BOOK GROUP QUESTIONS

Chapter 1 – No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

  • Why does the very first chapter bare this title? Why might a caregiver feel like their caregiving is being punished?
  • Describe a time in your life when the repeated paper cut illustration described how you felt. 

Chapter 2 – Finding Tami

  • In what ways might the “working marriage” described in this chapter provide a basis for what is to come?

Chapter 3 – Somethings Not Quite Right

  • Why would the first signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease be so difficult to see and identify?

Chapter 4 – Dealing with the Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

  • What would be the most difficult aspect of dealing with the first two years after the diagnosis?

Chapter 5 – This Tragic Disease called Alzheimer’s

  • Since there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, what would be your first thought if given this diagnosis for yourself? For your spouse? 
  • In what ways would your response to each be different?

Chapter 6 – Plans for Our Future

  • What do you think enabled Tami to cope with the diagnosis and not get completely discouraged?
  • Why would Tami not seek to find treatments for Alzheimer’s and pursue clinical trials?
  • What are the positive and negative aspects of using a “No Regrets” filter for making decisions?
  • What filter would you use in this situation?

Chapter 7 – I Can Do This

  • Why was Randy so focused on tracking Tami’s progression in the disease?
  • Would it make any difference to you if the life expectancy for your spouse or loved one was 25 years or longer?

Chapter 8 – Tough Times

  • How much would the possibility for publicly embarrassing situations with your spouse cause you to think twice before going out in public?
  • Would it be hard for you if your spouse were to not know who you are? 
  • Would there be a limit as to how much you would be able to do for your spouse if they were to become angry with you while you have been devoted to help them? 

Chapter 9 – Going to Court

  • Would it be difficult for you to testify about the incompetency of your spouse in order to get disability support?
  • What is the significance of the quote by Dr. Daniel Marson that Alzheimer’s Disease is disabling by the time it is diagnosed?

Chapter 10 - Intentionality

  • What does Randy mean by being intentional in facing this disease?
  • Do you believe that you can find love if you first act like you love even if you don’t emotionally feel like you love?
  • What would be the top three things on your bucket list if you were faced with Alzheimer’s?

Chapter 11 – The Nursing Home Dilemma

  • If your spouse had an aversion to nursing homes, how would you process a decision to put them into a memory care unit?
  • Do you think the Washington Post article “Promise You’ll Never Put Me in a Nursing Home” accurately captured the dilemma for Tami and others like her?

Chapter 12 – Reaching Out

  • Why do you think it was so important to Randy to extend a positive message regarding the power of love?
  • Do you think the benefits of taking someone with disabilities to public events is worth the potential of disrupting others at the event?

Chapter 13 – Committed to Date Night

  • If you had to make a choice between taking your spouse for outings in public (quality of life) and longer life (quantity of life), which would you choose?
  • Why do you think the actions of the Great Wolf Lodge meant so much to Randy and Tami?

Chapter 14 – What Helps and What Does Not Help

  • As your spouse’s caregiver, how would you handle situations where your spouse keeps repeating the same stories over and over in public?
  • As a caregiver, would you rather have 4 hours of “me” time alone or be invited over to a friend’s home with your AD spouse and two other couples?

Chapter 15 – Moments of Joy

  • Do you think the moments of joy listed in this chapter are sufficient moments to keep a caregiver going?

Chapter 16 – An Emotional Roller Coaster

  • One of the specific losses for early-onset caregivers is the loss of retirement and empty nest  plans in exchange for care-giving demands.  How would you deal with these disappointments?

Chapter 17 – Choices

  • Which of these decisions would be the hardest for you to make as a caregiver for your AD spouse?
  1. Taking the driving away.
  2. Getting a daily caregiver when your spouse doesn’t want one.
  3. Moving your spouse to a nursing home.
  4. Lying to your spouse in order to calm them down.

Chapter 18 – Anyone Home?

  • Do you think Randy provided sufficient evidence proving that Tami possessed cognitive ability to know what is going on around her?
  • For what reasons do you think Randy was concerned that he might find out that Tami might know more about what is going on around her which would generate “regrets” for him?

Chapter 19 – The Heartbreak of COVID-19

  • As the caregiver of your spouse, how would you balance the lock down induced decline due to isolation vs the perceived risk of COVID transmission to others if you were allowed visitation rights?
  • Considering the risks of a substantial decline to Tami as a result of the move to a new facility, would you have been more comfortable staying at the former memory care unit and waiting for COVID -conditions to improve?

Chapter 20 – Reflections on Our Alzheimer’s Journey

  • Do you feel that the “No Regrets” filter was successful in guiding the decisions and outcomes of those decisions?