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Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia

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Now a Finalist for the High Plains Book Awards 2015 "Best Woman Writer" http://ow.ly/Of7FM This is the story of a daughter's care of her aged parents, a father diagnosed with dementia related to Parkinson's disease, and a mother diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. It is a story written from the perspective of the caregiver. It documents the learning process of the caregive Now a Finalist for the High Plains Book Awards 2015 "Best Woman Writer" http://ow.ly/Of7FM This is the story of a daughter's care of her aged parents, a father diagnosed with dementia related to Parkinson's disease, and a mother diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. It is a story written from the perspective of the caregiver. It documents the learning process of the caregiver as she struggles to cope with the difficulties of caring for her parents and watching them change into people who are not the ones she remembers and who slowly drift away in mind and then body.


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Now a Finalist for the High Plains Book Awards 2015 "Best Woman Writer" http://ow.ly/Of7FM This is the story of a daughter's care of her aged parents, a father diagnosed with dementia related to Parkinson's disease, and a mother diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. It is a story written from the perspective of the caregiver. It documents the learning process of the caregive Now a Finalist for the High Plains Book Awards 2015 "Best Woman Writer" http://ow.ly/Of7FM This is the story of a daughter's care of her aged parents, a father diagnosed with dementia related to Parkinson's disease, and a mother diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. It is a story written from the perspective of the caregiver. It documents the learning process of the caregiver as she struggles to cope with the difficulties of caring for her parents and watching them change into people who are not the ones she remembers and who slowly drift away in mind and then body.

30 review for Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Honesty in the pages. Grateful for Vicki sharing her story and struggles so other caregivers know they aren’t alone. Each chapter ends with her Lessons Learned.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    It’s bad enough having one elderly parent with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Imagine how it feels when your mother is subsequently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and you wind up taking care of both of them. That was the situation for Vicki Tapia that inspired this book. Both parents wound up in nursing homes, but that did little to ease the burden for Tapia, who spent years dealing with the daily crises—falls, acting out, refusing to eat, medical emergencies, and the pain of her own par It’s bad enough having one elderly parent with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Imagine how it feels when your mother is subsequently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and you wind up taking care of both of them. That was the situation for Vicki Tapia that inspired this book. Both parents wound up in nursing homes, but that did little to ease the burden for Tapia, who spent years dealing with the daily crises—falls, acting out, refusing to eat, medical emergencies, and the pain of her own parents no longer knowing who she was. The parents she used to know and count on had disappeared, and her only sibling offered no help. Tapia really nails the nursing home culture I know all too well, and she shares all the ugly details of her parents’ illnesses. This is what it’s really like. Having lost my father recently after months in a nursing home and my husband several years ago to Alzheimer’s, I found reading this book brought back many painful memories. But it is well written, and each chapter offers valuable lessons learned and resources for others going through the same thing

  3. 5 out of 5

    Story Circle Book Reviews

    Concerns over my family's long history of Alzheimer's disease drew me to Vicki Tapia's memoir Somebody Stole My Iron. As I peer into the future, the potential battle with this brutal thief is one of my greatest fears because of the way it robs what I treasure most—health, relationship, and memories. I wanted to learn all I could about this potential adversary. As a nurse, I have studied the medical side but was interested in the human and emotional aspects of this battle. I found what I was look Concerns over my family's long history of Alzheimer's disease drew me to Vicki Tapia's memoir Somebody Stole My Iron. As I peer into the future, the potential battle with this brutal thief is one of my greatest fears because of the way it robs what I treasure most—health, relationship, and memories. I wanted to learn all I could about this potential adversary. As a nurse, I have studied the medical side but was interested in the human and emotional aspects of this battle. I found what I was looking for in this eye-opening book. Tapia takes the reader on her journey as she faces a two-headed thief. She walks alongside her parents as her father deteriorates into dementia and her mother into the emptiness and confusion of Alzheimer's: ...I no longer recognized the woman I once called 'Mom.' I watched helplessly as the disease silently took away more and more of my mother, and she slowly but surely disappeared; first her mind, then her body. Heartbreakingly, she inescapably and gradually slipped away, gathering herself in a dark place in the furthest corners of her mind, where no one else could venture. Somebody Stole My Iron is not a pleasant or light read, it's a gut-wrenching emotional journey into the thoughts, reflections, and emotions of a woman as she navigates the confusing world of providing physical, financial, and emotional needs of her parents when their health and mental functioning decline as their disease progresses. Tapia gives a glimpse of the agony of her emotional journey: "I have disconnected my heart from my brain this afternoon, as I mechanically sort through what is left of my mother's life." She writes from the perspective of the caregiver and loving family member, and tops off each chapter with a section on lessons learned, providing practical tips and wisdom for those facing a similar journey. She completes her book with information and resources handy for those facing such a journey. Thank you, Vicki Tapia. for taking the courageous step to give your readers a glimpse of what you have learned along a tough journey. by Cinda Brooks for Story Circle Book Reviews reviewing books by, for, and about women

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pam Sanchez

    Being in the middle of this journey right now, I cried and laughed my way through the book. I realized what I was doing right and what I still need to do to keep my mother safe as we navigate this together. I am very grateful to have my sister by my side every day. Vicki, that you for sharing such an intimate family memory.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Clare O'

    Helped me understand This book helped me understand dementia so much better. There were many parts i could relate to. I chose to read this book because I wanted to gain a deeper understanding and it certainly did that.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jean Lee

    As a daughter of two parents who also suffered with Alzheimer’s, I found many connecting points with Vicki Tapia’s book. She begins with the earliest suspicions about her parents’ mental clarity and struggles with the guilt of moving them from their life-long community to the town where she lives so she can be actively involved in their care. Through a series of subsequent moves for increased needs and security, Vicki feels as though she abandons them when she has to tend to her own life, family As a daughter of two parents who also suffered with Alzheimer’s, I found many connecting points with Vicki Tapia’s book. She begins with the earliest suspicions about her parents’ mental clarity and struggles with the guilt of moving them from their life-long community to the town where she lives so she can be actively involved in their care. Through a series of subsequent moves for increased needs and security, Vicki feels as though she abandons them when she has to tend to her own life, family, and career. After years of agonizing decline she is overwhelmed by peace and serenity after they pass. I related to all these events in Tapia’s tender account. Caregivers will learn much from Tapia as she leads them through the painfully honest account of her parents’ illness and her years of decision making for them. Yet she tells her story with grace as she strives throughout the years of their illness to maintain dignity for her parents. Five stars to Tapia. Thank you, Vicki, for sharing your intimate story in order to help others along the journey.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Russell

    This is a wonderful book for anyone who has had to deal with a parent or relative that struggles with dementia, or any kind of condition that affects their memory. Vicki Tapia does a wonderful job of sharing her experience with her mother's deteriorating memory with a sense of humor, but also with a genuine sense of confusion and anger when she becomes the target of her mother's confusion. This book also offers practical advice about how to go about negotiating some of the more difficult aspects This is a wonderful book for anyone who has had to deal with a parent or relative that struggles with dementia, or any kind of condition that affects their memory. Vicki Tapia does a wonderful job of sharing her experience with her mother's deteriorating memory with a sense of humor, but also with a genuine sense of confusion and anger when she becomes the target of her mother's confusion. This book also offers practical advice about how to go about negotiating some of the more difficult aspects of this experience. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who feels alone with this experience.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marianne Sciucco

    This inspiring memoir chronicles the author's journey as caregiver of two parents with dementia at the same time. It is a deeply personal, in-depth, intricate story, sure to bring an understanding of the demands and sacrifices related to this horrific disease - the uncertainty and confusion concerning decision-making for parents who must now be parented, the loss, grief, and sense of being all alone. The author's brave and honest sharing of her experiences will guide caregivers on their journeys This inspiring memoir chronicles the author's journey as caregiver of two parents with dementia at the same time. It is a deeply personal, in-depth, intricate story, sure to bring an understanding of the demands and sacrifices related to this horrific disease - the uncertainty and confusion concerning decision-making for parents who must now be parented, the loss, grief, and sense of being all alone. The author's brave and honest sharing of her experiences will guide caregivers on their journeys and offer insight to those who are unfamiliar with Alzheimer's and dementia.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Part memoir, part therapy session, part guidebook, SOMEBODY STOLE MY IRON is an unflinching look at Alzheimer's and dementia. Author Vicki Tapia was the primary caregiver for both her parents after her father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s related dementia and her mother with Alzheimer’s. Reflecting on the journey, she candidly shares the struggles and the missteps along the way, then stops to provide “lessons learned” for anyone else who may is headed down the same path. SOMEBODY STOLE MY IRON Part memoir, part therapy session, part guidebook, SOMEBODY STOLE MY IRON is an unflinching look at Alzheimer's and dementia. Author Vicki Tapia was the primary caregiver for both her parents after her father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s related dementia and her mother with Alzheimer’s. Reflecting on the journey, she candidly shares the struggles and the missteps along the way, then stops to provide “lessons learned” for anyone else who may is headed down the same path. SOMEBODY STOLE MY IRON offers a valuable perspective for caregivers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    This book opened my eyes about how Alzheimer’s and dementia can affect a family. It provides insights into the progression of the disease as well as providing advice on how to navigate through the stages. This book is a must read for families that have received this diagnosis.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    Thoughtful. The author´s parents are diagnosed with Alzheimer´s and dementia. First her father, then her mother. This is her journey with them down the road of dementia. She moved her father into a nursing facility because he was wheelchair bound and too much work for her mother at home. She noticed that her mother was slowly becoming forgetful, forgetful more than usual. Eventually, she moved both her parents into a nursing facility away from their hometown but only a few miles away from her. He Thoughtful. The author´s parents are diagnosed with Alzheimer´s and dementia. First her father, then her mother. This is her journey with them down the road of dementia. She moved her father into a nursing facility because he was wheelchair bound and too much work for her mother at home. She noticed that her mother was slowly becoming forgetful, forgetful more than usual. Eventually, she moved both her parents into a nursing facility away from their hometown but only a few miles away from her. Her father was placed into Alzheimer´s care while her mother had an apartment in the non-dementia area. After a while, it became noticeable that her mother needed more care and around-the-clock care. The author found another nursing facility where both her mother and father would have separate bedrooms (not apartments) next door to each other in the Alzheimer´s unit. Her mother´s health quickly deteriorated into severe Alzheimer´s. However, she was a fighter and wouldn´t die without a fight. Sadly, she passed away. Her father died one year and one day later. Although my mother never had dementia and my living father (aged 91 in a couple of months) doesn´t have dementia, this book was insightful and useful. At the end of most chapters were lessons learned and tips on elder care such as how to choose a nursing facility, living wills, when to stop medications, and hospice care.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Edna Wilkerson

    Guidelines for caretaking This book shows two people deteriorating mentally. It is an insightful tale lived with duty to others in mind and told with love, humor, compassion, and accuracy of detail. Like a visual painting suggests concepts or ideas, this books draws a roadmap through the morass of caring for the patient with dementia. It is suggestive not literal. Each patient with dementia is different. Because of the conflicting emotions generated in the required role reversals, nothing in life Guidelines for caretaking This book shows two people deteriorating mentally. It is an insightful tale lived with duty to others in mind and told with love, humor, compassion, and accuracy of detail. Like a visual painting suggests concepts or ideas, this books draws a roadmap through the morass of caring for the patient with dementia. It is suggestive not literal. Each patient with dementia is different. Because of the conflicting emotions generated in the required role reversals, nothing in life is harder to assimilate. It brings out the best and worst in both the caretaker and the person with dementia. The author grasped this as she lived through it and walked hand in hand with her parents following this long journey to its end. I bought the book because the title and the cover picture reminded me of my Mother and I was curious of the contents. I found Mothers iron in the refrigerator and walked and followed her through untold adventures for 15 years. This book helped me grieve. Remarkably, Mom died the same day of the authors Dad. I was blessed with the birth of a granddaughter on that day. The book is well done. it is easy to read book but emotionally stimulating. There are many helpful hints.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cheryle

    Written by the daughter of parents who both suffered some form of dementia. Her father had dementia and her mother Alzheimers. Vicki Tapia was the caregiver to both as they traveled this horrible disease as it progressed over 5 years. A Finalist for the High Plains Book Awards 2015 "Best Woman Writer" http://ow.ly/Of7FM This is the story of a daughter's care of her aged parents, a father diagnosed with dementia related to Parkinson's disease, and a mother diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. It is Written by the daughter of parents who both suffered some form of dementia. Her father had dementia and her mother Alzheimers. Vicki Tapia was the caregiver to both as they traveled this horrible disease as it progressed over 5 years. A Finalist for the High Plains Book Awards 2015 "Best Woman Writer" http://ow.ly/Of7FM This is the story of a daughter's care of her aged parents, a father diagnosed with dementia related to Parkinson's disease, and a mother diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. It is a story written from the perspective of the caregiver. It documents the learning process of the caregiver as she struggles to cope with the difficulties of caring for her parents and watching them change into people who are not the ones she remembers and who slowly drift away in mind and then body. Today the author is active in educating people about Alzheimers.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christie Scheer

    This book took me awhile to read, not because of the quality, but because of the content. It's a difficult read purely due to the subject matter. Vicki opens up her whole world, offering a glimpse of what her life was like witnessing the progression of dementia. She delves into several struggles including the lack of support from her brother, financial decisions related to her parents' care, and even into the heartbreaking decision to stop administering medications. Throughout the book she also This book took me awhile to read, not because of the quality, but because of the content. It's a difficult read purely due to the subject matter. Vicki opens up her whole world, offering a glimpse of what her life was like witnessing the progression of dementia. She delves into several struggles including the lack of support from her brother, financial decisions related to her parents' care, and even into the heartbreaking decision to stop administering medications. Throughout the book she also describes the lessons she learned from this experience in an effort to help encourage anyone caring for someone with dementia to adopt a new way of thinking about the situation. This book opened my eyes to the reality of dementia and the negative effects this disease has on not only the patient, but everyone around them as well.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jinyi Duan

    Great personal read. Short. To the point. Emotions were felt. Facts were stated. Dynamics were described. Processes were shown. Sympathetic. Real. For family members who have loved ones with dementia, Alzheimer, or anything pertaining to loss in memory - it's a great resource in navigating the waters. The author is personal and lists major lessons she's experienced on the road. For healthcare workers - it's a great way to understand exactly what difficulties beyond just the medical scope your pa Great personal read. Short. To the point. Emotions were felt. Facts were stated. Dynamics were described. Processes were shown. Sympathetic. Real. For family members who have loved ones with dementia, Alzheimer, or anything pertaining to loss in memory - it's a great resource in navigating the waters. The author is personal and lists major lessons she's experienced on the road. For healthcare workers - it's a great way to understand exactly what difficulties beyond just the medical scope your patients may be afflicted with. Maybe even enlightening in what more ways/resources you could provide for them - when they don't know what to ask for. For the general reader - eye opening to what these patients and families deal with.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lizzytish

    A daughter’s journey into the realities of dementia. She journals passages with helpful tips and lessons learned at the end of each chapter. A good read for anyone not familiar with how dementia can affect your loved one and affect the family dynamics. This fulfills the popsugar reading challenge for a book about a problem facing society today. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 5.5 million Americans 65 and older along with 200,000 people under the age of 65 with early onset Alz A daughter’s journey into the realities of dementia. She journals passages with helpful tips and lessons learned at the end of each chapter. A good read for anyone not familiar with how dementia can affect your loved one and affect the family dynamics. This fulfills the popsugar reading challenge for a book about a problem facing society today. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 5.5 million Americans 65 and older along with 200,000 people under the age of 65 with early onset Alzheimer’s. One in 10 people 65 or older has Alzheimer’s. 2/3 of Americans are women. Someone in the US develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds. It’s the top 10 cause of death in the US. And there is no cure.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    This book is by the same author who is coming to my book club to speak to I thought I would read it. I felt so sorry for the author because she had so much trouble accepting that her mother would never be herself again. I was sad that she didn’t have a sibling who was helpful. Her brother was in denial and so was mine. However I have sisters and two of them lived in the same town as my parents. They visited my parents every day. I flew to visit them every month or 6 weeks. I wanted to encourage This book is by the same author who is coming to my book club to speak to I thought I would read it. I felt so sorry for the author because she had so much trouble accepting that her mother would never be herself again. I was sad that she didn’t have a sibling who was helpful. Her brother was in denial and so was mine. However I have sisters and two of them lived in the same town as my parents. They visited my parents every day. I flew to visit them every month or 6 weeks. I wanted to encourage her to be at her mothers side more often. I have to admit my parents weren’t as grumpy as her mother.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ann Campanella

    I was deeply touched by the honesty and humility Vicki Tapia shows in her memoir Somebody Stole My Iron. The author cares for both of her parents who descend into dementia at the same time. Despite her mother's strong personality and her father's somewhat distant and oblivious nature, Vicki's consideration and care for her parents made me fall in love with this family. In addition to her moving story, the author provides tips at the end of chapters for others going through a similar life stage. I was deeply touched by the honesty and humility Vicki Tapia shows in her memoir Somebody Stole My Iron. The author cares for both of her parents who descend into dementia at the same time. Despite her mother's strong personality and her father's somewhat distant and oblivious nature, Vicki's consideration and care for her parents made me fall in love with this family. In addition to her moving story, the author provides tips at the end of chapters for others going through a similar life stage. This is a warm and wonderful memoir of caregiving!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Darlene Hopper

    Awesome book. I could place myself in it. My Mom had Lewy Body Dementia with Parkinson’s after having a stroke in Nov 2015. So, I took care of her and she passed at home in August 2017 at 74 after being on Hospice for three months, I’m now a Caregiver for my husband who at 56 was diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer’s. He is a combat vet with chronic PTSD to add to the mix. He’s 57 now, almost 58 in Nov. He’s doing better now but have had some big issues with him so baby steps is what I say.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    I am impressed with the detailed journaling the author must have done to produce this memoir. And if you think that if you've read one memoir about Alzheimer's, you've read them all, think again. This is the third I've read, and I learned a great deal new from this book. Not only that, but I rode alongside the author in her experiences with her parents, laughing and crying with her.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan Straley

    Informative Story The story of a woman wrestling to influence the care of both parents, at first from a distance and then in a facility closer to her home. Her story is inter-laced with tips she learned from each part of her experience. You will learn and be drawn into the comedy, mystery, and grief that is the life of a dementia caregiver.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Judy Cornish

    This is a wonderful book - a warmhearted and honest account of one family's navigation of the world of institutional and dementia care. Vicki's insights will guide you and help you arrange better care for your own loved one.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Sad frustrating story of getting old Started off with her Father needing care but was mostly about her father. Never gave a good closing to that act. Then again that probably would have been a repeat.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Debra Nord

    Beautiful Vicky takes us one the journey of overtaking parents. Anyone with older parents will benefit from her descriptions and helpful advice. Her journey is described with gratitude and grace that is beautiful and enlightening.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Such a sad disease. I always marvel at how families cope with this disease. Written from the daughter's perspective of how they handled first their father's decline, then their mother's decline as well.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Tapia chronicles the last few years of her parents lives as they lived with chronicle illness. Her father lived with Parkinson's Disease, her mother Alzheimer's Disease. Because Tapia's mother was more active and strong willed than her father, Tapia spends considerable more space detailing her mother's challenges. Tapia's mother presents fairly coherent language for a long time, even though her memory, mobility, and self-care all start falling apart. Tapia is eager to believe her mother's report Tapia chronicles the last few years of her parents lives as they lived with chronicle illness. Her father lived with Parkinson's Disease, her mother Alzheimer's Disease. Because Tapia's mother was more active and strong willed than her father, Tapia spends considerable more space detailing her mother's challenges. Tapia's mother presents fairly coherent language for a long time, even though her memory, mobility, and self-care all start falling apart. Tapia is eager to believe her mother's reports of poor treatment, only to observe first-hand that her mother is perceiving her surroundings through the distorted lens of dementia. It's very difficult to support a person with dementia. The disease affects not just memory but identity, language and relationships--in addition to mobility and basic bodily functions such as eating, drinking, and toileting. Tapia details increasing problems with all of these aspects of living. It's hard to know how to help. What's within the caregiver's control? What's within the afflicted person's control? What is the disease running its course? This answers to these questions are very unclear. Nevertheless, it's valuable to walk alongside a family caregiver. It's generous for Tapia to bring others with her as she struggles to support her parents, particularly her mother. All my best to everyone with dementia and their family caregivers.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tryn Rose

    Vicki has written a memoir, a how-to, and a deep look at her own journey through life. It's so much more than just a story, or just practical tips, or sharing feelings - the whole range of them - it's all of these, woven together seamlessly and beautifully. Vicki has lived through these challenging and inspiring times, and shares them now for the benefit of the reader. When you get this book, put a bookmark in every "Lessons Learned" section at the end of chapters, and you will be empowered to n Vicki has written a memoir, a how-to, and a deep look at her own journey through life. It's so much more than just a story, or just practical tips, or sharing feelings - the whole range of them - it's all of these, woven together seamlessly and beautifully. Vicki has lived through these challenging and inspiring times, and shares them now for the benefit of the reader. When you get this book, put a bookmark in every "Lessons Learned" section at the end of chapters, and you will be empowered to navigate this path through Alzheimer's. Two quotes I love: "I am humbled by what stress and helplessness can do to a person, on either side of the Alzheimer's fence." and "Guilt is real and probably unavoidable. If you treat your loved one the way you would want him or her to treat you, you are doing the best you can and who could ask more? When you are together, find joy in small things, such as a smile or holding hands. This time will not last forever." Thank you Vicki. Tryn Rose Seley, Author, "15 Minutes of Fame: One Photo Does Wonders To Bring You both Back to Solid Ground"

  28. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to everyone, especially people with elderly parents. It is a fast read book with lots of helpful information. This book is a must read. Thank you for writing it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brenda-Lee Ranta

  30. 5 out of 5

    susan tudor

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