“Poems That Come to Mind: for those who love someone with dementia”
My mother passed away a month after publication of this book, a tribute to her and others with dementia who lived in the care home. I visited my mother most days and she was always surprised to see me… “How did you know I was here?”
The journey through Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-causing disorders is frightening and confusing, and can leave even caregivers at a loss of words. These simple poems, most in the style of haiku or tanka, express the bitter and the sweet of caring for a beloved suffering from dementia.
I reach my hand
into the day
searching its pockets
for a penny
to buy a new beginning
If you are a caregiver for someone with dementia, you are not alone in your struggles. The Alzheimer’s Association offers classes on understanding dementia and how to work with those who have it. They were a lifesaver for me. Call the Alzheimer’s 24/7 helpline for on-the-spot assistance with questions or for support: 1-800-272-3900.
There is a website called AlzAuthors where you can find books (including memoir, fiction, children’s books) and information to support the difficult journey of caregiving. I am a proud member of that family.
For caregivers who use Facebook, there is a wonderful group called Memory People. Search for a request to join this private group of both caregivers and those suffering dementia themselves. You will feel the warmth of many hugs and learn from others’ experiences.
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“Poems That Come to Mind” Reviews:
“Tenderly touching the authentic emotions of an Alzheimer’s journey.”
–Jolene Brackey, author of Creating Moments of Joy: A Journal for Caregivers
“Each delicately and fiercely imaged poem is a tribute to perseverence and survival and a lesson to us all.”
–Walter Bargen, First Poet Laureate of Missouri, author of Days Like This Are Necessary: New and Selected Poems
“Linda describes the tragedy of dementia and Alzheimer’s, yet exquisitely captures the depths of love. A metaphor for life, Austin’s poetry is poignant and breathtaking in its brevity.”
–Jan Morrill, author of The Red Kimono (Univ of Arkansas Press, spring 2013), and online musings at Life: Haiku by Haiku
“Linda beautifully captures heartbreaking and gracious moments of those suffering dementia… Your heart will be touched by their journey.”
–Doris Plaster, LCSW, author of Home Sweet Nursing Home
“Yet don’t let its brevity fool you. Like a plate filled with fine appetizers, each line is deep with meaning for all who understand what it’s like to slowly lose a loved one to dementia.”
—Brenda Avadian, MA, The Caregiver’s Voice website