I am very pleased that I was asked to participate in this opportunity to bring more awareness to Alzheimer’s disease and to the wealth of resources written by care partners that are available to help families. Although each person’s journey with dementia is different, we can all learn from one another and find support in knowing that we are not the only person walking on this difficult and rather bumpy path. Continue reading →
My new young adult novel Almost There focuses on the complications that arise for a teenager when a grandparent’s health problems blow one’s grand plans to bits. Dani is about to take a dream trip to Paris when her grandfather suffers a series of strokes that cause permanent brain damage—vascular dementia, the second most common type of dementia. Continue reading →
My wife Linda’s disease stole years of our marriage until she was wholly dependent on a team of professionals in an assisted living facility. But caregiver guilt began to haunt me on the day we got her diagnosis.
A New York neurologist told us her symptoms—difficulty in writing and speaking—were consistent with a rare dementia. My hand-written notes from that meeting in the doctor’s cramped office were as jumbled as the thoughts in my mind. Long black lines slashed across the page, connecting medical words I didn’t understand, including the name of her disorder, “primary progressive aphasia.” A circle surrounded bold capital letters, “CAN’T KNOW.” That meant no one could be certain about how Linda’s disease would play out. But it was clear she would eventually need full-time help, possibly for the rest of her life. Continue reading →
I never planned on becoming my mother’s caregiver, nor, throughout the experience, considered writing a book. In a way, both just happened. I enjoyed my job as group counselor at an alternative school. It wasn’t easy to give up my salary and health benefits, but when my mom asked me to take leave, help her get settled somewhere, I felt a stirring in my gut to hang in there with her. Her mental and physical abilities were in a downward spiral because of vascular dementia—she needed me. In hindsight, I needed her, too. My soul was in its own state of flux. Continue reading →
I originally set out to write my blog Mum Has Dementia after recounting a story about Mum getting stuck in the bath – it was a lighthearted chat with my sister, overheard by an acquaintance with a background in social media, who suggested blogging. Continue reading →
Few men are caregivers in the traditional sense. For most of us, I believe, it’s an uncomfortable suit we would rather not wear. Our mantra, “Let the Women Handle It,” hangs on our wall while we keep busy with lawns to mow and engines to tune.
But what if a man saw his mother threatened, her frailties preyed upon? Witnessed her dignity being stripped away, her memory emptied? What if a man stared into the face of a monster? Alzheimer’s! What would he do then?Continue reading →
I’m a long-distance caregiver to my parents, who suffer from memory loss and multiple other health problems. I know every bump and bend in the 300 miles between their house and mine. I manage every part of their lives and the medically-trained staff they need, around the clock. I’m losing them in a very different way than I lost my husband. Continue reading →
I started caring for my Mom full-time in 2009 after I closed my art gallery/custom frame shop. I had planned to secure a job within six months, but my career path took a turn when my Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. My Dad was still working full-time and I lived nearby, so it seemed fitting that I would be taking on the role of Mom’s Caregiver. For a long time, I didn’t know the word “Caregiver” or its meaning. Continue reading →
My father joined the Air Force in 1950 during the Korean War where he trained as an airplane mechanic. After his tour of duty, he returned to his home in Miami and married my mother after only three months of courtship. He worked during the day and attended barber school at night, eventually owning several barber shops. My parents moved to Georgia after retirement to be near their children and grandchildren. Although my dad enjoyed doing yard work and watching sports, his family always came first. He was the most loving and compassionate person I had ever known. His generosity knew no bounds. Continue reading →