by Carol Howell
My mother, Vera, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in October of 2006. That was the day my world changed – forever. I will never forget (or is that statement actually true?) the day I received the phone call.
“Mrs. Howell, I am calling to tell you your mother has dementia.” The doctor lacked bedside manner, and he assured me he could call in medications that would make Momma better.
My grandmother (Momma’s mother) had been living with Alzheimer’s for many years at that point, and I knew just enough about the disease to be frightened by the phone call. I felt my knees buckle and my stomach churn as I listened to the doctor talk about Momma, her brain, and her future.
After finding a new doctor, doing research on my own, reading, reading, and reading, I knew education was a must. I needed to know everything I could to help Momma in this new phase of her life. And so, my dementia caregiving journey began.
After completing classes about dementia and dementia caregiving, I felt compelled to share what I had learned with anyone who would listen. My Amazon #1 Best Seller, LET’S TALK DEMENTIA, is a result of that desire. I felt a need for caregivers to experience HOPE in their caregiving journey. I believed then, and I still believe today, that KNOWLEDGE brings POWER. Power brings HOPE. Hope brings SMILES. And we all need more SMILES!
In addition to writing LET’S TALK DEMENTIA, I started a non-profit named Senior Life Journeys. Through our company we educate caregivers and we offer Creative Music Experiences for individuals with cognitive disorders and for those folks who are on hospice care.
While writing LET’S TALK DEMENTIA, I realized I was doing more for my own healing purposes than for anything else. But, as time went by, I knew I wanted to share it with others. I began searching for an agent and a publisher, and God blessed these efforts. Today my book is represented by Hartline Literary, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Through their marketing efforts, I have been able to reach individuals in four countries, been offered speaking opportunities throughout our country (where we educate about dementia but keep the audience giggling and engaged), and began blogging and podcasting about dementia.
Did I ever dream the book would be a best seller? Not in my wildest imaginings! My writing has always been a source of comfort. I can allow my feelings to flow through my fingertips. I can erase and edit and change and add to until my heart is happy with the final product. These words are then shared through books, blogs, and even our new podcast – also titled LET’S TALK DEMENTIA. It thrills me to know my thoughts and education, my tips and hints, my jokes and quips can bring hope and light into the world of individuals who are facing dementia.
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