Pat and Ron Potter-Efron had been married for 54 years when Pat received the diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia in 2018. Both were recently retired mental health counselors who had been co-owners of a private clinic in Eau Claire, WI. They were also co-authors of several popular books, including the best sellers Letting Go of Shame and Letting Go of Anger. They soon began facing the reality of how Lewy Body Dementia was affecting their lives. Most importantly, they searched for a way to continue to contribute meaningfully to society while living as complete and satisfying lives as possible. That is when they decided to write a journal of their experiences, but a journal different than any they had encountered as they reviewed the Lewy Body literature. Pat and Ron began to write a series of conversations. Ron would initiate a relevant topic (hallucinations; teamwork; mortality, etc.) and then Pat would add her comments. Fortunately, Pat has retained her ability to clearly describe her thoughts and feelings even as some of her abilities have diminished. Pat does not always agree with Ron's observations, of course. The perspectives of care receiver inevitably differ from those of care giver.
About the Authors:
Patricia Potter-Efron, M.S., grew up near Stillwater, MN. She attended Macalester college in St. Paul, MN as a Merit Scholar, graduating with a B.S. in literature and later receiving her Master of Science degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Ms. Potter-Efron is a former mental health and addictions counselor who practiced in Eau Claire, WI. She is co-author of several books, including Letting Go of Shame and Letting Go of Anger. Pat was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia in 2018. In this book Pat displays a unique ability to clearly describe how her thoughts, feelings and actions have been affected since the onset of her condition. She also demonstrates how the power of a loving relationship mitigates Lewy Body's negative aspects on her life.
Ronald Potter-Efron, M.SW, Ph.D, was raised in St. Paul, MN. He attended Macalester college in St. Paul on a Merit Scholarship, graduating with a B.A. in sociology. He earned a Ph.D in sociology from Purdue University. Ron then returned to school to gain a Master's of Social Work from the University of Michigan. He then began a career in anger management and domestic violence offender counseling as well as authoring over twenty books, including Angry All the Time, a best seller, and the Handbook of Anger Management and Domestic Violence Offender Treatment. He remains active in certifying domestic violence offender treatment specialists through the National Anger Management Association. In this book Dr. Potter-Efron initiates dialogues between himself and Patricia, identifying critical concerns while discussing how they work together as care partners as they encounter the effects of Lewy Body Dementia.