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.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Meet blogger, Lisa B. Capp, The Day the Wheels Fell Off

By Lisa B. Capp

Everyone knows someone touched by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

We write, because today these diseases cannot be prevented, slowed or cured. We seek answers because their manifestation is often irrational, frightening and perplexing. And, as human beings, we continually reach from darkness to find light, whether you’re someone living with dementia or you’re caring for a loved one with the disease.

Millennials grew up watching their parents shoulder the responsibility of a grandparent’s care or worse, witness to early onset of a parent. In the absence of a cure, millennials will likely become the primary caregivers to their own aging baby boomer parents; those who possess a cruel knowing of how this disease will change their lives.

Our world has faced many health crises and with enough time; talent and resource has moved the needle on many. My hope: we can do the same one-day for dementia. My aspiration: I can make a contribution to caregivers who struggle everyday in their role. My blog shares a caregiver “survivor” story of the 18-year dementia journey I shared with my mother, Vera.

“The day the wheels fell off” refers to the day my family was left with only one option – to involuntarily commit our otherwise healthy mother to a locked psychiatric ward so professionals might stabilize her psychotic delusions and hallucinations. My mother’s case presented little evidence of the more traditional memory loss and confusion that the media conditioned me to expect.

The role of primary caregiver fell to me; it was just geography. With a family steeped in the Italian-American tradition of cross-generational care there were ongoing expectations, compounded by feelings of falling short, wrapped around a perpetual sense of guilt and conflict. My family, like others, was beset by long-term strains. But as her illness deepened, we unified in the dedication to our mother’s care.

Sharing a home with my mother after my dad’s death, decline began and nighttime always bred apprehension. Women walked across the roof in high heels piercing the ceiling where she laid in bed and winged monkeys pried at her bedroom windows. Late night screams and emergency room visits were commonplace.

From my blog:


As a caregiver to someone with dementia

It’s difficult to remember what they were

Before the tangles and the plaques

If I close my eyes

And push the dementia away

I see her from the seat of my bike
She’s strong and vibrant

Standing behind me

Ready to catch, if I fall

I will stay with her

Standing sentinel

Witness to this long and slow descent

# #

About the Author: Lisa B. Capp

A transformation champion working with senior leaders of business, government and non-profit organizations across five continents focused on change. I helped organizations that wanted to change their vision, their strategy, their results or their very place in the world. It proved more difficult to help myself on the transformational journey of dementia that my mother and I shared.

Website & blog:

Social Media Links:

No comments: