Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Living with Dementia, part 2

Podcast cover: Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About Living with Dementia

By Marianne Sciucco, New York, United States

In a world filled with uncertainty, there is one journey that unfolds with a twist so unexpected it leaves us breathless. A twist that reveals the unyielding strength and resilience of the human spirit. Today, we invite you to step into the lives of Peter Berry, Michael Ellenbogen, Gerda Saunders, and Jennifer Bute, individuals whose stories of living with dementia will challenge everything you thought you knew. Join us as we delve into the personal reflections of those living with dementia, weaving a tale of courage, love, and the indomitable power of the human heart.

From discussing the impact of technology on social connections to the importance of finding supportive living arrangements, this episode covers a wide range of topics that caregivers and family members of individuals living with dementia will find valuable. The guests’ personal reflections shed light on the daily realities of living with dementia, offering increased empathy and understanding. Tune in to gain new insights and discover how technology, support systems, and personal resilience can enhance the lives of individuals with dementia.

In this episode, you will:

  • Hear personal reflections from individuals living with dementia, offering a unique perspective on their journey and valuable insights for caregivers and family members
  • Explore the powerful ways in which technology can be utilized to manage and support individuals with dementia, enhancing their quality of life
  • Find out what Jennifer thinks of A-L-E-X-A
  • Learn about Michael’s difficulty reading
  • Discover Peter’s take on keeping the brain healthy
  • Understand Gerda’s compassion for those less fortunate than herself

Key Takeaways

Even with dementia, I am still capable of making positive contributions to society. Don’t underestimate what someone living with dementia can achieve. – Gerda Saunders

I overcame my depression and now fill my days with cycling across the English countryside, advocating for those with dementia. Living well with dementia is possible. – Peter Berry

My diagnosis was in 2008, and you’ll have to do the math, but it took me ten years before I got that diagnosis, so it’s been a long time. I’m definitely holding pretty steady, but I’m slowly losing the skill sets. – Michael Ellenbogen

I passionately believe that more can be done to improve both the present and the future for those living with these conditions. We all have a role to play in creating a dementia-friendly society. – Jennifer Bute

About the Authors

Peter Berry ran the family’s timber business for decades before being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at age 50. He immediately stopped working and fell into a deep depression. After some time, he realized that he still had a life to live, overcame his depression, and now fills his days with cycling across the English countryside with his friends, and advocating for those with dementia in his community and on social media. To date he has raised more than £20,000 for dementia charities through cycling challenges. He tells his story in Slow Puncture: Living Well with Dementia, with Deb Bunt. His second book, Walk with Me: Musings Through the Dementia Fog, also with Deb Bunt, was published in December 2021. Read more about Peter herehere, and here. Listen to our podcast with Peter.

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Jennifer Bute, author of Dementia from the InsideJennifer Bute, FRCGP worked in Africa as a doctor before working as a GP (Family Doctor) in England for 25 years and was involved in medical education. Diagnosed with dementia more than ten years ago, she speaks at conferences and on radio and has been involved in television programs raising awareness and understanding of dementia. She passionately believes more can be done to improve both the present and the future for those living with these conditions. She is the author of Dementia from the Inside: A Doctor’s Personal Journey of Hope. Her website GloriousOpportunity.org includes videos where she discusses different aspects of the condition, and she also blogs on Facebook at Glorious Opportunity. Read more about Jennifer here and here. Listen to our podcast with Jennifer.

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Michael Ellenbogen, From the Corner Office to Alzheimer'sMichael Ellenbogen was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 49, after experiencing symptoms for 10 years. This led to an early retirement from his career in information technology. Following his diagnosis, he has become an outspoken advocate for those with dementia and has written articles and blog posts in addition to his book, From the Corner Office to Alzheimer’s. He has appeared on podcasts and television and has testified before the United States Congress. Read more about Michael here and here. Listen to our podcast with Michael.


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Gerda Saunders, author of Memory's Last Breath: Field Notes from My DementiaGerda Saunders was the Associate Director of and taught in the Gender Studies Program at the University of Utah; she also taught gender and literature courses in the English Department. At the age of 61, she was diagnosed with cerebral microvascular disease, a precursor to dementia. She retired a year later. She maintains an active lifestyle, writing and speaking about the disease in a variety of settings. She is the author of Memory’s Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia, and blogs at  My Life with Dementia. Her story was featured in a PBS Utah documentary, The Gerda that Remainsavailable here. Read more about Gerda here. Listen to our podcast with Gerda.

Meet Our Moderators

Marianne Sciucco, Podcast HostMarianne Sciucco, author of Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story. Marianne is a co-founder of AlzAuthors, manager, director, podcast host and producer, and acquisitions editor. Learn more about Marianne here.

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Christy Byrne Yates, author of Building a Legacy of Love: Thriving in the Sandwich Generation. Christy is a podcast host and producer, and manager of our YouTube channel. Learn more about Christy here.

Note: all book links go to Amazon.com, earning us a small commission on sales which will cost you nothing.

About the Podcast

AlzAuthors is the global community of authors writing about Alzheimer’s and dementia from personal experience to light the way for others. Our podcast introduces you to our authors who share their stories and insights to provide knowledge, comfort, and support.  Please subscribe so you don’t miss a word. If our authors’ stories move you, please leave a review. And don’t forget to share our podcast with family and friends on their own dementia journeys.

We are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization totally reliant on donations to do what we do. Your generosity will help cover our many operating costs, which include website hosting and maintenance fees, service charges to keep things running smoothly, and marketing expenses to promote our authors, expand our content, improve our reach, and more. Our ongoing work supports our mission to lift the silence and stigma of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. To sustain our efforts please visit https://alzauthors.com/donate/ .

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