Wednesday, September 26, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Frank Morelli and "No Sad Songs," a Young Adult Novel

By Frank Morelli

The concept for No Sad Songs had been building since my high school years. Back then, I was living a pretty charmed life. I went to school, played sports, and lived on a nice, suburban street. My life was about as “normal” as any teenage life could be.

Then we started noticing changes in my grandfather. Little things. Like, he’d forget to send birthday cards which he’d been known to send early, or he’d lose his keys or forget an appointment. Then it seemed like we went to sleep one night and woke up the next morning and my grandfather was this completely different person; one who needed assistance just to get through the daily tasks of living.

That assistance came in the form of my father, a man who worked full time and dedicated every other waking second to keeping my grandfather out of a nursing home. He did a good job of masking the toll it was taking on him, but he could never hide it from me. And although I never said it to him, I couldn’t get past the thought: what if it had been me? What would I have done if my father hadn’t been around to absorb the family responsibility before it ever spread in my direction? How would I have responded? Would I have survived?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Blogger Heidi Hess Saxton

When the Unthinkable Becomes Inevitable: The Awful Dawn of Dementia

By Heidi Hess Saxton

Up to this point in my life, most of my blogging has been for parents of adopted, foster, or special needs children. Back in 2002, when my husband and I first became foster parents (and later adoptive parents), we really had no idea what we were in for. Which was probably a good thing, because I’m not sure we would have had the courage to move forward with it, had we known.

Now, as I’m entering the sixth month of caring for my mother, a dementia patient, I’m realizing that this is a lot like that. Lots of dirty laundry and temper tantrums, interspersed with moments of sweetness and delight. The tumultuous relationship we had during my teen years is gone. These past six months have been the sweetest, yet in many ways also the hardest – for both of us. But even the hard times are not without their rewards. For instance, when my daughter is being her snarky teenage self, she will do for her “Mammy” what she would never do in a million years for “Mean Old Mom.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Lisa Hirsch, author of "Letter to My Mom" and "My Mom My Hero"

by Lisa Hirsch

My mom has Alzheimer’s disease for 14 long years. Out of her suffering from this disease not only was my love for her transformed, she also became my hero. My love and compassion for her inspired me to share our journey.

What is amazing was that as a teenager I always wanted someone else’s mother to be mine, yet today I would never trade Mom for any other mother in the world. Each day she continues to touch my heart with a deep pure love. Through the years as the disease has progressed, I have watched Mom as her world has been disappearing. 

I often get questioned if she knows who I am. My answer is always the same. In my heart I know that she knows me. She may not say my name, yet when we are together we hold each other’s hands as if we were “young lovers” never wanting to let go. Our roles have reversed and with that my love for her has only grown.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: AlzAuthors Books are Setting Sail on a Dementia Friendly Alaskan Cruise!

During the week of September 15 - 22, 2018, a cruise specially designed for caregivers and their loved ones living with early-stage dementia is setting sail for Alaska, aboard Holland America's Signature-class cruise ship, MS Eurodam. AlzAuthors is thrilled to be supporting this wonderful trip!

This adventure is a unique CRUISE and CONFERENCE all in one. Families will sail round trip from Seattle, Washington with Elite Cruises and experience the beauty of Alaska with stops in Juneau, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria, Canada.

Families will also experience diverse programming during an immersive conference that takes place onboard. This includes: Healing pain and grief through sharing their stories; adapting homes for dementia; creating care partnerships; nutritional care for caregivers and their loved ones; and much more. The cruise organizer, Kathy Shoaf, has put together a wide range of programming created for the complex daily lives of those living with dementia and their care partners. Plus, families will be spending time with others who share many of the same joys and sorrows, providing an opportunity to build new friendships too. Vacationers will return home with a renewed spirit, reconnected to joy and ease in their daily life.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Back to School: Promoting Literacy With Audiobooks. Plus Win a One-Year Subscription To!

Have you tried audiobooks yet? I've been a big listener ever since Books On Tape but now listen through the Overdrive or Audible apps on my iPhone. Books are usually borrowed from my local library, although I've purchased many through and downloaded dozens from Audiofile's Audiobook Sync summer program. Like my Kindle library, my audiobook library is stuffed to overflowing and my to-be-read list may never get fully read.

Some of my favorite times to listen? In the car, especially on long trips back home to Massachusetts, while floating in my pool, during the dreaded housework. 

I love audiobooks so much that all of my own books are available in audio.