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Dementia Home Care: How to Prepare Before, During, and After Spiral-Bound | April 13, 2021

Tracy Cram Perkins

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Dementia caregivers cope with repetitive questions, mood swings, lost personal space, and live with exhaustion, frustration, and anger. You may not know how to prepare.


Dementia Home Care covers:

  • Life hacks like camouflaging doors to prevent wandering, or “mom” bags for life’s little emergencies and what to stock in it for road trips
  • Distraction Techniques—Nursery Rhymes, warm blankets, food
  • Hoarding—Thinning “collections” during sleep periods, removing trash completely from premises, canceling subscriptions, blocking shopping channels
  • Information needed by emergency medical personnel—what is needed on a medication list, and list of physical ailments
  • Working with your Pharmacist—drug interaction checks
  • Memory Aids—memory boards, memory books, flash cards
  • Powers of Attorney—Power of Attorney Health Care, Durable Power of Attorney
  • Death—Contacting the Credit Bureaus to add a Death Watch when a family member dies, reporting a death to Social Security, obtaining death certificates
  • Distinguishing the difference between a hallucination and delusion
  • Address the empty nester experience after the loss of a loved one—to a nursing facility or to death


These are a few of the skills and tips covered in Dementia Home Care. While these tools will not stop dementia, they may ease your pain—and these skills can be taught to anyone.  Whether you read from cover to cover or are a page-fanner, Dementia Home Care will help you maintain your humor and your emotional connection with your loved one longer.


The purpose of Dementia Home Care is to help you look back with pride and joy.


The target audience is women between the ages of 42 and 65. They represent the majority of unpaid care givers for loved ones with dementia. 


Dementia Home Care: How to Prepare Before, During and After will examine taking on the role of care giver and help them make informed decisions about in-home care giving. It will give examples of how to create a safe living space, how to use distraction techniques, and suggest available resources for the care giver. It will emphasize the role of care giver respite and participating in dementia community support to relieve the daily stress of dementia care.


Home care giver, Tracy Cram Perkins, will use anecdotes drawn from twelve years of experience. Demetia Home Care will cover aggressive behavior, coping strategies, memory aids, communication aids, and support services. There is a space at the end of each chapter for the reader to record special or humorous moments with their loved ones. And it will address the empty nester experience after the loss of a loved one—to a nursing facility or to death—rarely covered in other books of this genre.


This life-lesson of care giving is not meant to destroy us but meant to remind us to take care of ourselves, forgive ourselves, accept ourselves. To know other people trudge up this same hill with us every day. To pay forward kindness in some measure. To know laughter has not abandoned us.  


At the end, to know some measure of joy.

Publisher: Consortium Book Sales & Distribution
Original Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 380 pages
ISBN-10: 1941887120
Item Weight: 2.7 lbs
Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.44 x 11.0 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars Up to 30 ratings

"A comprehensive manual focuses on providing care for an aging relative.

Perkins offers a wide-ranging and detailed guide to caring for aging loved ones, particularly as they develop dementia,

Alzheimer’s disease, or other cognitive limitations. Based on both her own years of being a caretaker for aging relatives
and research into the topic, the author describes many aspects of elder care, from making the home a safe place for a
person with diminished cognition to handling the emotional challenges of memory loss. The book also addresses the
impact of caregiving on the caregiver, beginning with a reminder of the therapeutic benefits of laughter (“It will lower your
tension, your blood pressure, loosen your muscles, boost your immune system, and release those wonderful endorphins
which are natural pain killers and mood enhancers—for free, no prescription necessary”). With checklists and templates,
the book guides readers through such practical matters as establishing medical and financial power of attorney,
maintaining a medication list, preparing for emergencies and respite care, and evaluating nursing homes. Perkins
encourages readers to help their loved ones maintain their dignity even when they seem unaware of their circumstances,
with advice on assisting with personal care and providing ways for those with diminished speech skills to communicate
their needs. Although there are frequent doses of humor, the author’s tone is never glib, and she treats the needs of both
patients and caregivers with sensitivity. The manual explores difficult topics, like end-of-life planning and the high cost of
residential care, in thoughtful ways while presenting all the necessary information. Other subjects, such as determining
when an elder is no longer capable of driving, managing meltdowns and other behavioral issues, and feeding, are also
covered in depth. The guide is of use to those who are caring for an aging relative at home as well as those who are
overseeing a loved one’s treatment in a nursing home. The layout and organization of the manual make it a convenient
reference book as well as a work that readers can peruse cover-to-cover. The volume is solidly written and informative,
based on concrete data and real-world experiences, making it a useful resource for those dealing with the needs of aging

family or friends.

A valuable, sympathetic guide to the highs and lows of elder care."

~ Kirkus Reviews

Dementia Home Care: How to Prepare Before, During, and After, by Tracy Cram Perkins, offers the lived experience of a caregiver, sharing the experiences that impressed upon her the enormity of the physical, emotional, and psychological task she undertook.

These same experiences made Perkins aware of the dearth of practical resources for the novice embarking on this journey. She hopes to fill that gap with this comprehensive, “user-friendly” guide that goes well beyond the limits of a self-help book, impersonal how-to manual, or clinical tome. From Dementia Home Care, readers will gain new insights into human behavior and how to become an effective caregiver without sacrificing their own well-being.

Perkins’ written voice captivates from the beginning. Her first-person accounts of caring for afflicted loved ones are both relatable and authentic. The reader will find themself laughing aloud, or filled with dread, as the author recounts actual experiences that are otherwise hard to imagine happening to oneself.

Perkins’ book explores issues that can stymie the well-meaning, ill-equipped caregiver.

Unexpected situations and/or inexplicable behaviors tend to push one to react first and reflect later. Dementia Home Care not only reveals the sublimated emotional reactions which can skew a caregiver’s perception–and reactions–but also reaffirms the uniquely human qualities of caregiving that often go untapped and unrecognized.

This amazingly comprehensive book seems to address all questions a reader might have.

It contains sections from the commitment of a caregiver and the realities of hands-on challenges, to what happens when the loved one dies, and everything in between.

Perkins includes chapters dealing with legal nuts and bolts, as well as details that one might not have thought about. From emergency preparedness to closing social media ac-counts to dealing with social security, creditors, and the tax man. She even discusses one's own emotional functioning after their caregiver role has ended.

~ Chanticleer Book Reviews

"A truly practical book. From my experience,Dementia Home Care is incredibly thoughtful and very well done." 

~ BarryPetersen, CBS News Correspondent, author of bestselling Jan's Story

Tracy Cram Perkins's twelve plus years of experience care giving for two parents with dementia provided the nucleus of Dementia Home Care.

This guide grew from the questions presented by family members and friends overwhelmed by the caregiving challenges with their family member(s) or friends and the frustration of not being able to find the care giver hands-on answers in one book.

Tracy and her husband reside on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula.