Managed by six daughters who have experienced the loss of a loved one with dementia, AlzAuthors.com serves the goal of making a difference to your dementia journey.
We chose to write about our personal stories to help others along their journey and now, we invite others to join us and become an AlzAuthor.
We know the pain of being forgotten.
We have all witnessed decline.
We have provided countless hours of caregiving.
We know many others have experienced the same and we believe in the power of sharing those stories.
Our AlzAuthors write words that serve as caregiver handbooks, guides through the disease process, or a catalyst for much needed conversation. We feature a new author each week and receive requests for inclusion from writers globally. We are 160 strong and growing.
May one of our AUTHORS speak to your experience.
How it all began
In June of 2015, authors Marianne Sciucco, Jean Lee, and Vicki Tapia became cyber friends on social media after reading each other’s books. Recognizing the power of collaboration, the trio began promoting their books together and writing blog posts about Alzheimer’s, dementia, and caregiving for different caregiver websites. They believed three voices could increase impact.
A few months later, Shannon Wiersbitzky joined the group and AlzAuthors organized its first “National Caregiver Appreciation Month” awareness campaign, now an annual event. In June, 2016, the team decided to create a website to gather resources in one place where caregivers and those living with memory impairment could find solid support, and authors could find the proper audience. They invited authors to write short posts about the story behind their story and these writings birthed AlzAuthors.com. Within that first year, over 60 authors became an “AlzAuthor.”
Our Collaboration Today
Now, two short years later, AlzAuthors.com continues to feature a new author weekly and receives requests for inclusion from writers worldwide. The website is fast approaching 175 authors. Kathryn Harrison, Ann Campanella and Irene Olson have joined the team of volunteers with Marianne, Jean and Vicki in the administration of this not-for-profit website. Shannon Wiersbitzky has since left the management team but continues to be a strong supporter and resource for AlzAuthors.
AlzAuthors.com is a community of bestselling, award-winning authors who have never shaken hands or shared a cup of coffee, yet came together because their lives have been impacted by Alzheimer’s and dementia.
AlzAuthors Bookstore is a vast, go-to collection of top books for individuals, assisted living facilities, doctor’s offices, and other businesses offering eldercare services. As an Amazon affiliate, the small percentage of proceeds earned from bookstore sales contributes to the cost of maintaining the website.
Together, all AlzAuthors strive to eliminate the stigma surrounding the most important disease of our generation, estimated to affect 47 million people worldwide.
- AlzAuthors spoke at the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Education Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina in August. Our AlzAuthors donated over 60 books for this event!
- AlzAuthors generously donated books for an Alzheimer’s and dementia-friendly cruise with Elite Cruises and Vacations in September. Cruise participants received these books as daily prizes, and eBooks were also offered on sale to cruise attendees.
- The Management Team of AlzAuthors will attend the national Caregiving.com Conference in Chicago in November.
- AlzAuthors will publish an anthology of their first year’s blog posts in November, with the goal of reaching those who have not discovered the AlzAuthors website or prefer to read an eBook or paperback.
One can sing a lonely song, but we chose to form a choir and create harmony.
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Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resources Facebook Page
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AlzAuthors Management team:
Jean Lee’s parents were both diagnosed on the same day with Alzheimer’s Disease. She worked full time as an elementary teacher while experiencing the heartbreak, confusion, and exhaustion common to all caregivers. Through her memoir, Alzheimer’s Daughter, readers travel a journey beginning with a WWII romance, through aging and first suspicions to finally her parents’ last breaths. “I wrote the book I needed to read while caregiving for my parents,” she says. Her memoir is a beautiful but poignant tribute to her parents and a source of support for caregivers.
Vicki Tapia also cared for both parents. After teaching somewhere around 10,000 mother/baby pairs the art of breastfeeding, Vicki Tapia, lactation consultant, found her energies redirected to the other end of life, after both parents were diagnosed with dementia. A diary written to help her cope with caregiving morphed into Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia, a finalist in the 2015 High Plains Book Awards. Called a “must read for caregivers,” this memoir is written in a conversational style, filled with personal lessons learned along the way, ideas and tips for managing the day-to-day difficulties of dementia, and useful information from experts within the field of Alzheimer’s research.
Marianne Sciucco is a registered nurse who cared for hundreds of dementia patients over a 20-year career. Her novel, Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s Love Story, is based on a couple she met through her work and is a testament to the power of love in the face of this heart wrenching disease. Marianne’s tender work of fiction brings consolation and understanding to all who encounter Alzheimer’s. Ironically, two years after her novel’s publication, she started living her own story when her stepfather was diagnosed with mixed dementia: frontotemporal lobe, vascular, and Alzheimer’s. As his Health Care Proxy and Power of Attorney, she became his medical, legal, and financial representative. At the same time, she became the same to her mother, who was suffering from heart failure and dementia caregiver PTSD. “Suddenly, I was the one with all the answers, all the responsibility. It was overwhelming,” she says. “I immediately turned to my AlzAuthors friends to help navigate this stressful situation. The wealth of knowledge I have gained from my years as a nurse working with dementia patients and their families also kept me sane.” Her stepfather passed away in January, 2018. Marianne continues to manage her mother’s care and personal affairs.
Kathryn Harrison was compelled to create a children’s book about dementia, Weeds in Nana’s Garden, following her mother’s passing from Frontotemporal dementia in 2010. During her family’s journey with the disease, she noticed how much involving her two young children in caregiving added value to the experience. Thus, she decided to create an engaging picture book that could reach many children, enhance their understanding of dementia and perhaps encourage them to connect more with those on this journey. The enchanting illustrations in Kathryn’s award-winning book enhance the poignancy of the loving story. It is available in English, French, German and Portuguese. What’s more, Kathryn has collaborated with another Dementia Care Expert, Jaclyn Guenette, to launch another book for children about dementia this past Spring, I Smile For Grandpa.
Ann Campanella, a horsewoman and former magazine and newspaper editor, has been published nationally and internationally. She wrote her award-winning memoir, Motherhood: Lost and Found, after her mother developed Alzheimer’s at the same time Ann was trying to become a parent and experiencing infertility. Ann’s remarkable book records the ordinary and extraordinary courage of those who endure family tragedy, yet continue to find hope and beauty in their circumstances. Twice, Ann received the Poet Laureate Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society for poems written about her parents. Now, the grateful mother of a teenager, she enjoys writing, blogging, and making connections with others on the caregiving journey.
Irene Frances Olson writes from passion and experience. She was her father’s caregiver during his struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Having previously worked in the assisted living and memory care industry, she was not new to the disease—nor was her family immune.
After her father’s 2007 death from Alzheimer’s disease, Ms. Olson worked as an Alzheimer’s Association support meeting facilitator and concurrently, she worked for the State of Washington as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTC) – an advocate for adults living in LTC settings. Irene hopes to make a difference in the lives of others by writing novels that encourage those who just might need another cheerleader in their corner.