Dayna Steele is the author of Surviving Alzheimer’s:
With unfiltered observations and sometimes dark humor, author Dayna Steele chronicled her mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s on Facebook. This collection of Alzheimer’s updates posted on the social media network includes biting humor and raw emotion as Dayna carries you from the diagnosis to the inevitable end. Also included are sections from a neurologist, Long Term Care insurance specialist, other caregivers, documents expert, elder care attorney, and an assisted living advisor.
Read on for an interview with Dayna.
Q. The book chronicles your mother’s illness through your Facebook posts. Did you include every post in the book? What was the selection process like?
A. My co-author Heather Rossiello kept a database of every single post and every comment – there were literally thousands of comments on some posts. We went through them all after I lost Mom and tried to keep only the posts and comments that 1) Included informative information for caregivers 2) made us laugh out loud, and, 3) made us think.
Q. How did the support of your Facebook community impact you through this hard time?
A. Facebook became my support group. My Facebook community gave me ideas, information, suggestions and laughter and love. And, once I wrote a particularly hard post, I would let go of the negative emotions. It was very cathartic to write and share.
Q. When did you get the idea to turn your Facebook posts into a book?
A. Literally when so many people started commenting. “I hope you put this in a book.” In fact, the first couple of pages in the book are those words of encouragement from so many followers.
Q. How did you decide what materials to include in the second half of the book?
A. The second half of the book is all resources I wish I had at the beginning. There are sections written by people who helped me along the way: a neurologist, document expert, Long Term Care insurance rep, an assisted living advisor and more. I also included a list of questions everyone should ask their loved ones and a section where caregivers and their caregivers talk about what it is like on that side.
Q. What are you hoping readers will get out of Surviving Alzheimer’s?
A. Someone once said to me there isn’t a users’ manual on what to do or what is going to happen when you get this diagnosis. I hope this book does become the manual for what to do and how to do it for caregivers everywhere.
Q. You’ve been named the spokesperson for Caring.com. How do you hope to aid those dealing with Alzheimer’s in this role?
A. As the Chief Caring Expert for Caring.com, I hope to be able to guide others to this great resource I wish I had known about early on. Not only would I have been able to read the reviews and make a better informed decision on where to put mom but I also would have had access to so much content for caregivers. There is an answer to just about every question you may have as well as support groups for Alzheimer’s and even more on the site. And, it’s free. Alzheimer’s is a very expensive disease and when you can find any sort of fee help, that’s the best.
Dayna Steele is the creator and CEO of YourDailySuccessTip.com. She is the author of Rock to the Top: What I Learned about Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars, the creator of the 101 Ways to Rock Your World book series, a Rock Radio Hall of Famer, and a successful entrepreneur. A professional business speaker, Dayna is also a regular contributor to Fox News Houston, consults Fortune 500 companies, and is married to author Charles Justiz. Her mom, Fran Nicholson, was her biggest fan.