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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs

Dear Braveheart - a Caregiver's Loving Journey Through Alzheimer's Dementia

A Caregiver's Loving Journey through Alzheimer's Dementia

by (author) Sheridan Rondeau

Crossfield Publishing
Initial publish date
Mar 2022
Personal Memoirs, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price

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Imagine being lost, then found, then lost again. Imagine being giddy in love with a man who is slipping away from you bit by bit. This is the heartbreak that I endured. This is the story of my journey as a caregiver and the route I chose to get my husband and me safely to the end. Research shows that more than half a million Canadians have Alzheimer‘s disease or related dementia. Those suffering from it lose their memory and ability to think properly. What was more frightening, for me, was the profound changes to Tony‘s mood and behaviour. As Alzheimer‘s disease heaped indignity after indignity upon him, I struggled to maintain my equilibrium. My natural optimism took a pounding. I was often crushed, often weepy. Sometimes I gathered my dog and my car keys and was ready to bolt. If you are a caregiver, you will see yourself in this book. If you have just learned that your partner, parent or other loved one has Alzheimer‘s disease, you will find insight and hope.

About the author

This is Sheridan Rondeau’s first book. It is a personal memoir of her and her family’s struggle with mental illness and is lovingly told. Bio in progress. 

Sheridan Rondeau's profile page

Excerpt: Dear Braveheart - a Caregiver's Loving Journey Through Alzheimer's Dementia: A Caregiver's Loving Journey through Alzheimer's Dementia (by (author) Sheridan Rondeau)

Chapter 11 Sand and Saltwater

In 2005, an invitation came to us to join some friends for a Caribbean holiday. Tony and his first wife spent their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary on the island of Barbados, and he was keen to revisit. We confirmed that we would join three other couples there. After the long flight, we settled into our room at the hotel. I asked him to slip out to the little store on the premises and pick up some milk for his morning coffee. Unexpectedly, he refused, and I exploded. “I’ve done all the preparation, planning, and packing to get here. Why are you acting so lazy?” “I’m not lazy…and don’t you ever call me that again,” he snapped, concluding the exchange. Seething with dismay, I slammed out and went for the milk. He’d been so eager to make the trip, I couldn’t figure out what was happening. It was our first big holiday together and I surmised that perhaps he was more tired than I’d realized. After we went to the dining area for breakfast the next morning, Tony decided to sit on the balcony. He didn’t want to do anything other than that, so I donned my new bathing suit and went to the pool just underneath where he was sitting. I swam off my puzzlement, not having any idea why he was acting so strangely. The pool wasn’t a large one, nor was it crowded, and the view of the ocean was scintillating. It felt like we were in paradise. When I looked up to try and catch Tony’s attention, he was gone. I didn’t think this was significant, I just presumed he was off snoozing. As I climbed the stairs and came into the corridor, there were three housekeeping attendants mopping and wringing water into a bucket. Tony had turned on the bathroom faucet and left it running, overflowing the sink. Again, I thought it was a simple accident and that it could have happened to anyone. Perhaps he’d been so excited get back out on the balcony that it had slipped his mind. It never crossed my thoughts that another life-altering situation was percolating.

Editorial Reviews

Dear Braveheart is a beautiful story that shares with readers the love, honour, immense dedication, and grief of caregiving. Sheridan illustrates the inner tests, contemplations and revelations of the journey, while offering practical tips. A perfect gift for anyone who may be facing the challenges of loss and other peculiarities of dementia. (Karen Quemby, MA. Alzheimer Society of Muskoka)