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"an excellent book depicting the impact of dementia on a young family"
(Bob Hoffman)
Losing Lou-Ann

Clinton A. Erb

Catalog Number 4012, 216 pages, Paper, $14.95


Losing Lou-Ann is an intensely personal and riveting account of the lingering death of the authorís wife of 30 years. Written in immediate, clear, and compelling language, it reveals the effect of early-onset dementia as his family tried to understand, cope with, and provide support for a dying young wife and mother.

On her 44th birthday Lou-Ann was an active, involved, sparking source of family energy. Yet not much later she began to show signs of unusual behavior that at first seemed relatively harmless, but quickly degenerated into patterns of increasingly extreme abnormality.

Thus began the authorís seven-year odyssey of love, caring, and daily support for Lou-Ann as she sunk ever more deeply into dementia induced by Pickís Disease. He describes the progress of her illness in careful detail and the effect that it was having on her family and friends. He watched as a once-vibrant woman was reduced to a near-vegetative state as her condition inexorably worsened. He felt support and social contacts drift away just when his need for them grew most pronounced. And he watched his family begin to buckle under pressures that simply would not go away.

Losing Lou-Ann is a powerful book. The personal immediacy of the narrative quickly propels its message into the universal and touches us all. As we are drawn into Clintonís struggle to care for his dying wife, we begin to feel his helplessness, frustration, and anguish and we understand a little better what it means to watch someone we love die and how the power of love can transcend even this.

Clinton Erb is a professor in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont and is editor/publisher of the New England Mathematics Journal. He has been on the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer's Association and has spoken to a number of groups about dementia and its effect on immediate family members.


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