The best Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving books

The Books I Picked & Why

Alzheimer's Daughter

By Jean Lee

Alzheimer's Daughter

Why this book?

Both Jean’s parents had Alzheimer’s disease at the same time. Both my parents had Alzheimer’s disease at the same time. When I read Jean Lee’s memoir, it was like finding a long-lost sister. Like my book, her book also shares a personal story about the dementia journey. It’s the kind of book I wish I might have found while caring for my parents; a book that would have helped me realize I could make it through to the other side. I recommend this story about the love between a daughter and her parents that not even dementia could erase.


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Blue Hydrangeas

By Marianne Sciucco

Blue Hydrangeas

Why this book?

I was drawn in by Marianne Sciucco’s novel about a man caring for his wife with Alzheimer’s. It’s a love story between a long-married couple, one of whom has dementia. It’s about a husband’s determination to honor his wife’s request to stay in their home, even though his own health is failing. It’s about the magic of the day they “escape.” I loved this book because it showed me that love endures despite dementia; despite what life throws our way. 


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Motherhood: Lost and Found: A memoir

By Ann Campanella

Motherhood: Lost and Found: A memoir

Why this book?

Ann Campanella’s memoir details her journey through caregiving for her mother with Alzheimer’s at the same time she was struggling to start her own family. I felt it all: the anxiety, the frustration, as well as the pain, as she watched her mother decline while coping with an inability to conceive. Ann’s book reminded me to appreciate life’s joys, no matter how small, whether riding a beloved horse, marveling at a sunset, smelling a beautiful flower, or offering a simple hug. 


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Weeds in Nana's Garden: A heartfelt story of love that helps explain Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias

By Kathryn Harrison

Weeds in Nana's Garden: A heartfelt story of love that helps explain Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias

Why this book?

Based on Kathryn Harrison’s daughter’s observation about her grandma, Weeds in Nana’s Garden is a metaphor that compares the weeds in a garden with the “weeds” that take over a person’s brain when they have dementia. Kathryn wrote and illustrated this engaging book to help her own children better understand what was happening to their beloved grandmother. I loved both the story and the brightly colored illustrations. Although written with children in mind, I believe it has a message for people of all ages. 


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Choosing Joy: Alzheimer's: A Book of Hope

By Helene Berger

Choosing Joy: Alzheimer's: A Book of Hope

Why this book?

This is the #1 caregiving book of hope I’d want my family to read, should I ever be diagnosed with dementia. Helene Berger’s memoir shares her experiences caring for her husband after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I learned the many ways she discovered to make life more meaningful for her husband, especially through art (much of his artwork through the years is included). It reiterated to me that the attitude of a caregiver can make all the difference. With kindness and patience, Helene teaches how to be a loving caregiver. 


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