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...

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.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Blue Hydrangeas

By Marianne Sciucco,

Book cover of Blue Hydrangeas

Why did I love 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.

By Marianne Sciucco,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Blue Hydrangeas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What if the person who knew you best and loved you most forgot your face, and couldn't remember your name? The PromiseA care facility is everyone's solution for what to do about Sara, but her husband, Jack, can't bear to live without her. He is committed to saving his marriage, his wife, and their life together from the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease. He and Sara retired years ago to the house of their dreams, and operated it as a Cape Cod bed and breakfast named Blue Hydrangeas. Jack has made an impossible promise: He and Sara will stay together in…

Book cover of Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia

Why did I love 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.

By Vicki Tapia,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Somebody Stole My Iron as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Navigating the waters of dementia can be frightening, unleashing a myriad of emotions for everyone involved. After Vicki Tapia's mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, followed closely by her father with Parkinson's disease-related dementia, she struggled to find practical, helpful information to light her way. Somebody Stole My Iron began as a diary to help her cope, but emerged as a road map for others. It offers a glimpse into her family's life as they rode the waves of dementia, sometimes sailing, other times capsizing. This engaging memoir offers useful information from experts within the field of Alzheimer's research, personal…

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

Why did I love 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. 

By Kathryn Harrison,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Weeds in Nana's Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A young girl and her Nana hold a special bond that blooms in the surroundings of Nana’s magical garden.Then one day, the girl finds many weeds in the garden. She soon discovers that her beloved Nana has Alzheimer’s Disease; an illness that affects an adult brain with tangles that get in the way of thoughts, kind of like how weeds get in the way of flowers.As time passes, the weeds grow thicker and her Nana declines, but the girl accepts the difficult changes with love, learning to take-over as the garden’s caregiver.Extending from the experience of caring for her mother,…

Book cover of Motherhood: Lost and Found: A memoir

Why did I love 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.

By Ann Campanella,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Motherhood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ann Campanella, a freelance writer and horsewoman, returns to North Carolina after a several year absence. In her mid thirties and ready to start a family, she is used to setting goals and accomplishing them. But when Ann experiences a series of miscarriages at the same time her mother shows signs of Alzheimer’s, she plunges into an emotional journey that leads her to a deeper understanding of herself and what it means to love.

"One of the best Alzheimer's books of all time." - Book Authority

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

Why did I love 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.

By Susan Landeis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Search of Rainbows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Susan always knew her relationship with her mother was different from that of other mothers and daughters. As a young girl, she struggled to cope with her mother's unpredictable behavior, rejection, and abandonment. At the age of sixteen, she left home and put it all behind her. Years later, her mother was diagnosed with a devastating illness, and Susan was suddenly faced with the difficult decision to care for both of her parents. In this inspiring, soul-searching memoir, Susan tells the story of a troubled childhood, her struggles as an adult, and her determination to find peace with her mother…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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

9,000+ 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 82 books about dementia
Alzheimer's Disease Explore 65 books about Alzheimer's disease
Caregiver Explore 45 books about caregiver