After my mother's diagnosis, the doctors told us they would not release her back to her house. Due to the severity of her dementia, we had to find a skilled nursing facility. Again, we were still processing the idea that she was not getting better. A nursing home was the last thing we ever thought we'd do; however, given her rapid decline and urgency to find an appropriate place, we began our search. They all seemed the same. They all reassured us that we doing the right thing. I remember a book-shelf filled with copies of The 36-Hour Day. I thought it was odd, until the end when the admissions counselor handed me the book. She said she gave it to every prospective family. I remember thinking it was odd that they'd give away so many books. At the time, I was still trying to process the idea of actually having to put my mother in a nursing home; reading was the last thing I wanted to do. Little did I know that The 36-Hour day would be the foundation for our philosophy and approach to caring for our mother.
When I got home, I put it on the shelf. I was having difficulty coming to grips that my mother wasn't getting better. In all the months I'd been reading, researching, going from doctor to doctor trying to find a cure, it never once dawned on me that my mother may have had early-stage dementia. Neither of her parents had it, and because she was physically so much like my grandfather, I figured she would live to be 90, virtually disease-free. Dementia/Alzheimer's was the furthest thing from my mind. Reading the book was my first step at acceptance.
I'm not sure how long it took me to read the book, but I can honestly say I used every tip I learned from that book, even today. This book teaches you how to care for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's and how to love them in a way that is most beneficial to them.