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

Jean Lee Author Of Alzheimer's Daughter
By Jean Lee

Who am I?

Both of my parents were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s on the same day. The time period from the beginning hints of subtle oddities in their behavior and cognition, through their diagnosis and until their deaths was a decade. I worked full time as an elementary teacher during their illness and had always read to solve problems. Therefore, I sought any authors who would share their personal experiences with me. These stories sustained me. They saved me. They allowed me to know I was not alone. From that experience grew my own memoir, Alzheimer’s Daughter.


I wrote...

Alzheimer's Daughter

By Jean Lee,

Book cover of Alzheimer's Daughter

What is my book about?

Reviewers say Alzheimer’s Daughter is written with wincing honesty about the cruel effects of the disease, but a WWII love story held together by faith and family is contained within the pages.

The books I picked & why

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Blue Hydrangeas

By Marianne Sciucco,

Book cover of 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.


Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia

By Vicki Tapia,

Book cover of 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.


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

By Kathryn Harrison,

Book cover of 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. 


Motherhood: Lost and Found: A memoir

By Ann Campanella,

Book cover of 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.


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

By Susan Landeis,

Book cover of 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.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and caregiver?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and caregiver.

Dementia Explore 57 books about dementia
Alzheimer's Disease Explore 43 books about Alzheimer's disease
Caregiver Explore 32 books about caregiver

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Dementia, My Darling, The Problem of Alzheimer's: How Science, Culture, and Politics Turned a Rare Disease Into a Crisis and What We Can Do about It, and The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss if you like this list.