Instructor puts her experience to work for others

A woman who cared for two parents with dementia and wrote a book about her experience will lead two free seminars in Seattle on Thursday.

Jacqueline Marcell, author of “Elder Rage,” will present “Laughter and Tears in the Caregiving Years” to help family members and professionals caring for people with memory problems.

The events will be at the Seattle Unity Church, 200 Eighth Ave. N. from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.

“Early diagnosis is the key,” Marcell said in a telephone interview. “You don’t go from normal to dementia overnight. It comes on very slowly.”

People tend to blame confusion and memory problems on getting older, she said. “It’s a denial factor. Nobody wants to go there.

“What I do in a seminar is teach people the importance of warning signs,” she said, such as the difference between simply misplacing keys and putting them in odd places, like the microwave.

Marcell also will discuss mood swings, behavior techniques for managing difficult seniors, financial aspects of caregiving and treatments to slow dementia.

Marcell said when she was taking care of two parents with dementia, she couldn’t get the help and advice she needed.

“A lot needs to be changed,” she said. “That’s why I’m on a mission.”

Alzheimer’s is a disease that is growing increasingly common as people age. By age 85, nearly one out of every two people will be affected by it.

Yet there are less than 7,000 geritricians, or doctors who specialize in the problems of aging, in the whole country, she said.

A dementia specialist can prescribe medications that can delay the progression of Alzheimer’s, she said.

For more information or to register, call Help Unlimited Homecare at 206-932-5170 or register online at

Reporter Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or

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