It was in 8th grade when I told my mother I wanted to be Barbara Walters. She suggested I go into law because I argued a lot. I talked my way right into becoming a journalist. My mom was my best friend, most loyal confidant and biggest supporter. And in 2009, when she was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia at the age of 61, I quit my TV news job in San Diego, packed up 14 boxes, grabbed my cat and moved back to the East Coast to be with her through her journey.
Our lives changed dramatically. We entered into a new reality. And I learned much more than I wanted to about dementia and caregiving.
I started working for the Alzheimer’s Association in Connecticut, as a trainer, educator and fundraiser. It was after talking about my Mom at a book event, that I met the publisher of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. She told me we needed to do a book about Alzheimer’s. My response: “Yes, we do.” A year later, and Chicken Soup for the Soul Living with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias” is here, in bookstores April 22nd.
I have a story in the book “The ABC’s of Alzheimer’s and Dementia for Caregivers”, 26 tips to make their journey a little bit easier. That’s my goal, to use my public speaking skills, knowledge as a caregiver and dementia educator to spread the word. You don’t have to go through this alone. #ENDALZ