Alzheimer's Daughter

The Story

Alzheimer’s Daughter introduces the reader to my healthy parents, Ed and Ibby, years before their diagnosis, then recounts painful details as our roles reversed and I became my parents’ parent.


Their disease started as translucent, confused thoughts and ended in a locked memory care unit after a near decade of descent into the opaque world of Alzheimer's.

I began writing Alzheimer’s Daughter one week after my mother's death––when I was stunned, realizing Dad had no memory of her or their 66-year marriage.

I write to pay tribute to the undying spirit at Ed and Ibby's core, and with the hope that the story of their parallel decline might be helpful to others.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Meet Paul Toolan, Author of "A View From Memory Hill," a Collection of Short Stories on Memory, the Past, Ageing, and Loneliness

Republished with permission from AlzAuthors.com



By Paul Toolan

I live in an English rural village with a demographic weighted towards retirees. I’m one of them, I suppose.


There are young people too, but older bodies tend to fill the shops and the midday streets. I find myself reflecting on these sometimes solitary folk, about their past lives and the people they’ve known. Have they forgotten more than they care to remember – or just forgotten?

The stories in A View from Memory Hill were triggered by such images, nudged along by Kierkegaard’s idea that we live life forward but only really understand it backwards. Their settings come from the everyday world – a chemist’s shop, a village square, a railway station, a College, a pub, the bus journey from work to home – as well as real places. In the first and last stories in the book I used local outdoor settings. The title story is based on Ham Hill, an ancient hill fort in Somerset which I often visit. I take photographs to help me remember!

For perspective, I introduced younger voices too, and enjoyed exploring that sometimes-land of modern misunderstanding, where the old and the young coincide. A range of characters evolved, and broad themes firmed up as I continued to write: memory, the past, ageing, and loneliness - and the positive antidote of choosing to take action to avoid being lonely.

For structure, I opened and closed the 12 stories with the same pair of characters: Jack - who has Alzheimer's - and Maeve, his wife. I guess they are distillations of various articles and documentaries I’d read and seen about dementia, and about Alzheimer's in particular. Maeve has become Jack’s carer. Alzheimer's couples may recognise her predicament:

“Jack was sleeping on the day-bed she’d rigged up in the conservatory. When he was bad, any sleep would do. She was Jack’s dictionary now, non-stop, exhausting, the reference book for all the objects, all the people he could no longer name. The butt, too, of each resulting outburst.

‘Do you know nothing?’ he would yell. ‘Nothing?’”

Despite Jack and Maeve’s difficulties, memory still breaks through, and with it, joy and laughter.

In between, the other stories explore the book’s themes through a range of genres, including crime, social satire, gothic noir, and romance, to give a variety of reader experiences.

So far, reviewers have enjoyed these “wonderful insights on ageing”.

“I felt nostalgic when I finished reading,” said one reviewer. “Where have the years gone? So many memories had me a bit emotional, truthfully.”

For me, if I’ve triggered emotion and insight in my readers, on such important themes, then I’m a happy man.


About the Author

Paul Toolan hails from the United Kingdom, a Northerner who now cheerfully admits being a southern softie living in rural Somerset. After a successful career in Colleges and Universities he wrote book/lyrics for stage musicals, before "turning to crime." A Killing Tree and A January Killing, the first two books in the Detective Inspector Zig Batten series, are set in the apple orchard landscape of the West of England. Look out for the third, An Easter Killing. A View from Memory Hill is Paul's first short story collection, exploring themes of ageing, memory, and personal realisation. Like Inspector Batten, Paul enjoys walking, gardens, fishing, music and the occasional whisky. Unlike him, he enjoys sport and the taste of mushrooms, and loves travelling to sunnier climes - Greece in particular.

Connect with Paul Toolan

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Norman McNamara lives with Lewy Body dementia and has authored “The Lewy Body Soldier”

Republished with permission from AlzAuthors.com

My name is Norrms McNamara. Someone once told me having Lewy Body`s Type Dementia is like having two diseases, you HAVE Dementia, and you KNOW you have Dementia. The same person, a Consultant, also told me that right up to the end of life, the person with Lewy Body’s will still have moments, if not hours/days of clarity. I lost both my Father and incredibly wonderful grandmother to Dementia. (I say that because she brought me up, I am who I am today because of her)

I have read the book, seen the last page, read the last line, I know what happens and know what can happen unless they find a cure for this awful disease. So when I was diagnosed myself nine years ago, aged just 50, I was absolutely petrified, and with good reason.

No cure, no sign of a cure on the horizon and after checking out what help there was available for somebody my age with dementia, which turned out to be practically non-existent, I was at a loss at what to do. I was so lucky in one way because my wife Elaine had been, and still is a carer for 30+ years and it was her who helped me get my diagnosis as she recognised the signs.

So what’s changed in the last nine / Ten years? A huge amount actually, we now have memory cafes all over the world, we have so many groups globally connecting up and beginning to talk about this disease. We have TV adverts, politician’s talking about it in Government’s and generally a better understanding, so why, oh why, is it still in the shadows when it comes to

TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS DISEASE!!?

It is only because relatives of those with Dementia and those actually living with dementia have started to write books about it are we starting to know the real truth about this disease, and this is exactly what this book is all about. This is a book written by someone who has Lewy Body’s type dementia but is still lucky enough to have the abilities, with a LOT of help, to write it, but let’s make one thing clear

This book is not for the faint-hearted.
This book is not about Clever Medical Terms or graphs.
This book doesn’t wear Rose tinted glasses.

This book is about not only about how hard it is to live with this awful disease, how hard it is to get help etc., but ALSO a book of helpful hints about HOW to get help, what to do when you go for a diagnosis and what to do after. It’s a book of hope, but most of all it’s a book of truth, and about, as they say,

“Hearing it right from the horse’s mouth.”

I am at peace with my illness, I believe every day is a bonus and every breath I take is a blessing, and no matter what happens, if I can give a little back to all those around me who have helped me along my way, then so be it.

Best wishes, Norrms Mc Namara, Founder of Global Purple Angel dementia awareness Campaign



Now recognised in 55 Countries around the world with 860 Global Purple Angel dementia ambassador’s.

To find out more please contact

https://www.purpleangel-global.com/



Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/norm.mac1

Twitter

@Norman Mc Namara

Amazon book also availiable on Amazon USA and Amazon EU

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lewy-Body-Soldier/dp/1536805874

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

“Elegy for Mom, A Memoir of Family Caregiving, Alzheimer’s, and Devotion” written by Vicki Kaufmann


Reposted with permission from AlzAuthors.com

By Vicki Kaufmann, MA, MPSt

“Cobwebs in my mind!” was how my mother depicted the disease that ravaged her brain. Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia in May 2000, after episodes of TIA’s and early signs of dementia. She was 82 years of age. This was a major turning point in the life of our family. For me, it was the birth of a challenging new creative phase.

I was in my 50’s, at the top of my professional career as CEO of a large social service agency. Even with professional training and master’s degrees in family studies and family counseling, I was not prepared to take on the role of daughter caregiver, looking after my frail, elderly parents.

I began to write poetry and keep a journal, jotting down what worked for me as each new trial unfolded in dealing with an unsympathetic health care system and the bewildering assisted living scene. I made a promise to myself that, when I had the time, I would write a book for family caregivers, filled with tips and ideas that I found helpful during my seven years of caregiving. Nine years later, after the deaths of both parents and shortly after I retired, I fulfilled this promise, completing my book, Elegy for Mom, A Memoir of Family Caregiving, Alzheimer’s, and Devotion, November 2015. On August 6, 2016, my book won gold and silver medals at the “President’s Awards” event of the prestigious Florida Authors and Publishers Association.

Being retired, I can now give back to the community in other ways. In June 2015, I initiated a website, “CaregiverFamilies.com,” along with a free e-newsletter dedicated to providing tips and resources to family caregivers of loved ones with dementia. I blog twice a month on aspects of dementia caregiving, and I maintain a “Caregiver Families” Facebook Page, an Author Facebook Page, and a “Caregiver Families” Pinterest Page. I also volunteer with my local Alzheimer’s Association for their Speakers’ Bureau, and make myself available for other speaking engagements.

Two of the greatest compliments I could ever receive about my memoir came from the national Dementia Action Alliance’s Board Chair, and from Alzheimer’s advocate/author Maria Shriver. “It’s outstanding! It was so inspiring, so warm! I don’t have the words to describe your book,” claimed Jackie Pinkowicz of the Dementia Action Alliance, leaving this message on my cell phone in the spring of 2016. This past December, after Ms. Shriver read my book, her assistant made a request to post one of the book’s chapters on their website, “The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.” I invite you to read Chapter 11.

A decade ago when I was caring for my mother there were few resources to support my role. I am glad that caregivers and those living with the disease are coming forward to write and discuss their challenges, joys and heartaches, and advocate for a cure. I hope that my writings and contributions are making some impact for good in the lives of fellow caregivers.

Purchase Elegy for Mom, A Memoir of Family Caregiving, Alzheimer’s, and Devotion

About the Author

Through CaregiverFamilies.com and her award-winning book, Elegy for Mom: A Memoir of Family Caregiving, Alzheimer’s, and Devotion, Vicki Kaufmann hopes to provide “tender loving care,” support for the caregiver, and practical tools and resources to educate family members about Alzheimer’s and related dementia. Her mission is to provide information on the stages of Alzheimer’s, better coping methods, and assurance, so you know you are not alone in this journey.

Vicki Kaufmann, MA, MPSt, is a retired certified family life educator and counselor. She discovered great joy and blessings in the seven- year period, from 1999–2006, when she was a caregiver for her elderly parents. Her mother suffered from vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s. Read about Vicki’s journey.

Vicki knows the importance of a family support system, having counseled hundreds of couples and families during her twelve years as a certified family life educator, and marital and family counselor. In addition, she has over thirty years experience in nonprofit management, professional fundraising, community and public relations, and collaborating with numerous social service and ecumenical organizations.

Connect with Vicki Kaufmann

Caregiver Families Website

Caregiver Families on Facebook

https://www.pinterest.com/caregiverfami/caregiver-familiescom/

Facebook Author Page

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Angel Smits: "When Reasoning No Longer Works"

Article reposted with permission from AlzAuthors.com

By Angel Smits

How does a romance writer end up writing a book about Alzheimer’s care? That question nearly stumped me, not because I don’t know how—I lived it—but because it’s a lot bigger question than it seems.

I’ve always written, always played with words and stories—ever since I was a kid. And romance has long been one of my favorite genres to read as well as write. It was a natural path to write romance when I started to focus on my fiction.

But I’ve also always known how hard it is to make a living writing, how competitive it is.

In college, I figured out that I needed to have a Plan B, a way to support myself—just in case writing didn’t work out. I’d worked in a nursing home in high school and enjoyed the people, so when I found a class in Gerontology was offered, I signed up—and promptly fell in love with a second?—first?—career.

Ever since, I’ve really never been able to decide which I enjoy more. I’ve published in both areas; mostly articles when it came to my Gerontology work and now nine romance novels, primarily for Harlequin.

While I was learning my writing craft, I kept working with the elderly, first as a social worker then later as a director for secure specialized units for Alzheimer’s patients. At night, I wrote and sent my fiction off to publishers while during the day I created care plans, social histories, activity schedules and training staff how to provide the 1-1 care we specialized in.

I can proudly say that the work paid off. I got my first publishing contract and the special care units I ran were full with waiting lists for potential residents. I felt like I’d reached both my dreams. 

One day I was in my office and the wife of one of the residents asked to see me. She looked upset and came in to sit across from me. She visited her husband nearly every day and participated in the activities with him. I knew her pretty well and it hurt to see the tears in her eyes.

She asked me a question that still haunts me. “You teach all these young people, these strangers, to take care of my husband.” I felt my pride swell at her praise. Then she continued. “Why can’t you teach me?” And I stared at her pain.

Her words hit me hard, like a bolt of lightning—and not exactly pleasantly. Why hadn’t such a thing ever occurred to me? I don’t know why, but it hadn’t. I was just so caught up in my job, in the fact that it was how the industry worked, that I didn’t think beyond those parameters.

But those words stuck with me, haunting me. When I started the next class of trainees, I saw things differently. This knowledge I’d gathered, that I was teaching, was easily something family members could learn—and something many wanted to do.

It was one of the biggest aha moments of my life.

I had the idea for the book for several months before I figured out how to do it. Just like in training, I wanted to use case studies to help illustrate the information. Finally, my fiction brain kicked in, and I came up with Rose and Lou—a couple much like the people I’d worked with every day. It felt right to blend the fiction with the training tools.

By the time I’d finished When Reasoning No Longer Works, I was writing primarily fiction and I’d moved away from working in the senior field. My focusing is now on using my words to help those dealing with caregiving. My fiction has senior characters, a couple with dementia, where I’ve slipped in some of my tips. 

The melding of both my passions now seems natural to me. I’ll always be grateful to the woman who asked me that one simple question that changed my world, and showed me how to share what I’ve learned with others who need it. 


Social Media



https://twitter.com/Angelwrite

Article reposted with permission from AlzAuthors.com

Friday, March 30, 2018

Meet Linda Brendle, Author of “A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos”




The Accidental Author

by Linda Brendle

My goal in life was not to become a writer. I enjoyed writing when I was younger, and I toyed with the idea of making a career of it until I received my first negative review from an English teacher. I don’t take criticism very well, and I took her comments personally. Years later, though, after the sting of her rejection had faded, and especially when I became a caregiver, the need to express myself resurfaced.

Becoming a caregiver was not one of my ambitions either. When I was in the seventh grade and was asked to write an essay on “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up,” my choice of careers was not caring for my aging parents. However, when a loved one has a need, you step in to help. Then, whether by small increments as the need progresses, or all at once because of a catastrophic event, you realize that you have become a caregiver.

When I became a real hands-on caregiver, I often went to Aunt Fay for advice. She’s Mom’s younger sister, and she cared for both her mother and her husband for many years. One thing she told me was to keep a journal, because one day my experiences might be of help to someone else, and I took her advice. I didn’t write every day, but after a particularly trying episode, I’d write about it and post it on Facebook. It was a safe way to vent, people responded positively, and I was encouraged to continue to write.

Later, my husband David and I bought a motor home and fell in love with the RV life. We were both retired, so we decided to take an extended trip through the southeastern part of the United States. Mom and Dad were living with us by then, so they were included in the plans. I knew that sharing a tiny living space with two people with Alzheimer’s, even two people I loved dearly, would lead to many trying episodes, so I took along several of my favorite pens and a spiral notebook.

Initially, I had no larger purpose in mind than to keep a record of our travels and perhaps gather material for a few Facebook posts. But situations that can be overlooked in a 2,600 square foot home are in your face in a 40-foot RV, and I began to pay closer attention to what was going on. I discovered more than I wanted to know about how much Alzheimer’s had taken from Mom and Dad. I realized that the simple tasks of taking a shower or shaving had become overwhelming, and simple decisions like ordering from a menu were impossible. I also recognized my own denial of our new reality.

By the time our journey was nearing its end, I began to wonder if my journal might be more than just a practice exercise, and visions of a book danced in my head. Once we were home and settled, I transcribed the handwritten manuscript onto my computer and polished it a bit. I asked my son, who had already published several books, to take a look at it. His response went something like this:

“You tell a good story, but where is your story? Why are you in Florida; why are you caring for your parents; and who is David?”

I went back to the keyboard, and for the next several years I edited again and again. I worked hard to break through the protective barriers I had built around my own feelings and to share the harsh realities of this horrible disease and the good, the bad, and the ugly of how I dealt with being a caregiver. When I finally went public, my readers said my story made them feel less alone. By exposing my own fears and failures, I had given them permission to accept their own shortcomings, and to tell their own stories.

I began to write because it was personally therapeutic, but I continue to write because my stories touch others. People who have little joy left in their lives laugh with me at the antics of my sweet family; those who have shed an ocean of tears are encouraged when they discover that someone else understands; and some who feel like caregiving is a dead-end are inspired to keep living in spite of their situations. My book isn’t a best-seller, but as it helps ease the burden of those who are dealing with Alzheimer’s, it somehow gives a sense of meaning to Mom and Dad’s struggle – and that is all the success I could hope for.



About the Author



I cared for my mother and father, both of whom had dementia, for fifteen years. After that season of my life passed, my husband David and I moved to the country where I work part-time at my church, garden when the notion strikes, tend to the whims of the feral cat who took over our home two years ago, and write about all of the above.

Connect with Linda Brendle

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Meet Meg Foster, author of “7 Spiritual Steps for Caregivers: A Path to Meaning and Hope in Alzheimer’s & Dementia Caregiving”


7 Spiritual Steps – A Journal to Ease the Way


By Meg Foster

According to Alzheimer’s International, globally, there are nearly 44 million people that have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.

In America alone, there are 5.3 million living with Alzheimer’s disease. 74% of caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias reported that they were “somewhat concerned” to “very concerned” about maintaining their own health since becoming a caregiver.

Certainly these caregivers and their loved ones are in a health care crisis

The immediate needs of these families in crisis are practical care coordination support and resources. But as those needs are sought by families, which is no easy task unto itself, there are also emotional and spiritual needs of the caregiver that cannot be overlooked, but are in most instances.

I summarize that need as Spiritual Health – the emotional, physical, spiritual and social well-being that is critical for caregivers to sustain this caregiver journey.

I was the caregiver to my husband Dean, who was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). It was a tough, long path of seven years for Dean. But for me, as his caregiver, I was on a different but related path – the caregiver path.

Often Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers feel lost, alone, and overwhelmed. I wrote 7 Spiritual Steps for Caregivers: A Path to Meaning and Hope in Alzheimer’s & Dementia Caregiving to alleviate those feelings with a self-awareness process and tools. This is a straight forward structured guidebook for family caregivers to discover and build upon their spiritual health foundation which will strengthen them for this arduous journey.

Through growth in self-awareness and the strengthening of a spiritual foundation, caregivers can then experience ease, meaning and hope in the reality of their daily caregiving duties with their loved one thus reducing stress, anxiety, and feelings of being lost, alone and overwhelmed.

The feedback on the book has been positive and I’m excited to share this information. A recent Amazon book reviewer said, “Good resource and worksheets for caregivers. It gets you through the process with more grace and forgiveness, so that you can be the calm in the storm.” I hope many others can have easy access to spiritual help and that gives me satisfaction that my experience can be useful for others. There’s an ebook, paperback and expanded journal paperback available on Amazon.

Wishing you Light on your Caregiver Path,
Meg Foster





Connect with Meg Foster


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Welcome back, Joy Johnston, author of “The Reluctant Caregiver”


By Joy Johnston

Not everyone is born a natural caregiver.

Unlike some caregivers who can draw upon their experience as a parent or time spent taking care of siblings when they were younger, I had no such reservoir of caregiving knowledge when my parents fell ill. An only child who lived 1,300 miles away from my parents, my father began showing signs of dementia while I was in my mid-thirties. Assuming the role of long-distance caregiver, I helped my mother by paying bills, sending supplies, and researching care options.

It was not until six months after my father’s death, when my mother suddenly fell ill and was diagnosed with colon cancer, that I became a primary caregiver. I was woefully unprepared and frankly, reluctant to step into the role. My mother required emergency surgery and faced a lengthy recovery. I ended up quitting my job and temporarily moving to New Mexico to care for her. What followed was a crash course in caregiving, with all the ups and downs that comes with the territory, like the most terrifying roller coaster in the world. (I’ve always hated roller coasters.)

For the next several months, I served as my mother’s caregiver and patient advocate. My mother suffered complications and required rehab in a skilled nursing facility. I filled out copious amounts of paperwork, ensured my mother was getting proper care, and made modifications to her home for her eventual return. Caregiving is physically, mentally, and emotionally the most challenging job I’ve ever had, and it gave me a whole new appreciation for caregivers.

I began writing essays about caregiving when my father was in the memory care center during the last year of his life, and continued writing through my mother’s battle with cancer. The essay writing was both therapeutic and empowering. I submitted some of these essays to online outlets and found they generated a passionate response. Fellow caregivers seemed to appreciate my nontraditional perspective and opened up about their own difficult caregiving experiences. This encouraged me to release The Reluctant Caregiver, a collection of these personal essays. My brutally honest writing style contains language that some may find objectionable, but the essays also depict the love, humor, and heartbreak that accompanies the caregiving journey.

There are many wonderful books for dementia caregivers and about family caregiving in general, but I felt that there are few books that speak to the Generation X and younger crowd in a realistic manner. For those familiar with the book, Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us, I wanted to capture a similar tone, but for caregivers. I also wanted to be inclusive of those who may have reservations about caring for a family member and that it’s okay to have feelings of reluctance, fear, and resentment. If I survived and even became pretty darn good at caregiving, then you can too!

Note: The Reluctant Caregiver contains profanity and graphic descriptions of medical care. 


About the Author:

Joy Johnston is an experienced digital journalist who is a National Content Editor for Cox Media Group, where she specializes in creating viral content that drives web traffic and social engagement.

Joy received the 2015 Rick Bragg Prize for Nonfiction from the Atlanta Writers Club. Her work has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul and other anthologies. Joy also works to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and caregiving through her blog, The Memories Project, and through essays that have appeared in digital and print formats. The Reluctant Caregiver is her first book.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Meet Linda Jenkins, Author of “To Helen With Love: A Memoir of a Daughter’s Caregiving Journey”


By Linda Jenkins

After five years in the making, writing this memoir has been one of the most intense endeavors I’ve ever taken on, but well worth it.

While I was writing this memoir I discovered how much pain I still had deep inside of me. Pain from some of the experiences. Pain from not knowing what or how to deal with dementia. Pain of not understanding what caregiving entails. Pain from dealing with the healthcare field. Finally, pain when it’s all over.

Many times through my caregiving years I felt lonely inside. Even after my Mother’s death I felt loneliness. You know what I mean if you are a Caregiver or have been one. Even though I was surrounded by family and people I loved, there was still a sense of loneliness.

Pouring through my journals to capture information for my memoir was like going back in time and reliving the experiences. Some of my entries were humorous and other entries were screaming, “Help! I don’t understand.” Still others were filled with sadness and torment. I even found myself in tears while typing the manuscript! I began to realize I wasn’t “done” with my grieving, not even close. That’s when I discovered I had not had any closure; I had no idea how much I needed that. Personally, I don’t believe we ever truly “get over” the death of someone we love, we just learn to accept it; we never really forget. My loved ones are still close to my heart.

My intention for writing this memoir is to help other caregivers know they are not alone in their journey; to let them know it’s an ongoing learning experience all the way to the end. There’s no magic wand to free up the pain and sacrificing a caregiver deals with.

In my personal experience, my faith was my saving grace throughout my caregiving years. The Lord carried me through some rough and turbulent seas, without Him I would have drowned.

A scripture that came to me during the writing of my memoir, and is included inside the book is: “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5.

The feedback I’ve gotten from my book has been one of encouragement, hope and most of all keeping the faith. This is confirmation of the need caregivers are searching for.

Purchase To Helen with Love, A Memoir of a Daughter’s Caregiving Journey

About the Author

Linda Jenkins has been in the skin care field for 18 years. Time spent with individual clients taught her how deep a relationship can go with genuine caring and the importance of touch. Having a nurturing character and personality helped her as she became the primary Caregiver for her mother after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Living the role as a caregiver, journaling along the way, Linda was compelled to share her experience with others after the death of her mother in 2011. To Helen With Love, A Daughter’s Caregiving Journey offers information, support and inspiration.

Connect with Linda Jenkins Facebook Blog

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Meet Rick Lauber, author of “The Successful Caregiver’s Guide” and “The Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians”



What motivates a writer to write a book? It could be to share a story, educate/help the reader, or to entertain. I wrote both my books to support readers, raise awareness for a growing issue, increase understanding, and also to personally cope.

Before becoming a twice-published book author, I was a former co-caregiver (working with my two sisters) for my own aging parents (Mom had Parkinson’s disease and Leukemia while Dad had Alzheimer’s disease). This was not a job I was expecting or prepared for and it came with a steep learning curve. Not only did I face a quick education about eldercare, I also had to deal with the physical, mental, emotional, and financial impacts of caregiving–-it is certainly challenging to helplessly watch your parents decline.

Standing by as Dad’s Alzheimer’s disease progressed was heart wrenching. He not only forgot his own life and career but also me as his only son (I often say that I lost Dad twice–once when he didn’t recognize me anymore and once again when he passed away). As a means of managing my mounting stress, I turned to writing. Writing provided me a safe means to privately–or publicly–share my thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Some of my stories have remained forever saved on my computer’s desktop while others were published in newspapers, magazines, and blogs; these same stories became the platform for my two books–the first titled “Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians”and the second titled “The Successful Caregiver’s Guide.”


Following the publication of both my books, I have turned from author to promoter. While speaking about oneself and/or one’s own work can prove to be difficult for introverted writers, it is necessary as a writer is his/her own best salesperson. One of my favourite means of promotion is through bookstore signings where I will visit a bookstore for several hours and meet with store customers. My initial book signings proved to be quite nerve-wracking (as I felt like a fish in a fishbowl for all to see); however, I have become more comfortable and confident with personally meeting others who are preparing for caring, currently working as a caregiver, or recovering from a previous caregiving journey and have found these times to be valuable…I not only hear many touching stories from those I meet but also high praise for what I have written.

Feedback on both my books has included “Superbly written”, “A lifesaver for anyone who is caring for elderly parents,” and “A wonderful, concise, practical book.” While writers may “sit”on a story and revisit it repeatedly to tweak the wording (meaning a story may never become published…), hearing from many readers about how helpful my books have been to them and their families, I am at peace with what I have written and have no regrets. I like to think that my father, a retired English Professor, would have been very proud of his only son’s writing accomplishments. I had never imagined writing a book–let alone two books!–but I am very pleased that I found the strength and courage to do this, as well as a publisher who has continually supported me and believed in the idea.



Connect with Rick Lauber




Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mary Ann Drummond Shares Grandma and Me – A Kid’s Guide for Alzheimer’s and Dementia


By Mary Ann Drummond

Nearly five years ago, after presenting at an Alzheimer’s caregiver conference, a seed was planted in my heart to write a children’s book about Alzheimer’s and dementia. When the conference was over one of the attendees came up to purchase one of my books. As she was leaving she asked if I could recommend a book to help her young child with the changes her family was experiencing since her mother was diagnosed with dementia. I was at a loss. I had been so focused on education for adults that I had not researched current literature for children.

I soon learned there were several great titles available to help children understand the dementia journey. What motivated me to add to the existing collection was the growing need to help young children not only understand this difficult topic in a sensitive, age-appropriate way, but also a sincere desire to give families tools to help maintain connections for as long as possible.

Last year, I was blessed to partner in this project with a talented co-author, Dr. Beatrice Tauber Prior, and a brilliant illustrator, Julia Walther. The imagery in the beautiful artwork of Grandma and Me helps to capture the child’s imagination. My grandson liked the book so much he took it everywhere with him for two days, even into the movie theater!

Together with Beatrice and Julia, my vision for this book came to life in a much greater way than I could have done alone. Children aged five to nine are drawn into the story, learning how to help their loved ones while maintaining a loving relationship. There is a special counseling section for parents at the end to guide them as they continue to work with their child. Grandma and Me helps to address a young child’s feelings, provides tools to help them feel successful in their interactions, and provides answers on how to maintain the connections between family members, despite the disease.

The first review I received was from a young reader who bought the book to help explain dementia to her little brother. Both Beatrice and myself were deeply touched by her words: This book is about a sad topic, but it explained very well about the Alzheimer’s disease. The pictures are very entertaining and captivating. We were drawn right into the book with the exciting story. Now I know more about this, and I can help explain it to my younger brother.

I am thankful for the partnerships that brought this book to life. From the caregiver who planted the seed in my heart several years ago, to my co-author Beatrice, our illustrator Julia, our publisher Morgan James, and most of all, the many special people who have dementia that we have had the pleasure to care for, learn from, work with and know. You are all part of the tapestry that has made Grandma and Me – A Kid’s Guide for Alzheimer’s and Dementia one of the newest resources available for the dementia care family.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Meet Kathi Macias, author of "To The Moon and Back"


By Kathi Macias
As a fulltime writer/editor, I was blessed to be able to work at home and take care of my mother during her last few years of life. I was also blessed that even up until her death at the age of ninety, she was clear-minded. Sadly, so many others are not, making their caregiver’s job so much more difficult.

Though I didn’t have to deal with the issue of Alzheimer’s with either of my parents, I have countless friends and acquaintances who have done so in the past and are doing so even now. Because I write novels about current issues, it seemed a natural choice to base one of my books on the heart-rending topic of Alzheimer’s.

As I planned the book, I realized I wanted it to be about more than what the caregiver experienced; I wanted it to be told (primarily) from the viewpoint of the person actually experiencing Alzheimer’s. And so the idea for To the Moon and Back was born.
Rachel, my primary character, is in her late sixties and also in the early to mid-stages of Alzheimer’s. At times she is clear-headed, but more and more often she finds herself slipping into what she considers “the darkness,” where she begins to lose herself and the memories of a life she once considered happy and fulfilling.

With the increasing darkness comes more and more confusion and fear—and yes, even anger. Her husband of nearly forty-five years, dealing with health issues of his own, is perplexed at the changes he sees in Rachel. Their grown daughter, who comes home to help out, is the first to suspect the problem, but she tries desperately to come up with alternate explanations for her mother’s erratic behavior.

As this family takes its first tentative steps toward acceptance and working through this devastating diagnosis and debilitating disease, readers are drawn in and better able to view and understand the issues related to Alzheimer’s because they can “feel” those issues through the eyes and hearts of the book’s characters. That’s why I felt it was important for me to write about this issue in a fictional setting; the feedback I’m getting from readers confirms I was right. Many, in fact, have told me they’ve found numerous helpful nonfiction books about Alzheimer’s, but To the Moon and Back is one of the few fictional resources available.

In addition to the moving story of a family dealing with Alzheimer’s, I’ve added a “Making It Personal” section at the end of the book, containing thought-provoking questions that can easily be used by individuals or in a group setting. These questions are followed by a section of resources for caregivers and friends/family members of those with Alzheimer’s. This particular disease, perhaps more than most, is definitely a “family affair,” and I believe it is important to approach and deal with the topic with that fact in mind.

I can be reached via my website (www.kathimacias.com).
On Facebook (Kathi Macias—personal page; https://www.facebook.com/Kathi-Macias-75996188045/ --author page).
On Twitter (@alandkathi).

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Meet Bobbi Carducci, author of "Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver"


By Bobbi Carducci

“What’s going to happen to Rodger?’ was the first thing most people asked upon hearing of my mother-in-law’s passing. Extremely introverted, unable to drive, and not in good health, he’d been dependent on her to care for everything it took to run a home for many years. Fortunately my husband and I had talked about taking in one of our parents when and if the time came. We had both the room and the desire to do it. We knew it would be hard at times, but were convinced we would make it work.

We didn’t know how sick he was, how hard it would be, or how long it would last. The first surprise for both my husband and I was learning that he was schizophrenic and had been since 1947. It certainly explained a lot about his odd behavior over the years, but until the medical records arrived, no one in the family had ever mentioned the 13 years he’s spent in mental hospitals from 1947 to 1960. In addition to being mentally ill he developed dementia, Parkinson’s disease, congestive heart failure and dysphagia.

I did what I could to educate myself about the various diseases and how to help him have the best possible life as long as possible. It was harder than I ever thought it could be. I called it creative problem solving on the run. All day, every day and night was a challenge. I doubted myself so many times. Why couldn’t I figure this out? Why couldn’t I make him understand I loved him and wanted the best for him?

I often heard caregivers ask the same questions, express the same frustrations, and cry for help. “Why doesn’t someone write a book that tells people what it’s really like to care for someone with dementia at home?” I decided to write that book.

Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver is the true story of one family coping with one of the most difficult, and fastest growing issues of our day. It’s raw and it’s real. I invite readers to cry, shout, despair and laugh with me as I did the best I could to save him from himself, while he did everything he could to convince everyone I was crazy and he could take of himself.

I had one patient for seven years, my father-in- law, and became fearless when taking doctors, nurses, and other health care providers to task to make sure he always got the care he needed.

After Rodger passed away, I decided to become a caregiver advocate and do all I can to support caregivers. I am now a caregiver support group leader, blogger and national speaker on issues dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Caregivers have thanked me for writing the book and expressing in vivid detail what it takes to be caregiver and the toll it takes on those who do it.

Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver perfectly encapsulates the human experience, not just the caregivers. When we live in a world of worry, stress, and self-doubt, where do we go to find the strength to go on? Bobbi’s retelling of her caregiving years unfold in a beautiful answer to the questions posed by sickness, health, care, and loss.” Alexandra Axel, Media Director, The Caregiver Space.

About the Author 


Bobbi Carducci as a national speaker on the subject of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, how it affects entire families and how to Prepare to Care – What Adults need to Know about Alzheimer’s/ Dementia Before and After It Strikes Home.

"Brutally honest and written from the heart, Carducci’s intimate chronicle of caring for her father-in-law is a poignant story of strength, compassion, and humor that will linger with you long after you read the last page. Highly recommended for anyone caring for an elderly parent.” Jan Neuharth, author of the Hunt Country Suspense novels

Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver is available on Amazon and through Open Books Press and her website www.bobbicarducci.com @BobbiCarducci2 @BobbiCarducci

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Meet blogger, Amie McGraham “Taking Care”


LIFE, REPURPOSED

By Amie McGraham

The year I turned fifty, I transitioned from a successful thirty-year sales and marketing career to the role of primary caregiver for my mother, returning to the island home of my childhood three thousand miles away. Mom has had Alzheimer’s for the past few years and, while she’s aware that she’s slowly slipping away, refuses to recognize this because of her religious beliefs. Disease of any type is a topic we never talk about. For her, to acknowledge dementia would be to admit that disease is real: that God’s plan has been altered.

I was raised in this religion. Based on faith healing, it rejects medicine, doctors and hospitals; prohibits alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and drugs. My parents divorced when I was eleven and I divorced myself from religion, beginning a twenty-five year spiral into a life of alcoholism, half measures and wanderlust; unfulfilled careers and relationships. Eventually, I clawed my way out and began rebuilding my life.

Repairing the relationship with my mother is part of my recovery. Immersion into the world of Alzheimer’s caregiving initially felt like a labyrinth in which all roads seemed to lead to frustration, anger and impatience. Sometimes it seemed more like a duty. But caregiving, I’ve discovered, is truly the best form of service. It’s taken a while to embrace this; longer to actually live it. In caring for my mother — actually living with her for the first time since my reckless departure from her life at age thirteen — I have developed real compassion. For my mother. For others. And for myself.

Now, I’m giving back by writing about the Alzheimer’s caregiving experience. My writing roots go back nearly a century; both grandparents were published authors. At age eight, I aspired to be a famous novelist, furiously scribbling stories in my office in the garage. But life happened, and my future dreams of a writing career were shelved until now.

I’ve transferred my passion for writing into purpose, with a flash blog launched in 2017. As the only child, long distance caregiver to my mother whose faith-based religion disallows acknowledgement of her Alzheimer’s, I offer a unique perspective in caregiving. My words take the reader on a holistic journey beyond the clinical aspects of the disease and into the emotional core of caregiving.

My audience includes caregivers and caregiving organizations worldwide. Since a caregiver’s free time and attention span is limited, I keep my message laser-focused; every post is 140 words or less. Although I’m active on various social media platforms, promoting my blog and website is an intentionally understated effort, out of respect for family privacy and due to time constraints as Alzheimer’s rapidly progresses.

As caregivers, we, too, live this disease. Untethered in time and space, we become the mirrors of our carees’ emotions. And through our shared experiences, together we can strengthen the bond of compassionate caregiving.

Recent Feedback

“I’ve been loving your recent posts, bittersweet as they are.”

–Michelle Seitzer, Eldercare storyteller & advocate

“Your blog reminds me of my own caregiving journey. You have a way with words.”

–Melody Leavitt, caregiver to parents with Alzheimer’s

“A brief and important post . . . often the caregiver and young carer roles are far more than personal care. It’s those other tasks that can be your undoing.”

–Lillian Lake, caregiver and young carers advocate

About the Author

Amie McGraham grew up on a small island off the coast of Maine. She has written and published more than 300 articles on animal advocacy for Best Friends Animal Society, the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the nation and is currently writing her first novel. She received her BA in English from Arizona State University. Now a family caregiver and occasional pet sitter, she splits her time between Maine and Arizona. Her article, “Staying in the Okay Part,” was a featured Caregiver Story on The Caregiver Space. Her blog, Taking Care, shares her journey as caregiver to a mother with Alzheimer’s and is read in ten countries.

Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on the Taking Care website.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Meet Lauren Dykovitz, author of “Learning to Weather the Storm: A Story of Life, Love, and Alzheimer’s”


When I was just 25 years old, my whole world was turned upside down. My mom, who was 62 at the time, was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. I remember that phone call like it was yesterday, although it has been over seven years now. I immediately felt completely alone and utterly lost. I didn’t know anyone my age who had a parent with Alzheimer’s. I had heard a few people talk about a grandparent who had died of the disease, but never a parent. I felt like I had nowhere to turn and no one to confide in, so I didn’t tell anyone about it. I had just gotten engaged that same month and spent the next year of my life planning my wedding without my mom, while grieving small losses of her along the way. And yet, no one knew that I was suffering. Depressed, helpless, hopeless, and lost, somehow, I got through that very dark time.

At age 28, I made the decision to quit my full-time job and became a part-time caregiver for my mom. My experience as a caregiver taught me many lessons of life, love, and Alzheimer’s. I eventually came to accept my mom’s illness and began looking at it in a whole new way. Thinking back on the beginning, I remembered those feelings of loneliness and isolation all too well. I wondered how many other younger people were dealing with a parent’s Alzheimer’s and felt like I once did. I wanted to help them. I decided to share my story with others by writing a blog. The encouragement and praise of my readers led me to write my book, “Learning to Weather the Storm: A Story of Life, Love, and Alzheimer’s.”

It was very important to me that my book be an honest account of my experience. Although Alzheimer’s is not my whole life, it is a very large part of it and has had a great impact on many of my life choices. I wanted to convey the struggles of a young caregiver dealing with her mom’s illness, while still living her own life. I didn’t want to compromise any part of my story or myself. I wanted it to be authentically me. I also wanted my book to be relatable. I wanted readers to feel like they were talking to an old friend. I’m happy to say that these are the exact things readers have said about my book. I’ve been told that it is real and raw. Readers of all ages have said that my book is sad at times, but funny at others, and that they found it to be inspirational. One of my favorite compliments from a reader is that you can see me grow as a person throughout the book.

One of the main reasons I decided to share my story was that I wanted to help people. I wanted to be who I needed when my mom was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Shortly after my book was released, I began receiving messages from total strangers who had read my book. They thanked me for writing it. They said that they felt like they could have written it themselves and that it was as if I was telling their story. Complete strangers say that they feel like they know me after having read my book, as if I was talking to them through the pages. They have thanked me for putting their feelings into words and for not sugarcoating anything about Alzheimer’s.

My book has allowed me to become the voice for those who have not yet found their own. I have become someone who younger people can turn to when their parent receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. If they don’t know anyone their age who has ever been in their shoes, then at least they have me and my words. I can proudly say that I am exactly who I needed when I was younger and first learned of my mom’s Alzheimer’s. I will continue sharing my story until everyone realizes that Alzheimer’s is not an old person’s disease. It doesn’t need to be whispered about behind closed doors. It isn’t something to be ashamed of. People need to feel like they can talk about it openly. The more we all share our journeys, the less alone we will feel.

About the Author

Lauren Dykovitz lives in Delaware with her husband and her two black labs. Her mom, Jerie, is still living with Alzheimer’s disease. She is now 69-years-old.

“Learning to Weather the Storm” is Lauren’s first book. She hopes that it will be the first of many, as she plans to continue sharing her story and all of the lessons she learns along the way. Lauren also writes about her experiences on her blog, “Life, Love, and Alzheimer’s.” She has been a contributing writer for several other Alzheimer’s blogs and websites, as well. Please visit lifeloveandalzheimers.com to learn more about Lauren’s journey.

Connect with Lauren


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Brian Kursonis: Early Onset Alzheimer’s Patient and Advocate Has a Heart to Help


by Ann Campanella

Brian Kursonis, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s, and I met for the first time back in April of 2017. He showed up at the memory care facility where I was doing a reading from Motherhood: Lost and Found, a memoir about my mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s. He had reached out to me a few months earlier after seeing some posts on social media about my mother’s illness.

Brian had attempted to meet me at two earlier book signing events. The first one came and went because, well, he forgot about it. The second one, there was some confusion about which Barnes & Noble I would be at, so we ended up missing each other.

The third time was the charm. When Brian walked into the dining room of the memory care facility, I recognized him immediately from photos I’d seen on Facebook and Twitter. I asked him to join our group that had gathered around a long table. I was struck by Brian’s kind smile, his intelligence and wisdom and the fact that he and I were almost the same age.AlzAuthor Ann Campanella with Brian Kursonis

At the time, Brian was 55 and I was 56. We connected instantly, perhaps because I had experienced 14 years of my mother’s Alzheimer’s, and he was at the beginning of his journey. According to research studies, he may only live 8 to 12 more years, and his cognitive function will likely decline within 2 to 4 years.

During the reading, I asked Brian tentatively if he was comfortable talking about his condition. He cleared his throat and said, “Sure. I’d be happy to.”

Brian told the story of being diagnosed after “blanking out” repeatedly at his job where he was a process analyst of retirement accounts. The work load was heavy, with lots of number crunching, and he was used to being good at it. But suddenly he was on the verge of being fired.

He went to the doctor for Vertigo, expecting an easy fix. Brian’s fiancĂ©, who accompanied him, mentioned in passing to the doctor that his memory was terrible. This led Brian to a seeing a neurologist. The diagnosis came in stages, and his doctor used the word, “dementia.”

“I was stunned beyond stunned,” said Brian. “I didn’t even know that was a possibility
.Brian with one of his dogs

Brian’s life changed dramatically. Suddenly, he was no longer working and, instead, spent his days in an easy chair, caring for the dogs. Gradually, Brian realized he could waste the rest of his life feeling depressed with nothing to live for, or he could move forward. He began reaching out and connecting with others (like me) in the Alzheimer’s world.

By the end of the evening, I felt as if I’d met a sibling, someone who knew what it was like to stand on the precipice of Alzheimer’s and still have hope.

Recently, I set up an interview with Brian, and he shared more of what happened after his diagnosis.

After the Diagnosis

After his period of grief and adjustment, Brian realized that helping others made him happy. So he set about finding ways within the Alzheimer’s world to do just that. He drew from his experience in a former line of work as a counselor and created a website called withALZmyHEART. The website walks people through an early-onset diagnosis and offers hope.Brian with Alzheimer’s advocate Ann Tillery

“I stumbled into being an advocate for Alzheimer’s,” Brian said. He met people online and at conferences. With the awareness that he was running out of time, he reached out to more people through social media. Because of his unique ability to articulate about a disease that is a mystery to many, he has been offered speaking engagements and interviews with national publications.

Brian has become the face of Alzheimer’s in PhRMA’s National GoBoldly Campaign, a public service announcement that runs on many television channels. Men’s Health Magazine and The L.A. Times ran stories on him, and he’s been interviewed by CBS Evening News and for a PBS documentary coming out in 2018.

Faith2Care

However, the project dearest to Brian’s heart is Faith2Care, an innovative plan to connect caregivers, people of faith and those in need. The idea came to him after spending time on several Facebook caregiver groups. “The posts broke my heart,” he said. “I had to find a way to help.”
Brian working on his most important project: Faith2Care.

Brian wants to find all the caregivers that need help – anything from mowing a lawn to giving someone a ride or providing respite care – and match them up with those in the faith community who want to help.

“Caregivers are a hidden group,” said Brian. “They don’t have time to have a voice. The faith community wants to help, but they don’t know how to find the caregivers.”

“I want to do this on a grassroots level,” said Brian, “bringing people together.” His Faith2Care website will be the hub, and he has hired a company to help him manage all the data.

Brian has not allowed his disease to define him. “I don’t care how people see me,” he said. “I just want to help.”

The future does not concern Brian. He’s focused on the present and doing everything he can to make the world a more compassionate place for caregivers and those who are living with Alzheimer’s.

Ann Campanella joined the management team of AlzAuthors last year. She is the author of Motherhood: Lost and Found, a memoir that tells the story of her mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s at the same time Ann was trying to become a parent and experiencing infertility.

Connect with Brian on his social media:

Websites: withALZmyHEART and Faith2Care




Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Harriet Hodgson writes a new book, “Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief”


Anticipatory Grief: Powerful Feelings for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

By Harriet Hodgson

After my father died, my mother moved to Florida to be near her older sister. Two years later her sister died, and Mom felt lost without her. To fill her days, Mom went on a variety of trips, often with a friend. One day she called to tell me she was “out West.”

“What state are you in?” I asked.

“I don’t know.”

What town are you in?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, where are you now?”

“I’m in a phone booth!” she replied in an angry voice. (Phone booths still existed then.)

Was my mother with a tour group? Did she have enough money? When would she be home? I didn’t have a chance to ask these questions because Mom blurted, “But I can’t talk to you now because the boat is going down the Colorado.” Then she hung up.

I stood in the kitchen, with the phone in my hand, and started laughing. Always interested in the world, I pictured Mom in a pith helmet, clad in waterproof gear, sitting in an inflatable boat with tourists, and shooting over rapids. Minutes later my laughter turned to tears. During our regular phone calls I realized the intelligent, dependable, funny mother of my childhood had become a different person—confused, impatient, and angry.

On the morning of my father’s funeral Mom had suffered a mini stroke. The strokes continued in Florida. When she was found wandering in a Sears store (Mom was looking for her car), I moved her to my hometown, Rochester, Minnesota. I found an apartment for her in an assisted living community. Mom was quite happy there, but, as the years passed, her dementia worsened. According to her doctor, Mom’s mini strokes added up to Alzheimer’s.

He didn’t order cognitive tests for her because, as he noted, “We already know the results.” Cell-by-cell, my mother was dying right before my eyes. Witnessing her decline was heartbreaking. I felt like a black cloud followed me everywhere I went. A friend of mine, who is a certified grief counselor, asked how I was feeling. I told her I was stressed and exhausted. “You’re going through anticipatory grief, and it’s very powerful,” she explained.

Her comment led to my research on anticipatory grief, and my research continues to this day. What is anticipatory grief?

Anticipatory grief is a feeling of loss before a death or dreaded event occurs. Everyone goes through anticipatory grief, yet many have never heard the term. I decided to write a book on the topic and worked on it for a dozen years. I sent the outline, along with a cover letter, to my New York City publisher, and waited anxiously for a reply. Nothing. Finally, I called the acquisitions editor. Yes, she had read my letter and outline. “I don’t get it,” the editor said. “I just don’t get it.”

From the sound of her voice, I could tell the editor was young and hadn’t experienced anticipatory grief yet. There was no way I could make her “get it.” Still, the editor gave me some smart advice: get a medical co-author. I followed her advice and contacted Dr. Lois Krahn, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist who lived in my neighborhood. Dr. Krahn was willing to read the manuscript, vet the contents, and contribute to it.

With patience and skill, Dr. Krahn wove her points into the existing manuscript. We tried to find a publisher, but struck out. The traditional publishers weren’t interested in grief, so we turned to CreateSpace, Amazon’s publishing company. After the book was released Dr. Krahn called me. She said she hadn’t thought about anticipatory grief before working on the book. “Now I realize it walks into my office every day.”

Anticipatory grief may have walked into your life. Smiling Through Your Tears may be just the help you need. It focuses on anticipatory grief’s uniqueness, grief of terrorism, anticipatory grief as a reaction to change, factors that shape this grief, symptoms and stages, responses to anticipatory grief, complications, coping tips, and how early grief may help you. Each chapter ends with Healing Steps you may take.

Amazon reviews of the book are rewarding:
A life changing book.
Anticipatory grief is very hard. Good guide to get through it.
They have provided a guide for the emotional dynamic and healing path to wholeness.
Very good book about a painful subject.
If you are a long term caregiver, as I am, this book is a must.

You don’t have to go through anticipatory grief alone. Smiling Through Your Tears may serve as your guide and companion. Most important, it can lead you to the future. I give workshops about this form of grief. At the end of a workshop an audience member thanked me for doing it. “I didn’t know what was happening to me,” she admitted. “Now I know and can give it a name.”