The journey of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is as individual as those who walk it.
Cathie Borrie’s memoir, “The Long Hello: Memory, My Mother and Me” details one such journey with her mother who had Alzheimer’s Disease.
In this book Cathie writes about her experiences of caring for her mother. She includes memories from her childhood, which add explanations and help clarify some of the questions and statements from her mother.
This book can be read on several levels. It can be seen as the painful journey of lovingly caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. It can also be read as a memoir.
And it can also give an insight into how one person, Cathie’s mother, talked and thought during her illness.
If you’re looking for a how to manual for caring for someone with Alzheimer’s — while not a traditional textbook — there are examples throughout of how Cathie lovingly responded to her mother.
It is written in a very free-flowing almost poetical prose, much of it in dialogue from conversations that Cathie recorded. My educated guess is that some people will love the style of the writer, and others will struggle with its lack of order. I found it easier to follow by reading it while looking for insights in how to respond to comments or questions from someone with Alzheimer’s.
I did suspend my craving for an orderly progression in reading. Which was easy once I realized that caring for someone with any form of dementia means dealing with another kind of logic and order that is unique. Unique to the form of dementia, and often unique to the individual with it.
There are gems here for those who look, whether you like your reading to be orderly or not. Both family and professional caregivers can find this book helpful and enlightening.
I received a pre-publication copy of the book for review.
To your Happy & Healthy Caregiving,
Ina Gilmore MD
Global Purple Angel Dementia Ambassador