Ah… the wonders I found living with my mother in Dementialand. It all started almost minutes after she was diagnosed with progressive dementia. The cause was meningitis encephalitis. There seemed to be no choice at the time. I had to leave my bohemian life in the art world in California to return to a Chicago suburb where my mom was living. I am a painter. This had all the markings of a disaster. Continue reading “Meet Suzka Collins, author of “Wonders in Dementialand””
By Peggy Bushy
When Lewy Body Dementia entered my home, the world as I knew it began to shift, and I found myself in a constant state of confusion. My sweet mother, who lived in our home, was hallucinating, her stories and behavior were becoming more and more bizarre, and I had no idea why – neither did any of the doctors I consulted. Lost and alone, I could feel myself becoming a little more unglued with every passing day while I watched the family rules fly out the window one by one. “Wait! I depend on those family rules.” They may not be the same as the neighbor’s rules but they’re mine, they’ve been mine forever, and I’m comfortable with them.
This book was my legacy for the next generation, putting in writing as much as I could about my experience helping caregivers of dementia patients. Continue reading “Meet Celia Koudele, author of “The Little Book for Alzheimer’s Caregivers””
How a Long-Distance Caregiver Learns to Cope
When the memory thief first visited our family, we didn’t think much about it. Mom was, after all, fully capable of caring for herself and she was in good health. Continue reading “Welcome, Rebecca Thesman, author of “Sometimes They Forget””
It took a life-altering crisis to make me realize that despite having known my mom for 50+ years, I didn’t know who she was as a person in her own right. I had firsthand knowledge of many of her trials and heartaches, but that only gave me a one-sided view of what her life had been like, with many gaps. Continue reading “Meet Cynthia Hamilton, author of “Finding Ruth””
Before signing off the final proofs of my debut novel I read the manuscript for the first time in over a year and realised that it was not just laced, but saturated, with guilt.
Invisible Ink tells the story of Max Rivers, a young London lawyer who seems to have it all: a beautiful girlfriend, a burgeoning career, an enviable address – but he harbours a secret. Continue reading “Meet Pippa Kelly, author of “Invisible Ink””
If you told me I would write a series for family caregivers, I would reply, “Thanks, but I think you’re delusional.” I would say this gently and go on my way. Although I’ve written about my caregiving experiences, I never thought of writing a series. This is odd because I’ve cared for three generations of family members. Continue reading “Meet Harriet Hodgson author of “The Family Caregiver’s Guide””
Why choose Alzheimer’s as the focus of my new family saga novel Brought To Our Senses?
It’s a fair question. After all, Alzheimer’s is argued to be the disease feared most of all. The mind-robbing illness has a bad reputation and a stigma-stifling discussion in mixed company. So why exactly would I tackle such a difficult subject, one so many avoid altogether or shrug off as hopeless? Continue reading “Meet Kathleen Wheeler, author of “Brought to Our Senses””
In an almost Zen-like poetic form, my mother revealed the changing landscape of her mind:
“Listen, Cathie . . . a bird!”
“What are the birds saying?’
“In a language?”
“In their language. In an upside down language.” Continue reading “Meet Cathie Borrie, author of “The Long Hello–Memory, My Mother, and Me””
In my early 30s, I learned that life can change direction when you least expect it. My husband Joel and I had moved from Houston to North Carolina in order to be closer to my parents. We both had successful careers – he as a businessman and me as a writer and editor. We were looking forward to building a barn for my horse Crimson and excited about starting a family. Life was humming along. Then I had my first miscarriage at the same time my mother began her slow spiral into Alzheimer’s. Continue reading “Meet Ann Campanella, author of “Motherhood: Lost and Found””