At 52, David Brewer was athletic and outgoing, a retired member of the Coast Guard who loved the water and worked as assistant harbor master for the three-bay area of Osterville, Centerville and Cotuit.
Then came Alzheimer’s.
Help for caregivers
November is National Family Caregivers Month, and there are a variety of sources and events you can use.
* Support group: Author Sonja Brewer is coordinating a support group for Young Onset/Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (people diagnosed before age 65) caregivers through Alzheimer’s Services of Cape Cod & the Islands. The group meets from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of the month in the first-floor conference room at Rehabilitation Hospital of the Cape and Islands, 311 Service Road, East Sandwich. For information, call 508-775-5656.
* Book signing: Brewer will sign copies of “Surviving Normal” from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at Orleans Council on Aging, 150 Rock Harbor Road.
* Blog: John Thorndike is posting comments and thoughts on his blog, http://www.thelastofhismind.com.
* Web conference: “The Best Care for Your Parents: Senior Care Solutions and Potential Pitfalls,” 7 p.m. Nov. 19, hosted by Suzanne Mintz, president and CEO of the nonprofit National Family Caregivers Association, and Home Instead Senior Care co-founder and CEO Paul Hogan. Register at www.caregiverstress.com.
* New books: Gloria G. Barsamian, a retired social worker and medical health specialist at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, has just published “Sustenance and Hope for Caregivers of Elderly Parents” (Praeger, 125 pages, $27.96). Dr. Owen Surman of Newton has published “The Wrong Side of an Illness,” his account of caring for his wife during her battle with cancer. Learn more about the book at www.owenstanleysurmanmd.com.
* Conference: 12th annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Conference, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at Christ the King Parish Center, Route 151, Mashpee. Tuition: $95 for 6.3 CEUs. Information: 508-775-5656.
* Information: Alzheimer’s Services of Cape Cod & the Islands, alzcapecod.org, 508-775-5656, e-mail [email protected] National Family Caregivers Association: familycaregiver.org or 800-896-3650.
Joe Thorndike was managing editor of Life magazine after World War II, helping to steer the magazine at the height of its popularity. Founder of American Heritage and Horizon magazines and author of three books — editor of many more — he enjoyed a life full of literary pursuits and his home on Cape Cod.
Then Thorndike stopped reading, stopped writing and eventually stopped holding detailed conversations. Alzheimer’s had arrived.
Thorndike was 92.
Now the experiences of both men and their families have been chronicled in two new memoirs, written by their primary caregivers.
via Alzheimer’s memoirs tell families’ stories | CapeCodOnline.com.