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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


    Upcoming Events

    To see my Online Book Tour schedule (guest blogs, reviews, articles, radio and TV interviews, etc.) please visit my Virtual Book Tour page.

    If you'd like to receive a review copy of "Inside the Dementia Epidemic: A Daughter's Memoir," or to talk to me about speaking at your event, please contact me via email.   Thank you.  —Martha

    Upcoming Events

    Thursday, October 25, 2018
    9:00 am - 3:00 PM
    Keynote Speaker on dementia caregiving 
    UR Medicine Home Care
    19th Annual Caring for the Caregiver Conference
    Facebook Live interview
    Ferris Hills at West Lake
    1 Ferris Hills
    Canandaigua, NY
    To register, call 585-274-4276

    Past Events:

    Monday, Sept. 29, 2014

    2 - 4 pm
    Panel discussion on elder care needs, hosted by WRVO's
       "Take Care" radio show.
    I spoke along with culture change leaders 
       Dr. Bill Thomas and Prof. Karl Pillemer of Cornell.
    Recorded for broadcast on WRBO
       Nov. 30, 2014, 7 p.m. ET
    Tompkins County Public Library
    Ithaca, NY 
    Listen to the recording here

    Friday, May 23, 2014
    "Care Management Summit 2014: Achieving Excellence"
    Binghamton University Downtown Center
    Binghamton, NY
    Panel discussion: "Inside Experts and Trends"

    Monday, May 12, 2014
    Kendall at Ithaca caregiver support group
    Ithaca, NY
    Book Reading and Presentation on Alzheimer's Care as a "Long Hello"

    Thursday, November 7, 2013
    6:30-8:00 pm
    Tompkins County Office for the Aging
    Human Services Annex Building
    214 W. Martin Luther King Jr./State Street
    Ithaca, NY
    Presentation ("Person-Centered Dementia Care") and Book Reading

    Thursday, September 19, 2013
    5:00-6:00 pm
    Broome West Senior Center
    2801 Wayne Street
    Endicott, NY
    Presentation and Book Reading

    Tues., May 21, 2013
    12:00 - 2:00 pm
    Tompkins County Office for the Aging Annual Luncheon
    Clarion Hotel, Ithaca, NY
    Keynote Presentation

    Thurs., April 25, 2013
    5:00 p.m. 
    Clare Bridge Cottage
    Reading and discussion with family support group (private group)
    Ithaca, NY

    Sat., April 6, 2013
    10 am -12 pm
    Chemung County Office for the Aging Caregiver Conference
     Elmira-Corning Hilton Garden Inn
    35 Arnot Road, Horseheads, NY
    Keynote Presentation: "Seeing Alzheimer's Differently: How Dementia Caregiving Can Center on Life and Love, not Loss"
    Download the audience's evaluation of this presentation 

    Sat., Feb. 16, 2013
    3:00 p.m.
    Buffalo Street Books
    In DeWitt Mall, Between Cayuga and Tioga St.
    Ithaca, NY

    Mon., December 17, 2012
    7:00 p.m.
    Groton Public Library
    Groton, NY

    Tues., November 27, 2012
    6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
    Penn Yan Library
    Penn Yan, NY

    Tues., November 20, 2012
    7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
    Horseheads Public Library
    Horseheads, NY

    Sat., Nov. 17, 2012
    2:30 - 3:15 p.m.
    Your Home Public Library,
    Johnson City, NY
    Watch the FOX News video of the event (51 seconds)

    Wed., November 14, 2012
    Noon - 1 p.m.
    Watkins Glen Public Library
    Watkins Glen, NY
    "Books Sandwiched In" Series

    Tues., November 13, 2012
    7:00 p.m.
    Interlaken Library
    Interlaken, NY

    Sat., November 10, 2012
    2:00 p.m.
    Dundee Library
    Dundee, NY

    Sat., November 3, 2012
    9 am-12 pm 
    Cayuga County Office for the Aging 
    Sixth Annual Caregiver Conference
    Holiday Inn, Auburn, NY
    Keynote Presentation
    Read a newspaper article about the presentation


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