodger passed away, I decided to become a caregiver advocate and do all I can to support caregivers. I am now a caregiver support group leader, blogger and national speaker on issues dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Caregivers have thanked me for writing the book and expressing in vivid detail what it takes to be caregiver and the toll it takes on those who do it.
“Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver perfectly encapsulates the human experience, not just the caregivers. When we live in a world of worry, stress, and self-doubt, where do we go to find the strength to go on? Bobbi’s retelling of her caregiving years unfold in a beautiful answer to the questions posed by sickness, health, care, and loss.” Alexandra Axel, Media Director, The Caregiver Space.
About the Author
Bobbi Carducci as a national speaker on the subject of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, how it affects entire families and how to Prepare to Care – What Adults need to Know about Alzheimer’s/ Dementia Before and After It Strikes Home.
“Brutally honest and written from the heart, Carducci’s intimate chronicle of caring for her father-in-law is a poignant story of strength, compassion, and humor that will linger with you long after you read the last page. Highly recommended for anyone caring for an elderly parent.” Jan Neuharth, author of the Hunt Country Suspense novels