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Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia
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Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Now a Finalist for the High Plains Book Awards 2015 "Best Woman Writer"

This is the story of a daughter's care of her aged parents, a father diagnosed with dementia related to Parkinson's disease, and a mother diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. It is a story written from the perspective of the caregiver. It documents the learning process of the caregive
Paperback, 344 pages
Published January 17th 2014 by Praeclarus Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: caregiving
Honesty in the pages. Grateful for Vicki sharing her story and struggles so other caregivers know they aren’t alone. Each chapter ends with her Lessons Learned.
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s bad enough having one elderly parent with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Imagine how it feels when your mother is subsequently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and you wind up taking care of both of them. That was the situation for Vicki Tapia that inspired this book. Both parents wound up in nursing homes, but that did little to ease the burden for Tapia, who spent years dealing with the daily crises—falls, acting out, refusing to eat, medical emergencies, and the pain of her own par ...more
Story Circle Book Reviews
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Concerns over my family's long history of Alzheimer's disease drew me to Vicki Tapia's memoir Somebody Stole My Iron. As I peer into the future, the potential battle with this brutal thief is one of my greatest fears because of the way it robs what I treasure most—health, relationship, and memories. I wanted to learn all I could about this potential adversary. As a nurse, I have studied the medical side but was interested in the human and emotional aspects of this battle. I found what I was look ...more
Pam Sanchez
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Being in the middle of this journey right now, I cried and laughed my way through the book. I realized what I was doing right and what I still need to do to keep my mother safe as we navigate this together. I am very grateful to have my sister by my side every day. Vicki, that you for sharing such an intimate family memory.
Clare O'
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, kindle
Helped me understand

This book helped me understand dementia so much better. There were many parts i could relate to. I chose to read this book because I wanted to gain a deeper understanding and it certainly did that.
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dementia, memoir
Tapia chronicles the last few years of her parents lives as they lived with chronicle illness. Her father lived with Parkinson's Disease, her mother Alzheimer's Disease.

Because Tapia's mother was more active and strong willed than her father, Tapia spends considerable more space detailing her mother's challenges. Tapia's mother presents fairly coherent language for a long time, even though her memory, mobility, and self-care all start falling apart. Tapia is eager to believe her mother's report
Jean Lee
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As a daughter of two parents who also suffered with Alzheimer’s, I found many connecting points with Vicki Tapia’s book.

She begins with the earliest suspicions about her parents’ mental clarity and struggles with the guilt of moving them from their life-long community to the town where she lives so she can be actively involved in their care. Through a series of subsequent moves for increased needs and security, Vicki feels as though she abandons them when she has to tend to her own life, family
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book for anyone who has had to deal with a parent or relative that struggles with dementia, or any kind of condition that affects their memory. Vicki Tapia does a wonderful job of sharing her experience with her mother's deteriorating memory with a sense of humor, but also with a genuine sense of confusion and anger when she becomes the target of her mother's confusion. This book also offers practical advice about how to go about negotiating some of the more difficult aspects ...more
Marianne Sciucco
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This inspiring memoir chronicles the author's journey as caregiver of two parents with dementia at the same time. It is a deeply personal, in-depth, intricate story, sure to bring an understanding of the demands and sacrifices related to this horrific disease - the uncertainty and confusion concerning decision-making for parents who must now be parented, the loss, grief, and sense of being all alone. The author's brave and honest sharing of her experiences will guide caregivers on their journeys ...more
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Part memoir, part therapy session, part guidebook, SOMEBODY STOLE MY IRON is an unflinching look at Alzheimer's and dementia. Author Vicki Tapia was the primary caregiver for both her parents after her father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s related dementia and her mother with Alzheimer’s. Reflecting on the journey, she candidly shares the struggles and the missteps along the way, then stops to provide “lessons learned” for anyone else who may is headed down the same path. SOMEBODY STOLE MY IRON ...more
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book opened my eyes about how Alzheimer’s and dementia can affect a family. It provides insights into the progression of the disease as well as providing advice on how to navigate through the stages. This book is a must read for families that have received this diagnosis.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it

The author´s parents are diagnosed with Alzheimer´s and dementia. First her father, then her mother. This is her journey with them down the road of dementia. She moved her father into a nursing facility because he was wheelchair bound and too much work for her mother at home. She noticed that her mother was slowly becoming forgetful, forgetful more than usual. Eventually, she moved both her parents into a nursing facility away from their hometown but only a few miles away from her. He
Edna Wilkerson
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Guidelines for caretaking

This book shows two people deteriorating mentally. It is an insightful tale lived with duty to others in mind and told with love, humor, compassion, and accuracy of detail. Like a visual painting suggests concepts or ideas, this books draws a roadmap through the morass of caring for the patient with dementia. It is suggestive not literal. Each patient with dementia is different. Because of the conflicting emotions generated in the required role reversals, nothing in life
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Written by the daughter of parents who both suffered some form of dementia. Her father had dementia and her mother Alzheimers. Vicki Tapia was the caregiver to both as they traveled this horrible disease as it progressed over 5 years.
A Finalist for the High Plains Book Awards 2015 "Best Woman Writer"

This is the story of a daughter's care of her aged parents, a father diagnosed with dementia related to Parkinson's disease, and a mother diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. It is
Christie Scheer
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book took me awhile to read, not because of the quality, but because of the content. It's a difficult read purely due to the subject matter. Vicki opens up her whole world, offering a glimpse of what her life was like witnessing the progression of dementia. She delves into several struggles including the lack of support from her brother, financial decisions related to her parents' care, and even into the heartbreaking decision to stop administering medications. Throughout the book she also ...more
Jinyi Duan
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great personal read. Short. To the point. Emotions were felt. Facts were stated. Dynamics were described. Processes were shown. Sympathetic. Real.

For family members who have loved ones with dementia, Alzheimer, or anything pertaining to loss in memory - it's a great resource in navigating the waters. The author is personal and lists major lessons she's experienced on the road.

For healthcare workers - it's a great way to understand exactly what difficulties beyond just the medical scope your pa
A daughter’s journey into the realities of dementia. She journals passages with helpful tips and lessons learned at the end of each chapter. A good read for anyone not familiar with how dementia can affect your loved one and affect the family dynamics.

This fulfills the popsugar reading challenge for a book about a problem facing society today. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 5.5 million Americans 65 and older along with 200,000 people under the age of 65 with early onset Alz
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is by the same author who is coming to my book club to speak to I thought I would read it.
I felt so sorry for the author because she had so much trouble accepting that her mother would never be herself again. I was sad that she didn’t have a sibling who was helpful. Her brother was in denial and so was mine. However I have sisters and two of them lived in the same town as my parents. They visited my parents every day. I flew to visit them every month or 6 weeks. I wanted to encourage
Ann Campanella
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I was deeply touched by the honesty and humility Vicki Tapia shows in her memoir Somebody Stole My Iron. The author cares for both of her parents who descend into dementia at the same time. Despite her mother's strong personality and her father's somewhat distant and oblivious nature, Vicki's consideration and care for her parents made me fall in love with this family. In addition to her moving story, the author provides tips at the end of chapters for others going through a similar life stage. ...more
Darlene Hopper
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book. I could place myself in it. My Mom had Lewy Body Dementia with Parkinson’s after having a stroke in Nov 2015. So, I took care of her and she passed at home in August 2017 at 74 after being on Hospice for three months, I’m now a Caregiver for my husband who at 56 was diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer’s. He is a combat vet with chronic PTSD to add to the mix. He’s 57 now, almost 58 in Nov. He’s doing better now but have had some big issues with him so baby steps is what I say.
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am impressed with the detailed journaling the author must have done to produce this memoir. And if you think that if you've read one memoir about Alzheimer's, you've read them all, think again. This is the third I've read, and I learned a great deal new from this book. Not only that, but I rode alongside the author in her experiences with her parents, laughing and crying with her. ...more
Susan Straley
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative Story

The story of a woman wrestling to influence the care of both parents, at first from a distance and then in a facility closer to her home.

Her story is inter-laced with tips she learned from each part of her experience. You will learn and be drawn into the comedy, mystery, and grief that is the life of a dementia caregiver.
Judy Cornish
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book - a warmhearted and honest account of one family's navigation of the world of institutional and dementia care. Vicki's insights will guide you and help you arrange better care for your own loved one. ...more
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sad frustrating story of getting old

Started off with her Father needing care but was mostly about her father. Never gave a good closing to that act. Then again that probably would have been a repeat.
Debra Nord
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Vicky takes us one the journey of overtaking parents. Anyone with older parents will benefit from her descriptions and helpful advice. Her journey is described with gratitude and grace that is beautiful and enlightening.
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a sad disease. I always marvel at how families cope with this disease. Written from the daughter's perspective of how they handled first their father's decline, then their mother's decline as well. ...more
Tryn Rose
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Vicki has written a memoir, a how-to, and a deep look at her own journey through life. It's so much more than just a story, or just practical tips, or sharing feelings - the whole range of them - it's all of these, woven together seamlessly and beautifully. Vicki has lived through these challenging and inspiring times, and shares them now for the benefit of the reader. When you get this book, put a bookmark in every "Lessons Learned" section at the end of chapters, and you will be empowered to n ...more
Jul 30, 2015 marked it as to-read
I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to everyone, especially people with elderly parents. It is a fast read book with lots of helpful information. This book is a must read. Thank you for writing it.
Brenda-Lee Ranta
rated it it was amazing
Aug 04, 2020
susan tudor
rated it it was amazing
Dec 15, 2015
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After teaching somewhere around 10,000 mother/baby pairs the art of breastfeeding, Vicki Tapia found her energies redirected to the other end of life, after both parents were diagnosed with dementia. A diary written to help her cope with caregiving morphed into the Amazon bestseller, “Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia,” published by Praeclarus Press. Vicki has spoken in various v ...more

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