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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
Betty Ward always made Christmas enchanted, merry and entertaining for her daughter, author, Elaine C. Pereira. Elaine was notorious for snooping under the tree, so Betty came up with a game; she would place clues on the name tag, hinting at what was inside. Then one year the author noticed that her mother had started to grumble and ramble. She also noticed that her mother had packed too much underwear and dirty clothing. It was obvious that her mother was struggling with things she had done easily for years. Betty Ward had dementia. “I Will Never Forget” was written by Betty Ward’s daughter. In this book she shares the struggles of watching her mother sink into the depths of dementia. The author honestly discusses discovering her mother’s illness and the slow onset of symptoms.
Losing a loved one is painful but watching a loved one slowly deteriorating into only a shadow of their former self is torture. Having had that experience myself I can empathize with the author. Elaine C. Pereira learned as I did that the best way to deal with any form of dementia is to keep a sense of humor and count your blessings daily. The author had no one to share the burden of caring for her mother with, except for the help of her husband and children. Caring for a person with dementia involves finances, medical treatments and housing arrangements. It is also to be remembered that the patient may be frightened for they know something has changed but they are not always sure what. There is also the matter of the patient not wanting to let go of control and fearing losing control. This is an excellent memoir that will be cherished by family members and one that offers hope to other caretakers.