This may sound strange, but when I published "Blue Hydrangeas" I didn't consider caregivers as my primary market. I'd written a novel about Alzheimer's, yes, but it was a love story, too, and I thought my readers would be those looking for a different kind of love story, something real, without overt sexuality, a clean read. And many of the readers who review the book and send me messages about their experience reading it are of that sort. Then there are the caregivers, who surprise and humble me with their warm response to the novel, sharing their own heartbreaking experiences caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia. It seems the story means a lot to them. One even wrote: "This story is my story too." That comment blew me away.
So it is with great pleasure that I will speak at the Hudson Valley/Rockland/Westchester Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association's conference "Facing Alzheimer's Disease: Improving Quality of Life" on Monday, April 28, at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, NY. I've been asked to read from my book and a book signing will follow. A portion of the proceeds will benefit this chapter. I'm the last speaker, following Dr. John Zeisel, president and co-founder of Hearthstone Alzheimer's Care, who will start the conference with a presentation on "Hopeful Aging." Dr. Rebecca Rooney, psychologist, will then speak on "Emotional Aspects of Caregiving." It's a privilege and an honor for me to be included in this fine company.
If you'd like to attend the conference, or know of a caregiver who could benefit from this event, please visit the chapter's website to register. Registration fees are $15 for family, $30 for professionals.
To learn more about the Alzheimer's Association visit this link.