After spending two weeks at Lake George, my mother’s family home, where I had the incredible blessing of sharing my caregiving journey in a lakeside setting, I returned to a towering stack of packages. As my mother would say, “My cup runneth over!”
Alzheimer’s Books Donated!
These packages were filled with book donations for the upcoming Alzheimer’s Association conference in Charlotte! Each book was written by an AlzAuthor, a writer who has experienced the challenges, demands and heartbreak of living with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia. There are novels, memoirs, caregiving guides and more.
Being an administrator of AlzAuthors, a site that shares the story behind the story of over 160 books and blogs about Alzheimer’s and dementia, I was familiar with all of these books and their authors. I had read and enjoyed many of their e-books.
However, to see hard copies of these Alzheimer’s books, to hold them in my hands was a different experience. I felt overcome by emotion as I thought of my mother and her slow descent into dementia. Each book I held represented family history, a caregiving journey, meaningful relationships and important stories, hard-won advice and words of comfort.
A Labor of Love
Being a writer and an editor, I know the time and commitment involved in each of these books. It’s not a simple matter of jotting the story down. These books were a result of hours of writing and revision, labor and passion. My own memoir took 20 years to come to fruition. Writing in the midst of caregiving is not an easy task. Yet, when the heart is involved, amazing things can happen.
Now, I have the honor of escorting these books – over 40 of them in all – to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Dementia Education conference in Charlotte on August 29th. I will place each of them with care on the AlzAuthors’ table so that attendees can peruse them. During lunch, there will be a raffle and over 40 attendees will have the opportunity to take one of these special books home with them.
The Story Behind the Stories
Jean Lee, one of the founders of AlzAuthors, and I also have the privilege of sharing “The Story Behind the Story of AlzAuthors” at the Alzheimer’s Association conference in Charlotte. We will share our personal stories along with the history and growth of the AlzAuthors’ site. It seems that when a community birthed through the challenges and trials of a disease like Alzheimer’s comes together, beautiful things come to pass. I am inspired every day by the work of our authors.
Read All About It
Here are a few of the stories that have recently been published about AlzAuthors:
Mary Ann Drummond, who wrote Meet Me Where I Am, lives in Charlotte and will be presenting a program called “The Alzheimer’s Family – Maintaining Connections While Caring and Coping.” The Independent Tribune of Concord, NC, published a story here.
Rushprnews.com published a story about AlzAuthors from across the country donating books to caregivers. Read the story here.
Information About the Conference
“Together We Can,” the Dementia Education Conference held by the Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter, will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 29, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 3400 Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte The event is geared for healthcare professionals, caregivers, people living with Alzheimer’s or related dementia and members of the general public. Attendees will learn more about research, caregiving practices and tools to assist in the journey with Alzheimer’s. For more information, visit ALZ.org/NorthCarolina or call 800-272-3900.
To learn more about AlzAuthors, follow our site and visit our bookstore. We have a wide selection of bestselling memoirs, novels, caregiving guides, books for young people and more written by people who understand Alzheimer’s and dementia.
If you have a loved one who has this disease, we hope you’ll join us. Visit our site and/or register for the conference. We want to help support you on your caregiving journey.
When I was 33 years old, my mother who was 73 began showing signs of Alzheimer’s. I was completely unprepared for the changes in her. She repeated herself, started hiding things in strange places, lost track of time and became emotional and distrustful. If your mom exhibits these signs of Alzheimer’s, here are a few tips to help you and your loved one. Read the rest of this entry »
BookAuthority collects and ranks the best books in the world, and it’s a huge honor to get this kind of recognition.
Alzheimer’s can be a confusing disease for those who have never been around it. What do you do if your friend’s mother is diagnosed with dementia? Many people pull back out of fear or uncertainty. But friends need support. Here are seven ways to be there when a friend’s mom has Alzheimer’s.
Send a card. Whether it’s Mother’s Day, your friend’s birthday or your friend’s mom’s birthday, you can show you care through words. Your friend’s mother may have forgotten how to use words.
Each year as the Kentucky Derby rolls around, I get a lump in my throat thinking of my horse Crimson Express. He was the horse that carried me through the years when my mother descended into Alzheimer’s, and I experienced a series of miscarriages.
Crimson was the horse I leaned on, literally, as the weight of grief pulled me down. Read the rest of this entry »