Susan Landeis Cares for Her mother with Lewy Body Dementia: In Search of Rainbows

About Susan Landeis: In Search of Rainbows

Susan Landeis In Search of Rainbows By Susan Landeis

Caring for someone with dementia is a challenging and emotional experience. Especially when there are family dynamics involved. For as far back as I can remember, my mother and I had what you might call a “tumultuous” relationship. I left home at the age of sixteen, thinking I had escaped that life forever. But in 2010, a phone call from my father changed all that.

My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in her late sixties, and two years later, with Lewy body dementia. My father could no longer care for my mother due to his own growing health issues, so I took a leap of faith and became my parent’s caregiver.

In her earlier years, my mother suffered from depression and erratic mood swings. In the 1960s and 1970s, mental disorders were subject to prejudice and stigmatization and people were often judged and misunderstood. Although she was never diagnosed with a specific mental illness, it still leaves me with many unanswered questions.

Lewy body dementia is a progressive disease with many unpredictable characteristics, and some research studies suggest a link between depression and cognitive disorders such as LBD. According to the National Institute on Aging, almost half of all people with Parkinson’s disease will develop some type of Parkinson’s dementia. One of the better-known people to be diagnosed with Lewy body dementia was the late Robin Williams.

I believe that God has a plan for all of us, which often leads to unexpected blessings. As my mother’s disease progressed, she was able to “forget” the reasons for her unhappiness and became a different person entirely. Our relationship slowly evolved, and we were lucky enough to find love, healing, and forgiveness during her last years. After her death, writing became a part of my healing process. As I worked through grief, my journey brought me full circle and allowed me to close a painful void in my life. Thus, becoming the inspiration behind my book, In Search of Rainbows.

I am sharing this very personal story in the hope that others will find comfort, and perhaps a new perspective that we all share many of the same struggles as families and human beings. I dream of a day that, with continued research, medical advancements, and advocacy, we will better understand these types of diseases and someday find a cure!

About the Author

Susan Landeis Lewy Body DementiaSusan Landeis is a writer, author, certified nutritionist, and certified senior advocate. Prior to this, she spent over twenty years working in the field of Health Information Management.

In 2010, Susan unexpectedly found herself caring for both of her parents, and began a new chapter in her life. This experience inspired her first book, Optimal Caregiving: A guide for managing senior health and well-being. Her most recent book, In Search of Rainbows: A daughter’s story of loss, hope, and redemption, is a touching memoir of her personal life journey.

Susan lives in the beautiful state of Colorado with her husband and two dogs. She has been blessed with two grown children and three beautiful grandchildren.

Buy the books
In Search of Rainbows: A daughter’s story of loss, hope, and redemption
Optimal Caregiving: A guide for managing senior health and well-being

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