60 seconds with ... author Deborah Shouse

Share this article:
Deborah Shouse, author of "Love in the Land of Dementia"
Deborah Shouse, author of "Love in the Land of Dementia"

Q: How did the book, which chronicles your mother's Alzheimer's disease, come to be?

A: I started journaling and writing down what happened every time we were together. [I asked] what is good about this situation and where are the gifts and blessings? How can I stay connected with my mom through this journey? 

Q: How is the book a tool?

A: I've had people tell me that it's given them insight into what happens when a person in a family has Alzheimer's and what the family goes through. We once had an opportunity to read to nurses and long-term care administrators. They laughed at a lot of different places because it was true. I was a long-term care administrator years ago. It was one of my earliest careers. I had an administrator's viewpoint then.

Q: Did this influence how you felt about your mother's care?

A: Yes. I understood there would be moments when things aren't perfect. I learned a lot from other families and staff. I felt really lucky in that people who were caring for my mom were loving, connected people. They loved my mom for who she was. They see, “Here is a lovely woman with silvery hair who laughs when I walk into the room.” That helped me: Long-term care staff sees your loved one as they are right now.

“Love in the Land of Dementia” will be released Nov. 12.

Share this article:

More in News

Hospitals in the Midwest refer patients to the broadest networks of skilled nursing facilities, study finds

Hospitals in the Midwest refer patients to the ...

Midwestern hospitals spread referrals to the greatest variety of skilled nursing facilities and tap their favorite SNFs least often, according to a recently published analysis of nationwide referral patterns.

Bill would affect pay, scheduling for some nursing home housekeeping staff

Nursing homes could face more stringent scheduling requirements for housekeeping workers and might be on the hook to compensate them for last-minute shift changes under a bill proposed in both houses of Congress.

Joint Commission adds memory care accreditation

New memory care accreditation for nursing homes encourages staff to use a flexible, problem-solving approach to care for those with dementia, according to Joint Commission guidelines.