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Out & About / Ventura County | Page Turner

A New Life Chapter

Author will discuss book about dealing with aging parents.


If you are one of the estimated 23 million Americans taking care of family members 50 or older, you may want to check out Jacqueline Marcell's "Elder Rage--or Take my Father . . . Please! How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents" (Impressive Press, $19.95).

You can meet Marcell at the Ventura Barnes & Noble on Sunday as she talks about dealing with her 81-year-old mother and 87-year-old father, who has vascular dementia and possible secondary Alzheimer's.

One message she stresses to audiences is that when your loved one does something that strikes you as illogical or irrational--it is. That's when you should seek help from specialists, as she did through the Alzheimer's Assn. You will probably learn that medication will delay dementia by two to four years.

The book includes an addendum, "A Physician's Guide to Treating Aggression in Dementia With the Proper Medication," by Dr. Rodman Shankle, former medical director of the UC Irvine Alzheimer's Center.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday March 22, 2001 Ventura County Edition Metro Part B Page 3 Zones Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
Marcell book--The Page Turner column on Saturday erred in reporting publishers' reaction to a book proposal by Jacqueline Marcell, author of "Elder Rage." About 60 publishers expressed interest in it and three offered to publish it, Marcell said.

"Statistically," Marcell said, "families usually wait four years before they reach out for help, because they see an episode, then the person acts normally the next minute or day.

"So they don't want to acknowledge that there is a pink elephant sitting in the living room. Once you get the brain chemistry managed, you can implement behavior modification."

Marcell is adamant about taking charge and not destroying your own life in the process but making sure your loved one is safe and cared for, with everything possible done to make the end of his or her life as happy, pain-free and stress-free as possible. She said she persevered with her father, using rewards and consequences that seemed to turn his behavior around. She also got her parents involved in an adult day-care center.

She releases her own frustrations in a support group.

"The final piece of the puzzle is your own perceptional shift," she said. That is when you see that you are now the parent and get past the names they might call you or the infuriating things they might do. You can then be calm and not be abusive yourself, she said.

The journey has been rocky. She sold her home to care for her parents, paying for a full-time caregiver. She wrote the book as a catharsis, not knowing if it would ever be finished or sell. But she picked up endorsements from 40 celebrities and prestigious organizations, including Hugh Downs, Regis Philbin, Dr. Dean Edell of the Johns Hopkins Memory Clinic, the Duke University Center for Aging and Sen. John D. Rockefeller.

More than 130 publishers rejected her book proposal when she shopped it around. Although she had been a television executive, cinematographer and photographer and held California teaching credentials, no one wanted to take a chance on an unknown.

Visit her Web site at for guidance and links to other information. Marcell will also appear March 28 at a book-signing at Borders in Thousand Oaks; call 497-8159 for more information.


* Today: noon. Les Standiford will discuss and sign "Deal With the Dead." Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, 374-0084.

* Sunday: 9:30 a.m. Sabi Shabtai, author, screenwriter and counterterrorism expert, will speak at the Ventura County Jewish Council--Temple Beth Torah Brotherhood's brunch on "Israel and the Palestinians: A Leap of Faith." Menu includes lox or smoked salmon for $7, $10 at the door. Call 647-4181 or visit the office at 7620 Foothill Road, Ventura.

* Sunday: 10:30 a.m. The Meaningful Life Book Club will focus on "Saving Childhood: How to Protect Your Children From the National Assault on Innocence" by Michael Medved. Thousand Oaks Barnes & Noble, 160 S. Westlake Blvd., 446-2820.

* Sunday: 1 p.m. Lyn Hamilton will discuss and sign "The African Quest"; Rhys Bowen will discuss and sign "Evan Can Wait." Mysteries to Die For, 374-0084.

* Sunday: 2 p.m. Judith Helton will portray Victorian writer and artist Beatrix Potter, famous for her Peter Rabbit stories. Free with museum admission, but reservations recommended. Call (800) 410-8354, Ext. 2053. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley.

* Sunday: 3 p.m. Jacqueline Marcell will discuss and sign "Elder Rage." Ventura Barnes & Noble, 4360 E. Main St., 339-9170.

* Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. Preschool story time on "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" and "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" by Laura Numeroff. Ventura Barnes & Noble, 339-9170.

* Tuesday: 7 p.m. The Short Stories Group will focus on "A Late Encounter With the Enemy" by Flannery O'Connor. Borders, 125 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, 497-8159.

* Tuesday: 7 p.m. The Partners in Crime Mystery Group will focus on "All Fall Down" by Erica Spindler. Borders, 497-8159.

* Wednesday: 7 p.m. Adrian Spence, artistic director of Camerata Pacifica, continues his lecture series on classical music. Thousand Oaks Barnes & Noble, 446-2820.

* Friday: 7:30 p.m. Dean Sluyter will discuss and sign "The Zen Commandments." Borders, 497-8159.


Information about book-signings, writers groups and publishing events can be e-mailed to or faxed to 647-5846.

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