On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Posts tagged ‘dementia’

What was Alzheimer’s to our family? | by Linda Brendle

new-book-coming-soonI announced a couple of weeks ago that Anaiah Press will release Mom’s Long Good-Bye: A Caregiver’s Tale of Alzheimer’s, Grief, and Comfort, my second memoir, on March 12. Here’s a little bit more about the book:

Alzheimer’s was the evil plaque in Dad’s brain that changed him from a hard-working, easy-going man into a cranky, ill-tempered couch potato.

Alzheimer’s was a thief. It stole Mom away a piece at a time and left me to grieve a loss that went on for years.

Alzheimer’s was a twisted comedian that made me laugh at the ridiculous things Mom did while I cried inside because of the reason behind her antics.

Alzheimer’s was the demon in my head that made me impatient with situations that were no one’s fault and angry at an opponent I couldn’t defeat.

Alzheimer’s was the monster in the closet or under the bed that changed our lives forever once the doctor spoke its name.

But Alzheimer’s was also the loser.

In spite of his difficult final years, Dad left a legacy of peace and love that lives on in the family he left behind.

While Mom’s past disappeared along with her memories, she also forgot the social anxieties and fears that had plagued her all her life and became a real party girl.

The wardrobe mishaps and other silly incidents often led to shared laughter and hugs that made life feel almost normal if only for a moment.

As the good days became fewer, I learned to cherish them when they came.

When Mom’s vocabulary was down to only a few words, one of those words was Jesus; and even to the end, she always responded to music.

Both Mom and Dad passed from this life without a struggle and with peaceful smiles on their faces as they looked into the face of the One who cares for the least of these.

I have found solace in knowing that my task of caregiving was completed not perfectly but well, and I have found comfort in sharing our story with others who are going through the same thing.

A beautiful cover is in the works. I will let you see it as soon as the final version is ready.

Blessings,

Linda

I Have News! | by Linda Brendle

Anaiah Press will release Mom’s Long Good-Bye: A Caregiver’s Tale of Alzheimer’s, Grief, and Comfort, my second memoir, on March 12. Here’s a little bit about the book:

Mom’s good-bye began with a red photo album and ended fifteen years later in a hospital bed in the Alzheimer’s wing of Southridge Village. This is her story and mine.

My first memoir, A Long and Winding Road, told of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a forty-foot motor home. It also told of the years and the life experiences that brought these four people together. After finishing it, many readers asked what happened next. Mom’s Long Good-Bye is the rest of the story.

Based on blog posts written as the events happened, this memoir takes the reader through grieving a continuous loss, some of the initial changes Alzheimer’s causes, the transition from caregiving to assisted living, Dad’s death, Mom’s last year, and the grief and closure of her final good-bye.

This book is for the millions who have experienced the heartache of witnessing the physical and mental deterioration of a loved family member or a dear friend. Mom’s Long Good-Bye strips away the façade of being the perfect caregiver and gives the reader a look at the denial, the anger, and the fear that come as a loved one loses herself a piece at a time to an insidious disease. By sharing her own struggles, the author assures other caregivers that they are not alone, that perfection is not required, and that comfort is real.

The cover will be revealed soon. Watch for it!

Blessings,

Linda

Cover

Buy at Amazon

Love Is Stronger than Alzheimer’s | by Linda Brendle

12 days of Christmas GiveawayToday is my day in the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways. Read to the bottom of this post to find out how to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of the first edition of A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos along with assorted other goodies.

 

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Young Helen and Elmer

Young Lovers

Mom and Dad met when they were 17 years old. They lived on adjoining farms in West Texas, went to the same church, went to the same school, and travelled in the same social circles. I love the story of the day their romance really began.

Even into his late 80s, Dad was a nice looking man, but he was a real cutie as a teenager. All the girls wanted to catch his attention, but he sat quietly on the school bus, wrapped in his own thoughts and shyness. They watched him, giggling and hoping he’d look their way. (more…)

Caregiver Quotes and Tips – Headphones | by Linda Brendle

Photo (WFAA)

Photo (WFAA)

WFAA-TV in Dallas recently ran a story about Miss Cora, a 90-year-old woman with dementia who often sits quietly all day–that is until she gets down with her tunes. I tried to embed the video, but I couldn’t get it to work. However, it is well worth an extra click to see this endearing video that shows Miss Cora and her caregiver sharing a connection that only seems to come through music.

To see the story and video, CLICK HERE.

Blessings,

Linda

winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available now in ebook format at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play

 

 

Two for One Caregiving | by Linda Brendle

two-for-one-caregivingThe wonderful people at Alzheimers.net, an online community dedicated to education, advocacy and supporting those whose lives have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, invited me to share some thoughts on caring for two parents with dementia. Following is a short excerpt of what I wrote:

Raising twins may offer twice the love, but it often means twice the trouble. The same can be said for caring for two parents at the same time – especially when one has Alzheimer’s disease and one has vascular dementia.

Just imagine two-year-old twins who are tall enough to reach all the kitchen cabinets and strong enough to open all the appliance doors and push all the buttons.

To read the rest of the article, CLICK HERE.

Blessings,

Linda

winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available for $6.99 at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play

The Blog Tour Is Winding Down

winding downThe blog tour for A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is coming to an end. We have a free day tomorrow, and then our last visit will be on Thursday to the website of Kathleen Pooler– “Memoir Writer’s Journey – Sharing hope one story at a time.” Kathleen will feature a guest post I wrote called “My Memoir: A Brief History.”

Kathleen has read my memoir, and she has posted a review on Amazon titled “An inspirational story of love, loss and renewal.” To read what she had to say, CLICK HERE.

If you have read A Long and Winding Road, please consider posting your own review on Amazon, Goodreads or any of the other distributors that allow feedback.

Blessings,

Linda

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available now at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play

 

Be Creative but Wary when Planning Activities for Alzheimer’s Patients | by Linda Brendle

Mom and me.

Mom and me.

When trying to decide what to write about this morning, I pulled out my “Sources” file and looked for ideas. After 300+ blog posts, it’s sometimes a challenge to come up with something new and fresh. There’s a new game on Facebook involving a list of things your friends might not know about you. I considered writing something like that, but at this point, anything I haven’t already written about myself is probably something I don’t want to reveal, so I went back to the file.

 

One item that caught my eye was an article on the Alzheimer’s Association website called “101 Activities.” It offers simple suggestions of things to do with your Alzheimer’ patient like listening to music, coloring a picture, or tossing a ball. There is no further explanation and no warning of how these simple activities might backfire. However, as you might imagine, I have a couple of tales that might give a caregiver pause before engaging in some of the activities. (more…)

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