WLM Spotlight Sunday – Jill Stoking


Victoria Twead: Good morning, We Love Memoirs!

Today we welcome Jill Stoking into the WLM Sunday Spotlight! She’s the author of Joan’s Descent into Alzheimer’s, a very frank memoir about her mum which you will find here: http://smarturl.it/AmazonAlzheimers Jill won’t be here until a bit later, but she’s happy to answer any of our questions then.


Valerie Robson:  Hi Jill – am just logging on early as I am limited by my little phone… If I don’t do this I cannot follow the link and then I get to feel left out! As it is I can only see the last two comments but hey I get to see what is happening, and I like it lots… see your interrogation soon, I hope! Good luck… xxx

Frankie Knight:  Morning Jill! If your butterflies are anything like mine I wonder how we let Victoria talk us into this??? Good luck! I haven’t yet read your book as think it may be bit too raw for me as my Father had same illness. I hated him but felt at the time he got what he deserved – now I know different!

Becky Corwin-Adams:  Good morning Jill! Your book sounds interesting. My MIL was diagnosed a couple of years ago.

Woofie Wotsit:  Jill, how hard was it to write this? My sister and I went through our Mother’s demise a decade ago and it was very hard… much much harder for my sister, who had the lion’s share of coping with it, as she was living near my Mum ( I lived in another state, which as to be the remotest in Australia), but I did get some first hand experience of what my sister had to cope with.

Janet Hughes:  Jill, lovely to see you in the flesh, as so to speak I’m in the UK so I won’t be able to follow your thread Have a great day Brad will bring you your Brunch on the deck

Victoria Twead:  Jill, I really admire the way you wrote your story without sentimentality, although I found the book very touching. How did the rest of your family react to the fact that you were writing it?

Kate Pill:  Hi Jill. I look forward to reading this thread and reading your book. My mum has dementia and is not in a good way.

Pete Sortwell:  Hi Jill, I hope you’re well. Good luck today. I won’t be able much as I’ve got to make up for all the work I didn’t do last week

Jill Stoking:  I’ve arrived! Even these posts show that dementia, whatever the cause, touches so many lives in one way or another. I like to think my book isn’t too much of a downer, I’m not an overly sentimental person and have tried to inject my brand of humour into it – a little on the dark side maybe.

–Becky Corwin Adams who is MIL? The word “my” implies someone close.

–Kate Pill is there a good dementia?

–Woofie Wotsit The lion’s share of caring for someone with dementia nearly always falls to one person. It’s a difficult illness to share around, because of the sufferer’s inability to adapt to different circumstances and however much or little members of the family do to help, everyone still ends up feeling guilty.

Charlotte Smith:  Hi Jill. I’m looking forward to reading your book My father-in-law has Alzheimer’s and while I feel sorry for him, my heart bleeds for my mother-in-law who copes so admirably but must feel so lonely most of the time Well done for writing a book about such a sensitive subject.

Jill Stoking:  Thanks Charlotte Smith I’m not at all sure I dealt with it or wrote about it very sensitively, I’m a bit of a “warts and all” person and there was so much other stuff going on in my life at the same time, but yes looking after someone with Alzheimer’s can be an isolating role. Does your mother-in-law get any respite or outside care?

Charlotte Smith:  She has an occasional carer to look after him but most of the time she copes alone. She never grumbles though bless her

Jill Stoking:  To answer your question Victoria Twead. Initially my family weren’t too happy about it, nothing to do with Mum’s Alzheimer’s, but all the other stuff that was going on at the same time. My son insisted that all names had to be changed and I have complied. My brother hasn’t read it yet, he says he’s going to now it’s been published – I await the fallout!!

— I guess it depends how the Alzheimer’s has affected your father-in-law thus far Charlotte Smith. I’ve a friend whose husband has it, he does attend a memory clinic once a week, which gives her a morning’s break, apart from that she just kinda lets him do his own thing, and is incredibly laid-back about it all. She even lets him drive locally still and put him on the train in Kent last week to go over to France to see his sister! Haven’t heard if he arrived or not!! He’s went on this drug that holds the dementia at bay for a while when he was first diagnosed 7 years ago and for him it seems to have worked well, but everyone is different.

–Are you in Spain Charlotte Smith? What is the healthcare like over there? I’ve heard it’s pretty good, compared with the uk.

Charlotte Smith:  I think it’s great to let Alzheimers sufferers lead as normal a life as possible but my father-in-law is happiest in his own home now. If he goes out he spends all the time asking when he’s going home

Jill Stoking:  As for being a hard book to write Woofie Wotsit. I didn’t think so at the time, it was done in dribs and drabs since Mum died 10 years ago. I started with her death, which didn’t happen quite as I’d planned, which makes me sound like a serial killer. Initially that was written as a Writer’s Group exercise. The group was run by our own Henry Butterfield but held in my flat because it was the only room big enough.

Charlotte Smith:  Yes I’m in Spain Jill but have only been here 2 months and happily haven’t had to check out health care yet

Jill Stoking: There is no doubt Charlotte Smith that for anyone with dementia their world gets smaller as it develops. I made the mistake of taking my mother away for a short break in the early days – disaster! Never again.

Charlotte Smith:  Devastating disease for all involved

Jill Stoking:  So what was the incentive to move to Spain then Charlotte Smith. It obviously isn’t the healthcare.

Becky Corwin-Adams:  Jill, my mother-in-law. She lives in another state. FIL (Father-in-law) calls often to update us and voice his emotions.

Jill Stoking:  What would be an ideal way to go through old age do you think? Wearing purple and doing disgraceful things or something more genteel?

Becky Corwin-Adams:  I also have an aunt with Alzheimer’s. She was recently diagnosed with cancer, too. My uncle cares for her at home. He is 84. Their son passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly last week. He helped them a lot, too.

Jill Stoking:  Sorry Becky Corwin Adams MIL – should have been obvious. It’s great that your FIL (see I can do this) has someone to offload on to, Often that’s enough, not much more anyone else can do physically but to be able to vent your spleen without being judged is worth its weight in gold. That’s a disaster, your cousin dying so unexpectedly. Your poor uncle is grieving for the wife he’s lost and now has got to cope with the despair at losing his son – so sad.

Charlotte Smith:  Jill I have loved Spain for many years now and couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather be.

Jill Stoking:  I’m envious Charlotte Smith I don’t think I’d be brave enough to move somewhere where the natives didn’t speak English. Can you speak Spanish or learning to speak it?

Charlotte Smith:  Yes I’m learning but it’s a struggle as I’m no linguist I find the Spanish are delighted if you make the effort though so I’ll keep plodding along!

Becky Corwin-Adams:  Jill, my in-laws live in Texas. Their daughter and granddaughter live nearby. FIL was devastated when he had to put her in a care center a year ago. He felt guilty and called us all the time wanting affirmation that he was doing the right thing. He has come to accept it now. He has CHF so he is barely able to care for himself. We are over 1000 miles away so we are not able to help.

Charlotte Smith:  Is that your little dog on the back cover Jill? Adorable

Jill Stoking:  Sounds to me that you’re fulfilling your much valued role as a good listener, a daughter is too close to say some of the things your FIL (I changed him to your uncle I see, sorry. My mother’s dementia was early onset with genetic implications – my goldfish memory) What was I saying?.. Oh yeah. If your FIL needed a listening ear you probably fitted the role better than his daughter. Working out the family dynamics, that means your husband has lost his brother – wow a lot to deal with.

–No Charlotte Smith mine is the one on the picture at the top of this thread QT the Bichon. He is my carer.

–That would be my problem Charlotte Smith I’m useless at languages. If you’re good at maths, likely to be good at languages or so I’ve heard. I’m not!

Kate Pill:  Hi Jill Maybe as an Aussie I was engaging in, “Australian speak” ! Def no good or bad dementia, what I meant is she’s toward the end of it / her life.

Frankie Knight:  Jill, I have had a lot of experience of Spanish health care – cannot fault it! Every 6 months I have a scan – wouldn’t get it in UK as far too expensive. As a pensioner I get full health care, same as a Spaniard. Been living on my mountain for 10 years and it’s definitely ‘Home’. Language is difficult and I will never be fluent no matter how long I live here. Great fun though!

–It’s sad that dementia doesn’t put an end to life; it’s generally something like pneumonia which does that.

Jill Stoking:  Becky Corwin Adams I’ve just re-read the thread. You’ve got a MIL AND an Aunt with Alzheimer’s and it’s a cousin who has recently died. Still a lot to deal with

–My mum died 10 years ago Kate Pill which is perhaps why I can write about it without sounding gooey. Still angry though about the failure of care providers then and now because the abuse still goes on. That’s the twist to the tale – I took my mother out of a nursing home because she was subjected to neglect and abuse and cared for her myself for her last three years.

–Hiya Frankie Knight. How am I doin? I’ve heard that the Spanish healthcare system is very good. The climate is certainly an attraction, I’m too much of a scaredy cat to move, Devon to Kent was a major deal for me.

Gemma Murphy-Sanderson:  Hi Jill. How are you this fine sunday. X

Jill Stoking:  Yeah so true Frankie Knight my mother had a blocked artery that stopped her heart. And there had to be a PM because she hadn’t seen a doctor for a while. That’s the only reason Alzheimer’s appeared on the death certificate at all. Not good if your looking for research money if the disease doesn’t appear on the DC.

Tottie Limejuice:  Must have been so very difficult for you Jill. My mother had vascular dementia and that was bad enough. But French healthcare was outstanding, with a care allowance to give me a bit of a helping hand.

Jill Stoking:  Hi Gemma Murphy-Sanderson I’m good, I think. All this interaction is a bit weird. I can spend a whole day not speaking to anyone except the dog. How’s your day been so far?

Laurie A. Grundner:  Hi Jill, I’ve yet to get your book but it is on my list. I read the book “Remind me who I am, again” by Linda Grant, which dealt with her mother and that was hard. That’s the only reason I haven’t gotten your book yet. My father also had early onset Alzheimer’s. Early on it wasn’t bad. He had hip surgery and was never the same again. It got to the point where he couldn’t communicate. He had his own language with random words, didn’t know us, etc. He went from being very friendly and kind to always angry and irritated. When he passed it was sad and a relief at the same time. I felt he was now safe. Did you have a similar reaction? I’m sorry if you have this answer in the book.

Frankie Knight:  Setting the standard for me to follow tomorrow Jill! Gonna be a hard act to follow! Yes, I bet very few death certs actually state Alzheimer’s as cause of death, so little money goes into research. This is going to jump up and bite the health service in the bum soon as it is something which is reaching epidemic proportions only isn’t talked about….

–I’m basically antisocial so the fact I can get up and walk away when I want is great! It doesn’t offend anyone….

Jill Stoking:  I think what was most difficult to be honest Tottie Limejuice was dealing with a marriage that was falling apart all at the same time and the totally inadequate provision of care by so-called qualified people, but I know from “Sell The Pig” that your experience of dementia care in the UK left a lot to be desired too.

Bambi Flanner:  Since you’re a warts and all kind of girl, I won’t sugar coat my question. Are you at all worried you will end up with it? My Grandfather died from it, and I’m constantly worried that my forgetfulness is a sign. So far, I may lose the keys, but I still remember what they’re for so that’s good. But as it is genetic I look at every little lapse with fear.

Frankie Knight:  Oh, yes, Bambi!

Sue Clamp:  My mother doesn’t have dementia but she did have a poor experience with carers at home when she was ill last year. She’s recently been ill again and refuses to have them again, which puts additional pressure on me. I have a lot of admiration for people who devote all their time to caring for an elderly relative.

Jill Stoking:  I’ll second that Frankie Knight. Yes Bambi Flanner it does worry me and I have developed what could be early signs, after all you’re hatching symptoms some 15 – 20years before it becomes obvious to other people, walking around with your knickers on your head and so on, but the subtle signs could be put down to depressive illness, which I battle with. I think about getting tested for that form of Alzheimer’s but I’m too scared and what do you do if you’ve got it? There’s no cure, I’ve no money to distribute amongst relatives, and I could just as easily die with something else.

Jacqueline Brown:  Hi Jill (and Bambi too), there is thankfully no dementia in my family, but I have the worst memory for a 42 yr old. It scares me! I will be recommending your book to my friend, same age as me and struggling to cope with her fathers Alzheimers and her mums ovarian cancer

— PS my husband’s cousin is running the London Marathon today to raise money for Alzheimer’s.

Bambi Flanner:  I’ve actually discussed the test with my dr. and she ordered lab work. But I never went to have it done. I know there are meds that can help, but so far I always end up finding my car at Walmart, so I think I’ll wait. You’re right Jill, who knows what will get me first.

Jill Stoking:  Hi Laurie A. Grundner. That’s a good question. At the time it happened, I thought I’d killed her (that’s all I’ll say on that). Speaking generally, it has to be a feeling of relief, it would almost be selfish to want any relative or friend to extend their life (if you can call it that) with this disease, certainly in its latter stages.

Susan Joyce:  Jill, Good morning from Uruguay. Welcome and thanks for taking time to be with WLM this Sunday morning to discuss your life and your important book. Haven’t had a chance to read through the entire thread. I’ll do so now and then ask a question that hasn’t been asked yet.

Jill Stoking:  Hi Jacqueline Brown It’s good to hear that your cousin is running for Alzheimer’s. What made him/her pick that charity? Is it in your husband’s family? Strange with Alzheimer’s it isn’t all about memory. A friend of mine noticed the first signs in her husband not by failing memory but because he had started to miss the toilet when peeing into the bowl and didn’t bother to clear it up either!

Janet Hughes:  Jill just been reading through your thread. You were and are truly amazing. Live your life for now I have a bit of an anti bonkers safety net, one of my Spanish friends

Bambi Flanner:  I thought that was just a man thing Jill. Lol. That means all the men I work with are in the early stages.

Charlotte Smith:  Sorry Jill, I abandoned you as my family just arrived from the UK. Your dog is such a cutie I’m bad at maths too so thank you for explaining the link between that and languages! Hope you’re enjoying your Spotlight Sunday

Tottie Limejuice:  Jill not sure if anyone answered your question as I keep nipping out to play in the garden. MiL = mother in law.

Bambi Flanner:  Jill, is there anything that you would do differently, if you knew what you know now?

Janet Hughes:  … Always tells me if I’m more bonkers than normal… Which is actually very useful

Jill Stoking:  Thanks Tottie Limejuice it did get explained but I managed to re-arrange Becky Corwin Adams family tree anyway.

Jill Stoking:  Male or female friend Janet Hughes?

— I don’t think I’d do that Janet Hughes I enjoy your madness too much.

Terry Bryan:  Jill, do you have any hobbies that helped you escape?

Jill Stoking:  I would have left my husband sooner. Bambi Flanner. The cheating *************!!!!!

Bambi Flanner:  I have that t-shirt too. lol

Jill Stoking:  I’m one of Jehovah’s Witnesses Terry Bryan which isn’t a hobby exactly but keeps me busy and provides me with faith, routine and friends. I love reading and for me that is escapism, and I like all sorts of genres. I also enjoy my wild garden after having lived in a flat with no garden. Upside of this is my dog refuses to use the garden as a toilet because he was brought up in a flat, so I still have to walk him four times a day, which is good for me and I love the conservation meadow here – something new every day.

Susan Joyce:  Jill, just finished reading the thread. It is amazing how this disease destroys the minds and hearts of so many the world over. Sad to know how little is done to help the patient, family and friends. Your book will be helpful to many on so many levels.

–Jill Stoking? Just curious.

Jill Stoking:  Hi Sue Clamp almost missed your comment. Had a mad 5 minutes. I’m not at all surprised at your mum’s experience with carers. I’ve worked as a carer in the community working for a care agency, stuck it for one month. Impossible to do the job properly, never given enough time and never allowed time for unforeseen circumstances or travel between clients. I went self employed in the end as a cleaner for the elderly, which morphed into care giving. Suited me perfectly.

Bambi Flanner:  Susan, I bet it’s because she agreed to change the names for her family.

Judith Benson:  What a brilliant book! Having been a R.G.N. in Care of the Elderly situation I so sympathise with Jill!x

Jill Stoking:  Hi Susan Joyce My son wanted me to change all names in my book, thought that would be pointless if I didn’t change my own name as the author, also there is another Jill S on facebook who is a well known author in her own field. My maiden name though relatively unusual has quite a few facebook entries so I went for Stoking. Had to keep it a bit similar or I’m in danger of forgetting it.

–Thank you Judith Benson. The cheque is in the post.

Susan Joyce:  Jill, LOL! Thanks for explaining. BTW, I’m not a religious person but I always admire people who find comfort and meaning in their religion. Nice that it has helped you along your difficult path. Nice too to have a good sense of humor.

— I think Stoking is a great name for a writer.

Jill Stoking:  Yes I kept my married name. Too lazy to change it. You think I should change it to Stoking then?

Susan Joyce:  Why not? If your ex was an A– , good reason to let it go. Mind you it might be expensive to do and upset your children. Would your family object?

Jill Stoking:  The subject has never come up strangely. But if it costs money, I don’t feel strongly enough about it to part with the cash.

Janet Hughes:  Female friend, Jill she’s amazing, I love her to bits

Julie Haigh:  Hi Jill , good to meet you. I haven’t read your book yet but certainly will be doing so. Thank you for writing this, this is something that affects so many people and your book will help them and let them know they’re not alone.

Susan Joyce:  Jill, have you heard of taking coconut oil as an alternative to meds for Alzheimer patients?

Julie Haigh:  Have you read anyone else’s memoirs on the same subject, and if so, did they help you at all?

Jill Stoking:  Yes recently Susan Joyce Chris Tryon sent me a link to a site that explained it all. I keep meaning to look into it further and then forget. What does that tell you haha.

Susan Joyce:  Tells me you need to check it out. A friend of mine swears it has helped her unclog the brain passages.

Jill Stoking:  I love medical matters Julie Haigh and I do veer towards memoirs of the that genre, especially mental health issues. But having been a carer for many years working with the elderly and then living the dream looking after Mum. I guess I’m pretty well Alzheimered up. My main concern these days is the woefully inadequate care that’s out there in the UK and the need to alert people to the signs of inadequate care, especially in nursing/residential homes.

–I will do that Susan Joyce.

Shirley Ledlie:  Hello Jill, I will read your book, it is on my list but unfortunately for me I am such a slow reader. This is the one disease that really scares me (and motor neurones sp), did you feel a massive relief when you had finished it?

Susan Joyce:  Unfortunately the situation of inadequate care in nursing/residential homes is a world-wide problem. Here in Uruguay, families still look after their elderly and nursing homes are few. Home health care is more the norm here, where nurses visit the patient’s homes and hopefully help the patient and the family. Unfortunately also is the fact that the medical industry pushes meds instead of natural or alternative solutions. I have a friend who is currently on 12 different medications and complains that she can’t think straight. No wonder!

Cherry Gregory:  Hi Jill. Haven’t be able to join you until now because, ironically, I’ve been looking after my mum! Great to read your very interesting thread. My father died four years ago, but my mother and I had a terrible time looking after my father for the final two years of his life when he was blind, deaf and physically very weak. I can honestly say it was hell and at the very end, when dad was hospitalised, the NHS hospital starved him to death.

Jill Stoking:  Hi Shirley Ledlie I think of the two, motor neurone is scarier too aware of what’s happening. When I finished the book, I felt I’d accomplished what I’d set out to do. Initially it was written for me and maybe for family to find when they cleared out my home after my demise. Then I kept hearing things on the news about yet another case of abuse in residential care so then felt I had something worthwhile to say in amongst the story of that 10 years of my life and my mother’s decline wrapped around each other. I asked Henry Butterfield to have a read through it and he said I had a book worth publishing. The rest involved polishing and re-writes, not sure about relief though.

Hi Cherry Gregory It sounds as if your dad was a victim of the misguided use of the Liverpool Care Pathway, now recognised as having been grossly misapplied and has of late 2013 been replaced by personal care plans. Will care in hospitals improve for terminal patients, especially the elderly? Time will tell, but I’m doubtful. It’s tragic though when your family have given the best care possible and then it’s all sabotaged by the NHS or private care homes. Criminal or it should be.

Susan Joyce:  Cherry, you’ve had a rough few years. Bless you! Jill, this thread seems a very important one to share with others in the same situation. Hopefully your book will shine a light for others.

Cherry Gregory:  Yes, it should be criminal. I shall never forget that my father’s last words to me were “Get me out of this slaughter house!” I set everything in motion and was getting him out the very next morning but when I rang the hospital at 9.30, it was then that they noticed my father was dead…he died sometime in the early hours but as he was shoved in a side room and tended to be forgotten about, they didn’t go check on him until I reminded them by ringing. He was a good man and very kind and he hated being on his own, so as you can imagine, I feel very guilty for allowing him to die alone and uncared for.

–Jill, I agree with Susan Joyce, your book is an important one to share with others. There seem to be a lot of us with related experiences, often very raw and unhealed.

Susan Joyce:  Cherry, how wonderful for you and others on this thread to be able to talk with others about your feelings.

Dodie Shea:  You were very brave to write about your experience with your mother. I’m afraid that I tend to deal with the situation but try to shut out my feelings.

Jill Stoking:  I’m so sad for you Cherry Gregory you know your feelings of guilt aren’t appropriate, you were doing your best to rectify the problem. The professional care providers are the ones who should carry the guilt, but we continue to hear of such atrocities on a regular basis. We doubt our own ability, thinking the professionals can do a better job, it’s becoming evident that where end of life dementia care in required the professionals don’t care. Perhaps Susan Joyce’s comment about provision of care in Uruguay is relevant. Maybe we have recognise that our hospitals are becoming unable to cope.

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone:  Thank you Joan, I thought your book was well written and I was so impressed with you and your whole attitude to life. I did leave a review.

Cherry Gregory:  Some hospitals are definitely unable to cope. I wish they would be honest about the dire situation instead of trying to cover things up. It is only then we can start to rethink the present arrangements and try to develop better ways of caring.

Jill Stoking:  Hi Dodie Shea I guess we all deal with emotions differently but I have to admit I sometimes feel that I’ve had an emotional by pass. It’s only that a sad film, documentary or book still has the ability to make me cry that re-assures me that I can feel. I am human, not a robot.

Becky Corwin-Adams:  I have not yet read the book but I want to. It is so sad to see someone this way. MIL and I never got along, but it breaks my heart to see her this way. We saw signs that something was wrong about five years ago but FIL denied it for quite a while.

Cherry Gregory:  I know what you mean about feeling like a robot, Jill. I also find myself in tears at a sad film or book and realise I’ve been bottling up my own feelings. It ‘s just something we seem to have to do to get on with life, but I’ve been crying at this thread and I must admit I feel a tremendous relief and weight off my shoulders!

Jill Stoking:  Aah! Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone. You have been the cause of much frustration. I saw your review on Amazon.com and wanted to respond to thank you but Amazon said “no” I had to purchase something first. I opened an account and tried to buy an ebook then Amazon.com said “No you can get this on Amazon.co.uk we will transfer you.” At that point I yelled at the computer and gave up. I will have to buy drugs that are unavailable on Amazon.co.uk. BUT THANK YOU FOR THE REVIEW.

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone:  We shut out real pain…or at least I have this week (since my small dog was savaged to death) sometimes it is easier to push the thoughts away because they are hard to deal with….I think that is true no matter what the cause iof the deep sadness

–You are so welcome Jill, I wish you and I lived near each other, I like your style lol

Jill Stoking:  Cherry Gregory Sometimes just admitting out loud how you feel helps. I talk to myself all the time, unfortunately when I’m out and about too and although I probably look insane, it’s probably helped to keep me balanced.

Dodie Shea:  That is so true Jill. Sometimes we deal with the impossible with no outward sign of emotion and then collapse under ordinary circumstances.

Jill Stoking:  Aww Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone now that is a big deal. I dread anything happening to QT. I’m so sorry, what an awful thing to happen.

–Becky Corwin Adams My dad did that too. My brother and I lived away. I knew something was wrong but didn’t appreciate the extent of the problem until dad dropped dead on the golf course.

Becky Corwin-Adams:  Jennifer, I am so sorry for your loss. How terrible to go through that. Hugs!!!

Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone:  Did I just read that the Government in the UK is going to put more money into Care Homes?

Susan Joyce:  Jill, This thread of sharing is so important, I’d like to share a documentary I watched a few days ago about why one needs to share feelings. It’s a bit long, so I recommend you watch it after Jill’s interview has ended. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/children-full-of-life/



Jill Stoking:  I hadn’t heard that Jennifer. Not quite sure how that would work, the majority of care homes are private businesses in England very few social services homes left, they’ve mostly been closed. I think it works differently in Scotland.

— Hey Susan Joyce that’s two things I’ve got to remember now. Coconut oil and documentary. Question. Is it going to be a tear jerker?

Susan Joyce:  Jill, Yes in a very positive way. From sad to happy. Now that your book is out and winging its way into the lives of those in need, what if any future writing projects are you working on?

Cherry Gregory:  Thanks for that documentary, Susan. Looks good.

Jill Stoking:  Umm I wasn’t really planning on anything. I write bits of this and that, mainly poetry, nothing obscure or meaningful. My next project is to paint the outside of my mobile home and No Susan Joyce I haven’t started it yet but I have got all the paint and equipment. I am poised to paint.

Susan Joyce:  Jill, sounds good. I actually like to paint. Always feels like I’m making something come alive and fresh again. Do you have a favorite book?

–A favorite author?

Jill Stoking:  Not really a favourite author. I like Michael Crichton, Tess Gerritsen, Sebastian Faulks, Torey Hayden, Ian Rankin, Erica James, a varied mix really. Favourite book? I would have to say “Marley and Me” by John Grogan. If there are any dog lovers out there who haven’t read it – you should.

Alan Parks:  I have seen the film Jill, got me rather ‘worked up’ shall we say

Jill Stoking:  I haven’t seen the film Alan Parks and you will have to define ‘worked up’ it doesn’t sound good.

Linda Kovic-Skow:  Wow, my heart lurched as I read through this emotionally charged thread. Jill, I’m so sorry you’ve gone through such sadness in your life, but it sounds like you’re a survivor. Good for you. As you say, we all have been touched my this awful disease. My dad suffered from Dementia late in his life, but he had a wonderful (I mean really wonderful) psychiatrist who wouldn’t give up on him. A drug called “Aricept” rocked his world and he came back to us for a few years! Jennifer Herrick-Weatherstone I’m so sorry to hear about your dog!

Jill Stoking:  Yes Linda Kovic-Skow I’ve heard good reports about Aricept if it’s given early enough. Any extra time is precious.

Alan Parks:  I don’t want to give away any crucial film/book moments but one bit was very sad

Jill Stoking:  Disappearing to get my version of a meal and walk the dawg. I will be dipping in and out FB so if there are other questions, comments, insults, I’ll pick them up. Thank you all for being gentle with me, I’m still in one piece. You’ll be okay tomorrow Frankie Knight, flask of coffee and cake at the ready. Go Frankie, Go Frankie.

–That’s why I didn’t see the film Alan Parks I had already read the book and I don’t do public blubbing.

Frankie Knight:  Correction, Jill – flask of coffee and bottle of brandy…. Doubt I’ll be getting much sleep tonight. Is everyone else this nervous before they inflict themselves to being a Spotlighter?

–Well done Jill, I have found today to be really interesting and have learnt a lot about you and others in the group. What a mixed bunch we are but held together by our love of the written word.

Cherry Gregory:  Frankie, don’t worry about tomorrow. I did the MM slot a few weeks ago and although I was feeling nervous to begin with, it was great fun and a good experience. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Nancy Gould Gomoll:  Just now getting round to reading this wonderful thread (babysitting my little grandson and he is napping now so I have a little free time!). Jill, thank you so much for sharing your time and this part of your life with us. As this thread shows, many/most of us have had our lives touched by this disease, and I think it is great to be able to get the perspective of others to help us cope with this. Blessings to you, Jill, and to all who are dealing with this in their life.

Susan Joyce:  Frankie, look forward to getting to know more about you tomorrow. No worries. I’ve been there and it’s great fun.

Janet Hughes:  Don’t worry, here’s a little snifter for you



Jill Stoking:  Can always rely on Janet Hughes to come up with the goods.

Susan Joyce:  Janet, you ole sniffer. That’s what friends are for.

Muriel Fingler:  Welcome Jill Stoking So happy to you are on “spotlight” today. I finished your book last week and have yet to write a review. I was so impressed with your story, the way you were able to express your feelings…..none of it was glossed over, it was raw emotion and it has impacted me a lot I still can’t come up with the words to write a review. My husband has that terrible disease also and is now in a secure home and is being very well looked after, I am happy to say.

–Oops I pressed enter too soon.I know I was able to get him in one of the better homes here in British Columbia Canada so he is the winner. I was having a rough time before he was admitted, so I know you went through more then I ever had to. Loved your book and will get a review written.

Micki Stokoe:  Hello, Jill. I’m another who hasn’t read your book yet, but will be. It is an emotive subject & one that touches so many lives. I was a friend’s sounding board & listening ear when her mother needed more and more care as her Alzheimer’s took hold. What did you do to escape the tension you must have felt?

Valerie Robson:  Hi Muriel Fingler, just use the words you used here… i think you have already said what needs to be said for your review… xxx

Muriel Fingler:  Thanks Val…I want to say so much more though, her book really got to me.It’s in me but doesn’t come out right. LOL Not a writer that is why I read so much!

Jill Stoking:  Thank you so much Muriel Fingler I’m glad that you’ve found a good care home for your husband, they are out there. As for a review, you’ve have just expressed your sentiments very eloquently. I have visited beautiful BC my son was living and working in Whistler. I stayed for four days in Vancouver, very impressed, a beautiful city. Unfortunately he now lives in New Zealand and I’m afraid it doesn’t hold the same appeal for me as BC.

Frankie Knight:  Thanks Janet Hughes! I simply knew there would be some kind soul in our lovely group who would be kind to a nervous, gibbering idiot!

Jill Stoking:  It was care giving in two halves Micki Stokoe The first half ended in disaster and Mum had to go into a home, got evicted and ended up in a home where she was abused. So I took over her care again but it was easier the second half as I hadn’t got all the other dramas going on. I had a wonderful carer who came in to give me time out. So even if I just went into my bedroom and read a book, I was away from it for a while. Even so there were times when I began to doubt if I could see it through to the end. And we always had the popemobile

Susan Joyce:  Muriel, happy to know you found a good home for your husband. Bless you!

–Jill, thanks for sharing your story! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you today. I’m sure your story will help many others heal. It’s time to walk dogs here. Thanks again, it’s been a great thread.

Muriel Fingler:  Thanks so much Jill, I have enjoyed reading all the comments here, you are a special soul and thanks for sharing your story with us. You should be proud of how you looked after your Mum and then writing about it.

Micki Stokoe:  Well said, Muriel!

Terry Bryan:  Yes, Frankie Knight…I kept thinking, “How did that Twead woman talk me into this?”, then I had fun!

–Jill Stoking …you are amazing, a word I hate using, but apt here. Thank you for sharing your life as I think you just helped a lot of people today. That should make you happy.

Micki Stokoe:  Same here, Frankie – I was dreading it, but it was fun chatting with everyone! No need to worry!

Jill Stoking:  Meant to have come back here before. Got caught on the phone for over an hour talking to my 90 year old Aunt. Thanks again guys for your support today.

Muriel Fingler:  You deserve all the thanks Jill. Sorry I never even asked you a question! Any I may have had were answered anyway.

Cherry Gregory:  Thanks, Jill, for your superb thread. Will be reading your book soon.

Victoria Twead:  That Twead woman here, lol! Thanks, Jill, for yet another fascinating Fred. Thanks so much for agreeing to do it, and thanks for your frankness.

Susan Joyce:  A truly great Fred!

Muriel Fingler:  So…. FRED…..For Real Enjoyment Day?

Jill Stoking:  Haha I’ve just got that Muriel Fingler. Very clever.

Terry Bryan:  Jill, don’t forget to tell Victoria who gets your 2 ebooks. Thanks.

Victoria Twead:  Yep, as Terry Bryan says, please choose two winners of Joan’s Descent into Alzheimer’s from this Fred, not going to be easy!

Jill Stoking:  You’re right there Victoria Twead have sent you a PM. Sorry for delay but I thought (I hoped) you were picking the winners.


Later  …

Victoria Twead:  Jill Stoking found it really hard to choose two winners, and finally narrowed it down to three. So congratulations to Charlotte Smith, Becky Corwin-Adams and Kate Pill. I shall send you Joan’s Descent now.

Photo#3-WLM Winner


Sue Clamp:  Well done, Charlotte, Becky and Kate!

Susan Joyce:  Congratulations Charlotte, Becky, & Kate!

Becky Corwin-Adams:  Thank you so much. I can’t wait to read it. I am sure the book will be very helpful to me as I have two relatives with Alzheimer’s. Thanks again!!!

Charlotte Smith:  Wow. That’s so kind Jill. I’ll very much look forward to reading it

Micki Stokoe:  Well done Charlotte, Becky & Kate!

Julie Haigh:  Well done Becky, Charlotte and Kate!

Cherry Gregory:  Congrats to Charlotte, Becky and Kate.

Muriel Fingler:  Congrats to the winners. You will love the book.

Fay Kearney:  Well done, Charlotte, Becky and Kate. Jill, sorry I couldn’t join you yesterday but I’ve just read through your thread and found it very interesting. It is sad that so many families are touched by dementia. I am actually reading your book at the moment and feeling for you in your fight to find appropriate care for your mother. I definitely feel a review coming on when I have finished it

Jill Stoking:  Thank you Fay Kearney I look forward to reading your comments.

–And thank you Muriel Fingler for that super review on Amazon, greatly appreciated.

Terry Bryan:  Charlotte, Becky, and Kate…enjoy.

Photo#4 -Congratulations


Kate Pill:  Wow!! Thank you For whatever reason I’m tearing up. Jill, this means more than you realise *smiles*s


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