Two readers took time to write about how “Where’s my shoes?” My Father’s Walk though Alzheimer’s is helping them. Their letters are posted here with permission.
Brenda Birdwell, Program Development Director, writes:
I wanted to send you a note about how powerful “Where’s my shoes?” was for me.
After being laid off from Corporate America with over twenty-six years at the same company, I decided to pursue my passion for working with seniors.
I volunteered for two years at Senior Concerns, which provides Adult Day Care, Meals on Wheels, and Senior Advocacy. I began working for them in January.
My boss’ first course of action was to have me spend time with all of the components of the center, including spending a day working directly with the caregivers and adult day care participants.
I was encouraged to read “Where’s my shoes?” before spending the day with the participants. Other caregivers had suggested that “Where’s my shoes?” was a must-read adding that if someone were only able to read one book, this would be the most meaningful one.
After devouring the book, I am in agreement. I laughed, cried, and nodded my head in recognition.
A dear friend’s mother is in the early stages of dementia, and is finally reaching out for help. One of my first steps will be to give her “Where’s my shoes?”
I notice that you are in Southern California. I would welcome the opportunity to talk with you and possibly meet you.
Thank you for your great work.
Program Development Director
Senior Concerns, Inc.
[Brenda Avadian writes: Thank you, Brenda, for taking time to write such a lovely letter. Feedback is so important and yours is warmly welcome! After our call this week, we’ll see about when we can get together!]
Val Niemeier, Student of Dental Hygiene, writes:
I am writing to you because I found your book “Where’s my shoes?” on Amazon.com after searching for books about Alzheimer’s disease. I am a dental hygiene student from Omaha, Nebraska.
In a few weeks, I am giving a presentation on how to help patients with Alzheimer’s disease in a dental office setting. I needed research books and decided to purchase yours to gain a better personal perspective than that of my own experiences.
The reason I am emailing you is because I thoroughly enjoyed your book. I love how you described your father’s experiences and your perspective on such a difficult disease.
My father went through a similar situation with both of his parents. He had POA [Power of Attorney] and was making difficult decisions and probably wondering if he was doing the right thing.
Although, we only lived four hours away from my grandparents it was still a difficult and emotional journey for my family. My dad, an only child, was overwhelmed with all that was involved with my grandparents. With the support from my mom, they provided what they felt was the best possible care for my grandparents. My grandparents have since passed away but still remain in our hearts.
I wish I would have found your book several years ago because it would have been really helpful and inspiring.
One suggestion you had was to join a support group and I believe my father could have benefited from that had we known those resources were available. Now I do!
Thank you for writing this book.
I couldn’t put it down until I finished reading it!
If I am ever faced with this situation with my own parents or know someone who is caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s I will definitely share your book of courage and inspiration!
Student of Dental Hygiene
[Brenda Avadian writes: Val, thank you for taking the time to write. I am sure you were surprised to read the details in “Where’s my shoes?” of how my father was a dental hygienist’s dream because he carefully brushed his teeth for three to four minutes–at least thirty seconds in each area. Please let me know if you need anything for your presentation.]
For excerpts, table of contents, or to get your own copy, click on
“Where’s my shoes?” My Father’s Walk though Alzheimer’s