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      Inside the Dementia
     Epidemic: A Daughter's

      On Wall Street Journal best seller
      list (May 1, 2015)


    of's 2014 Top Alzheimer's Books for Caregivers

    Winner of the Memoir category of the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

    Winner of a Silver Medal in the Health/Medical category of the 2013 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards (and finalist in the Memoir category)

    Finalist, 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Award for Excellence in Publishing

    Winner of an Honorable Mention in the Life Stories category of the 20th Annual Writer’s Digest Book Awards 

    Finalist, 2013 Indie Excellence Book Awards

    Finalist, 2013 Santa Fe Writer's Project Literary Awards Program, Non-fiction category





    Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Daughter's Memoir shares the lessons I learned over 8 years of caregiving at home and in a range of dementia care facilities. I describe not only what I learned about navigating the system, but how I learned to see Alzheimer's disease differently—not as a "long good-bye," as it's often called, but as a "long hello." Through caregiving, my challenging relationship with my mother was transformed, and I learned to enjoy and nurture her spirit through the last stages of dementia.

    Appendixes share facts about dementia that I wish I had known years ago, such as how to get a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease; what medications are approved to lessen the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease; lesser-known risk factors for dementia; and possible antidotes. I include my favorite resources for caregivers, my source notes, and an index.

    Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Daughter's Memoir is available in paperback and hardcover, as an e-book for Apple devices, the Nook, and Kindle, and on Kobo.

    Reviews and Testimonials

    Order the Book



    The photo at the very top of this page is of my mother, Judy, in 2010, smiling up at Suzanne, a massage therapist I hired who specializes in bodywork for elders.  Suzanne massaged her hands, arms, upper back and legs, talked to her, and played music for her.  [photo by Jason Kates van Staveren]

    Right: My mother at her 75th birthday party in 2007, three years after she could no longer live alone. A few days after this picture was taken she fell, fractured her pelvis and needed more care than her assisted living facility could provide. I had to quickly research alternatives.

    In 1996, Judy and her grandson, Andrew, age 1, on the shale beach outside the cottage on the lake in Upstate New York where she lived by herself for 25 years. It's his first visit, and she's showing him the "big lake water" and how to draw on the flat rocks with pencil-shaped pieces of shale. Her worrisome behavior starts around this time, but as her daughter I don't realize what is going on until much, much later.

    Above: My mother, age 74, and I at the cottage in 2006 with her old miniature Schnauzer, Trinka. I can see the stress of those early caregiving years in my face and in my extra weight. Little did I know how much I would learn over the coming years.








    Above: Judy, age 79, and me in early 2012 at the nursing home Judy moved into in 2010. Mom lived with advanced Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia until she passed away in late 2012, but until the end she often shared her lovely smile. 


    Join the fight to stop Alzheimer's by 2020:



    For caregiver support and resources, visit the Caregiver Action Network. (Membership is free if you are a current family caregiver):


        The Purple Angel--a symbol of hope and dementia awareness

      Inside Dementia

       Welcome to my blog about dementia
       caregiving as a "long hello," not a
      "long good-bye" —how we can become
      "care partners" with our family members
       or friends who are living with dementia, and how we can care for ourselves. Living with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia is a long, hard road, full of grief, anger and despair, but life continues after a diagnosis, and so can moments of joy.

    Read more about my book, "Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Daughter's Memoir," or order the book.

    To sign up for an RSS feed or emails of this blog, scroll down and look to the right.

                                      —Martha Stettinius 

    Entries in Alzheimer's research (2)


    17 New Alzheimer's Drugs in the Pipeline!

    My mother, Judy, and me in her nursing home. Perhaps one of these 17 Alzheimer's drugs in trial now will help prevent or treat future cases of Alzheimer's diseaseGreat news! Today ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer’s published an exciting new report that concludes that 17 drugs in current phase-3 clinical trials may launch in the next 5 years. This unprecedented advance in Alzheimer’s research follows more than a decade of negative drug trials and poor funding for Alzheimer's research, and it certainly provides much-needed hope for people living with Alzheimer's disease, their care partners, and those at risk of developing the disease.

    UsAgainstAlzheimer's co-founder George Vradenburg notes that "our mission is to stop Alzheimer's by 2020. Our work has focused on disrupting business as usual by increasing research resources, speeding drug development, and assuring access of innovative medicines to those with or at risk of the disease. Should drugs in late-stage development prove successful, insurers and physicians will need to step up their game."

    To learn more, visit UsAgainstAlzheimer's. 


    The 24-Hour USAgainstAlzheimer's Tongue Twister Challenge!

    You've seen the "ice bucket" challenge that raised tons of money for ALS research, right? Well, USAgainstAlzheimer's, a national advocacy group for people with Alzheimer's disease and their care partners, has launched their own ice-bucket-type challenge:  

    The #Alztonguetwister Challenge!

    In the next 24 hours, record yourself saying

    "Six stick shifts stuck shut" – six times, as fast as you can.

    If you'd prefer not to get your tongue tied, you can donate $20 or more to help USAgainstAlzheimer's in our mission to end this disease by 2020.

    Click this link to watch George and Trish Vradenburg, co-founders of USAgainstAlzheimer's, attempt the #alztonguetwister challenge. Then post your own video in the next 24 hours and nominate three friends – or donate to USAgainstAlzheimer's.

    What do you say: Tongue twister? Or can you give now to help USAgainstAlzheimer's save lives by stopping this disease as quickly as we can?