In an account as good-humored as it is heart-warming, The Alzheimer’s Years
introduces readers to Betty Ober at age 89. Betty is clever and funny, still the life of a party, loves puns and poetry, does all her own cooking and house cleaning. Once a nurse, she reads blood pressures at a local assisted living facility with her own stethoscope and cuff. She was events coordinator for the senior department at the Jewish Center in her town for more than a dozen years. She leads a walking group, participates in Yiddish theater and in the Center’s annual senior fashion show. She has a group of three or four very close friends, and a very large circle of friendly acquaintances.
Betty is also afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and with the less-well-known Lewy body disease, but it will be years more before this is understood. In the meantime, Betty moves to Point Reyes Station from Palo Alto, California to be closer to her daughter…. Not a how-to book—though readers will learn much about ways to have fun, and things to do and not do with someone with dementia—more a love story, this daughter’s account of her mother’s last years, leavened with illustrative letters, poetry, and humor is also the story of a fractured relationship that healed, and love that grew.