Connect with us


Going Deep with Bestselling Author Tracey S. Lawrence about her Groundbreaking Book Dementia Sucks: A Caregiver’s Journey – With Lessons Learned




Tracey S. Lawrence’s breakout novel Dementia Sucks: A Caregiver’s Journey – With Lessons Learned recently topped the Bestseller list on Amazon and rightfully so because it is a powerful read – and one of our favorite books of the season. Lawrence shares her very personal story in which she was the primary caregiver to two parents who succumbed to dementia, as well as to her husband, a cancer survivor. Her book is heartfelt, deep, and chronicles the challenges, realizations and solutions that go hand in hand with this kind of experience, but it is also at times a humorous read because Lawrence finds the positive in the situation adding her own laughter fueled twists and turns. Lawrence also used this experience as a way to help others having launched Grand Family Planning in 2014, because she wanted to help the millions of other people in the world going through the same crisis. We were thrilled to sit down with this powerhouse to learn more about her and her work.

‘Dementia Sucks: A Caregiver’s Journey’ is a compelling and heartfelt read, which at times can be pretty amusing. Can you tell us what inspired you to share such a personal journey with the world?

While I was going through the actual events, it was pretty intense. My first line of defense in turbulent times has always been writing. I find it very cathartic. And my family has a culture of finding the humor in life’s absurdities. I’m also a teacher, and I know people learn from the experiences of others when the material is presented in a non-threatening, relatable way. I am driven to educate people about the dangers of caregiving, particularly those who care for loved ones with dementia. Most people don’t know that 50% of family dementia caregivers die before the people they care for (and the number is even higher for spouses). I want to save lives and prevent needless tragedies for these families.

You clearly learned a lot while helping your mother on her journey. Did this factor into your launching Grand Family Planning in 2014?

Most certainly. My mother was hospitalized twice for different issues the summer of 2014. I was working as a financial advisor at the time and had to take family leave in order to be with her during her hospitalizations, therapies and treatments. She needed me to advocate for her and manage her care. As the end of my family leave term was ending, my team and I decided to put my mother on hospice, and I left my job. Once she was stable, I had time to think about all I had been through, all I had learned and how I could leverage all of the knowledge I had acquired to help others. That’s when Grand Family Planning LLC was born.

What if anything did you learn about yourself while writing Dementia Sucks?

I learned that I am capable of just about anything if the cause is just. I’m proud that I was able to take an insanely trying situation and turn it into tools that help people to navigate, cope and survive.

Also, I have to ask what was the hardest part to write? And conversely, the most fun part to put down on paper?

“Farewell to Florida” was a very tough chapter. The events described literally led to a case of post-traumatic stress disorder that took two years to emerge and another six months to address (which I described in a subsequent chapter, “Delayed Reaction”). And I had to seriously consider what to include and omit, as it reflected on living family members. I’m sorry for any pain caused, but I felt strongly that family dynamics needed to be portrayed honestly. “Paste on a Happy Face” was a fun chapter, because I had found what I thought would be a great situation for my mother after a long, stressful phase where she was violent and difficult to place. She was still very lucid and enjoying a period where she was behaving like a flirty teenager, and had a willing playmate to return her affections. I had hoped that phase would last longer, but unfortunately, dementia truly does suck.

I hear you have another book in the works, which is really great news. Can you tell us a bit about it or is it top secret?

I do have another book in progress, and it is another non-fiction personal account. It’s about the alcoholics in my life and the working title is “Drunks Suck.” It’s got a way to go. I do feel the need to focus on getting the word out about “Dementia Sucks”, because the message is urgently important and I am determined to get it into the hands of those who can benefit most from reading it.

To get more information on Dementia Sucks: A Caregiver’s Journey – With Lessons Learned head on over to Amazon.


Richard is a Post-Graduate in Mass Communication who is acquainted with the dos and don’ts of ethical journalism and news writing techniques. He is also a contributor to the World news section at USA Reformer.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *