About Scattered: My Year As An Accidental Caregiver

“A compelling read for anyone, Scattered is a message of hope for members of the sandwich generation who are working on their own lives while struggling, and succeeding, as caregivers of aging parents.”

– Constantine G. Lyketsos, MD, Director, Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

scattered_new_cover_shadow_lgIn November 2009 Jana Panarites was scrambling to make ends meet in LA.  Her career spiraling out of control, she didn’t think life could get any worse until she learned of her father’s sudden death two days before Thanksgiving.

She flew east for the funeral, and was forced to confront her future head-on at the sight of her devastated eighty-year-old mother. After living her entire adult life in LA and New York City, the second generation Greek-American decided to move back into her childhood home in Maryland—determined to save her career and her one remaining parent. In Scattered: My Year As An Accidental Caregiver, Panarites takes readers on an unvarnished, hair-raising journey of reinvention, inspired by love and a dwindling bank account. Her tale of attempting to advance her career while attending to medical appointments, household chores, and a flood of grief-related emotions raises issues of family loyalty, the strain of caregiving, resilience, and the repercussions of a romantic marriage for those left behind after death.

Fast-paced, compelling, and filled with dark humor despite the seriousness of the subject, Scattered sheds a much-needed light on the plight of baby boomers everywhere, eager to thrive in their own lives but put to the test by aging parents—and often unprepared for what lays ahead.

“This book is a profoundly moving and deeply personal illustration of why  we—as members of a rapidly aging society—need to find ways to better support older adults and their caregivers. The changes and challenges that Ms. Panarites eloquently shares are echoed in untold numbers of homes and families across our nation.”

Pinchas Cohen, MD

Dean of the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

Purchase Scattered

Scattered is available in both paperback and eBook at the following online retailers:

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“A searingly honest, poignant, and interesting account of a professional woman turned care partner to her mother who was living with dementia. Offered in context with the daughter’s career, hopes, and dreams, it is full of universal stories that will be helpful to anyone finding themselves in the same role. An easy read, written in a clear and accessible style.”

Cathie Borrie

Author of "The Long Hello: Memory, My Mother, and Me"

“Writing with absorbing prose, Jana Panarites chronicles her experience as the “accidental” caregiver for her mother. From the unexpected passing of her father, after which she moved in with her mother, through the slow realization of her mother’s dementia and its consequences, Jana tells a universal story with a liberal dose of the Greek American experience. A compelling read for anyone, Scattered is a message of hope for members of the sandwich generation who are working on their own lives while struggling, and succeeding, as caregivers of aging parents.”

Constantine G. Lyketsos, MD

Director, Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center