"You’re Not Doing It Right": Loving My Mother Through An Unpredictable Caregiving Journey | Publish Your Purpose

"You’re Not Doing It Right"

In “You’re Not Doing It Right,” Ellen Patnaude bravely opens the door to the haunting reality of Lewy body dementia (LBD) and unravels its profound impact on families. One of the most common types of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, LBD is marked by fluctuations in cognition, hallucinations, and motor symptoms. The journey begins with subtle warnings of small changes in her mother’s behavior that worry Patnaude’s father, but go unnoticed by the author and her sibling.

Through heartfelt storytelling, Patnaude recounts her challenges in addressing the disturbing shifts in her mother’s behavior and managing their long-standing, emotionally charged relationship. The pages unfold with raw honesty, detailing the struggles that ensue when a family is faced with a progressive, life-altering diagnosis. In contrast to the ‘long goodbye’ of Alzheimer’s disease, LBD plunges Patnaude and her family into a roller coaster ride from hell. Every emotion is laid bare, from the initial denial to the desperate attempts to help and connect with a loved one slipping away.

Patnaude offers invaluable insights and lessons learned in the throes of this heartbreaking journey. With unwavering candor, she reflects on what might have made a difference for herself and her family members and shares the resources that may help other struggling families. She acknowledges the commonality of denial and the universal resistance to accepting a devastating diagnosis, especially when glimpses of normalcy persist. The relentless challenges of caring for someone with any type of dementia often lead to heightened stress, exhaustion, and severe emotional strain on caregivers. In this exploration of love, loss, and resilience, Patnaude extends a compassionate hand to those grappling with similar circumstances, offering solace and understanding within the pages of this deeply moving narrative.

Ellen E. Patnaude

About Ellen E. Patnaude

In 2016, Ellen Patnaude and her family first observed memory and behavior changes in her mother, Charlotte, that eventually lead to a diagnosis of Lewy body dementia (LBD). Caring for Charlotte during her final months was a trying and isolating experience for Ellen and her family, and contributed to her to become an advocate for caregivers everywhere. 

Today Ellen is not only an Executive and Team Communication Coach who works with companies around the world, but also a certified Volunteer Community Educator with the Alzheimer’s Association of Michigan. A portion of the proceeds from every sale of this book will go towards several caregiver support organizations.

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What People Are Saying

What People Are Saying

It may sound like an unusual compliment for a business book, but this is a beautiful, insightful piece of work. I typically speed through the “stories” in business books to get to the meat of the point. But in this book the stories grabbed my attention and didn’t let go. Ellen bravely and powerfully shares lessons she learned the hard way. Then she tops it off with solid advice for improving your communication skills and ultimately, business and personal relationships. Be ready with your highlighter and pen to make this a well-worn resource.

—Mary Kutheis, Business Owner + Executive Coach

Everyone needs to read this book! After reading it, I realized how I constantly ‘assume’ things about people and situations, and often incorrectly, in my daily life. Whether it be business or personal, I have learned many valuable and practical ideas and suggestions about how to step back and take the time to see the other person’s perspective. The Introduction of the book hit me square in the face ‘Unmet expectations are almost always the result of assumptions.’

—Karen McBride, Business Owner

In 2022 a book about assumptions acts as a lighthouse to a better perspective on other people and their intentions. Ellen’s vulnerability and insight as the lighthouse keeper guides the reader to a better place. This book is a must read for anyone who works, plays, communicates, or lives with other people … which is you, you need to read this book.

—Eric Hultgren, Director of Brand Strategy + Social Media

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