Inside the Dementia Epidemic


Inside the Dementia Epidemic

by Marthat Stettinius

Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Daughter’s Memoir, a debut memoir by family caregiver Martha Stettinius, tells the compelling personal story of her long journey as a caregiver to her mother with dementia, while exploring the causes and potential treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Like many adult children of aging parents, Stettinius found herself suddenly filling the role of caregiver when her 72-year-old mother couldn’t balance her checkbook. The remote lakeside home where her mother had lived alone for twenty-five years overflowed with garbage and recyclables. Despite their difficult relationship, Stettinius, age 40 at the time, moved her mother to her family’s small home in Upstate New York. It was not long after that that Stettinius learned her first lesson as a reluctant member of the “sandwich generation”—she couldn’t be a superwoman. 

“Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Daughter’s Memoir” is the unflinching and hopeful story of Stettinius’s journey into caregiving, and offers an unprecedented look into the challenges of Alzheimer’s care. With the passion of a committed daughter and the fervor of a tireless reporter, Stettinius shares the lessons she’s learned over seven years of caregiving, at home and in a range of dementia care facilities—lessons not just about how she learned to negotiate the world of elder care, but about how caregiving can strengthen relationships. 

Martha Stettinius

“Few memoirs about dementia caregiving offer hope that the caregiving journey can be anything other than a crushing self-sacrifice,” Stettinius said. “Alzheimer’s disease is often described as a tragic wasting away and a long, painful good-bye. What I have experienced and felt with my mother is different, and I wanted to share our story.” 

“Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Daughter’s Memoir” is also a call to action for better dementia care, increased funding for dementia research, and more support for family caregivers. Alzheimer’s disease is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States for those aged 65 and older, but the only one in the top 10 without an effective means of prevention, treatment, or a cure. Over 15 million family caregivers in the United States provide 17.4 billion hours of unpaid care each year to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. 

In honor of World Alzheimer’s Month, through September 30th a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the USAgainstAlzheimer’s Network, a national advocacy organization and campaign dedicated to ending Alzheimer’s by 2020 and providing the general public, policy leaders and media with vital information about Alzheimer’s disease. 

Stettinius is an editor with a master’s in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. This is her first book.

 Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Daughter’s Memoir, published by Dundee-Lakemont Press, is available in hardcover ($29.95, ISBN 978-0-9849326-2-7), paperback ($17.95, ISBN: 978-0-9849326-0-3), or e-book ($9.99, ISBN 978-0-9849326-1-0), at most major online book retailers and by special order at bookstores. 

CONTACT: Martha Caregiver’s New Memoir Challenges Conventional Views of Dementia

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