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"Memoir With a Purpose" Helps Caregivers and Aging Parents
'Losing Marmee' offers eye-popping "lessons learned" in the world of eldercare, as told by the daughter of an aging mother who spent nearly seven years in assisted living.
Martha E. Powers (author’s real name)
10905 Clara Barton Ct.
Fairfax, VA 22032
[Fairfax, VA – Feb 25, 2013] Nineteen million Americans are caring for someone over the age of 75, and author M. Elizabeth Sweeney was one of them -- yet she couldn't find a book about the eldercare issues she encountered with her mother. So she decided to write it.
"'Losing Marmee' is a memoir with a purpose: to give fellow caregivers a heads-up about the surprises that may be coming their way," states Sweeney. "No one ever told me that a person could 'graduate' from hospice, or that I might visit my mother one day and find her unable to speak."
Make no mistake, this is not another eldercare manual. Rather, it is a heads-up for people who are caring for someone (or expecting to) and who don't realize the myriad issues that can impact that person's quality of life -- or their own.
"Over the years, I learned to dread the early-morning phone calls that would send my blood pressure skyrocketing,"
Readers will find dozens of valuable "lessons learned" in 'Losing Marmee', woven throughout the true stories that pay tribute to her mother. A Marine in World War II, Marmee is every bit as indomitable and self-determined as her namesake in Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women'. Her bravery and sense of humor permeate the essays that make up this substantial volume.
The book begins with the shocking loss of Sweeney's father, and follows the ensuing several years of her mother's decline. Peppered with flashbacks to happier times, the pieces vary in length and tone, and are written in the relaxed, conversational style of a storyteller.
'Losing Marmee' is also a love story -- one that millions of boomer daughters will recognize. As she devotedly hauls dry cleaning, moist wipes, and "Exactly the Right Kleenex" to her mother's assisted living facility, Sweeney reveals a daughter's determination that her mother's last days will be as clean, safe, and happy as humanly possible.
The best books are those that both entertain and teach, and 'Losing Marmee' delivers that rare blend.
In the words of an Amazon reviewer, "I can almost feel this story as it unfolds. It convinces me that I know very little about what is ahead for me (and my siblings) when my parents reach the age where they need eldercare."
M. Elizabeth Sweeney is available for media interviews and can be reached by email at losingmarmee@