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.

Monday, September 21, 2015

World Alzheimer's Day

I've got to be honest, I did not know today was World Alzheimer's Day until I logged into my Twitter account this morning. 

On the heels of my first Alzheimer's Walk last Saturday, another day to raise attention to Alzheimer's/dementia sparks many thoughts. 

First, I'd love to recommend two books in support of caregivers. 

Vicki Tapia's Somebody Stole My Iron will touch your heart as she describes caring for both parents, first her father, then her mother as  her mom's mind dissolved away from the disease. Vicki's book describes the sadness caregivers experience as we watch the glow of recognition leave the eyes of the ones we love, as they become a shadow of themselves. 

Marianne Sciucco's Blue Hydrangeas is fiction based upon Marianne's years of  experience working with Alzheimer's/dementia patients and their families. Her characters, Jack and Sarah, own a New England bed and breakfast until Sarah becomes confused with reservations and finances and is admitted to the hospital. Upon her discharge, Jack is faced with making difficult decisions for the love of his life. 

I read a blogpost in my Twitter feed this morning written by Pippa Kelly, @piponthecommons, a well-know Alzheimer's/dementia advocate from London, entitled ""Dementia's Where Cancer Was 40 Years Ago." Is It?" The post is well worth the read. I was intrigued by Pippa's conclusions, 
"If dementia is anywhere near where cancer was 30-40 years ago, it's in the realm of stigma reduction. The more we talk about dementia, the more we demystify it, the less fearful and more confident everyone becomes." 
Her term 'stigma reduction' will stick with me. 

I guess that's why there are organizations dedicated to Alzheimer's/dementia awareness. 

That's why we set aside days to ponder, pray, wish and strive for scientific advances and treatments. 

That's why we write blogs and books to share support. 

We do all of this to reduce the stigma of a disease that is painfully personal and private.

Thank you, readers, for all you do in your lives to bring closer the day that Alzheimer's and all dementias will have effective treatments and better survival rates like cancer does now.

Otherwise, you know, nobody's getting out alive.

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