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Walking with Fay: My Mother’s Uncharted Path into Dementia, by Carolyn Birrell

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In 2012, Carolyn Birrell flew down to Georgia to kidnap her mother.

Fay had been living by herself since her husband’s death in 2000 and clung fiercely to her independence. She went to church on Sundays, paid her bills on time, and volunteered at Vacation Bible School every summer. But at 79 years old, she’d begun showing escalating signs of early-stage dementia, each one making it harder for her daughter to discount as simple signs of aging.

After receiving calls from Fay’s local sheriff and the Department of Family Services, Carolyn took action. She quickly came to understand the meaning of the adage, “When we make plans the Universe laughs,” because hers required endless do-overs as she struggled to keep pace with her mother’s ever-progressing disease.

This is the story of Carolyn’s mother, her dementia, and how they navigated her journey together. Your loved one may not force feed stuffed animals vanilla pudding or burn their neighbor’s mail like Fay did, but if you’re living through the sad realities of your loved one’s slow and tortuous farewell, this book will help you find solace as you deal with it realistically and with a heart at peace.

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