The best books written from personal experience with Alzheimer’s and dementia

Jean Lee Author Of Alzheimer's Daughter
By Jean Lee

The Books I Picked & Why

Blue Hydrangeas

By Marianne Sciucco

Blue Hydrangeas

Why this book?

This was the first book I read during my journey with both parents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Although this book is fiction and did not match my situation exactly, it sustained me, gave me courage, and helped me keep moving forward each day. This book is unique because it portrays a husband caregiver to a wife with Alzheimer’s, their challenges, yet their abiding love overriding all odds.


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Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia

By Vicki Tapia

Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia

Why this book?

Vicki Tapia wrote her memoir honestly reflecting on very difficult situations, all while seeking to find deeper meaning in her task of caring for her mom, while balancing a new marriage and sibling discord. Reading her book reinforced the fact that we are not alone in difficult situations and we can rely on one another’s stories to keep going.


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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?

This is a must-read book for any family that has young children who wonder what’s happening to a beloved grandparent or loved one. Harrison eloquently weaves a comparison of weeds and tangles in a garden with the plaques growing in Grandma’s brain due to dementia. Powerful read and beautifully illustrated by Harrison herself. 


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Motherhood: Lost and Found: A memoir

By Ann Campanella

Motherhood: Lost and Found: A memoir

Why this book?

In this deeply personal memoir, Campanella, at age 30-something, shares her journey of losing her own mom to dementia, while trying to become a mom herself, but suffering multiple miscarriages. At this time when she most needs her mom’s comfort, she is caring for her mom as though she is a child. Campanella, a horsewoman, finds comfort in the massive power and silence of the animals she tends in her barn. Campanella eventually does have a beautiful daughter and contrasts the excitement of development of the little girl with the pain of the decline of her mom.


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In Search of Rainbows: A daughter's story of loss, hope, and redemption

By Susan Landeis

In Search of Rainbows: A daughter's story of loss, hope, and redemption

Why this book?

Susan Landeis dealt with rejection and jealousy from her own mom as she was a little girl and through her teenage years. What does one do when an estranged parent is diagnosed with dementia and needs care? It is a rare individual who reacts with the kindness and forgiveness of Landeis. Because of that generosity and love, or perhaps because her mother forgot the meanness and rejection she inflicted on her daughter in years past, Susan and her mom grew a beautiful relationship during those caregiving years, giving them both comfort in the end.


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