Local Author Strives To Educate Alzheimer’s Families

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4Local author Dr. Betty Wyatt-Dix recently published her newest book Where’s my Grandmom, and What Did You Do with Her? A story about families learning to understand and respond to Alzheimer’s disease, former educator Dr. Wyatt Dix wrote the children’s book in the hopes to help promote awareness of the disease and raise funds for research.

Taking a break from writing another book about her husband’s death through complications due to pancreatic cancer, titled If you want to hear God laugh, Tell Him Your Plans, Wyatt-Dix started to care for her mother that was suffering from Alzheimer’s  disease. She was encouraged by her publisher to write down her experiences with her mother and the challenges that the family faced with a disease that continued to take away the loving, matriarch that they once knew.

Described by family as a loving and giving person who never met a stranger, Wyatt was devoted to her family and would help anyone who needed it but over time that changed. “The Alzheimer’s disease ravaged her, stealing her joy in life and precious memories, changing her personality and even altering her physical features” said Wyatt-Dix. “In many ways, our family felt confused and helpless on how to deal with this disease. I truly hope this book, in some small way, will help other families, especially the children, understand what changes may occur in someone with Alzheimer’s.”

Dedicated to the memory of Florence B. Wyatt Nalbone, author Dr. Wyatt-Dix hopes that her story will help in some way to assist families stepping into unfamiliar territory as they confront the disease. The sudden and distinct changes in Florence were challenging for the entire family, especially the grandchildren that expected their grandmother to always meet them with a smile and love at the door.

“Other than our parents, our grandparents are two of the most important people in our lives. That loving and nurturing relationship can change drastically with the onset of Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Wyatt Dix. “To see someone lose their ability to recognize people creates feelings of sadness and anger and it is important to know that other families have gone through the same thing.”

Told from the perspective of a small child, Where’s my Grandmom, and What Did You Do with Her? helps children of all ages understand the effects of this disease. Alzheimer’s attacks the mind, memories, and spirit. Wyatt-Dix hopes that families can read along and learn how to help loved ones feel safe and how to cherish those times when their loved ones remember and share from time to time.

“This disease is not anything the person chose or can help,” said Dr. Wyatt-Dix. “All you can do is help them feel safe and loved so when they get those glimpses of who they are still, you can be ready.”

Proceeds from Where’s my Grandmom, and What Did You Do with Her? will benefit research for Alzheimer’s disease. All monies from books purchased directly through Dr. Betty Wyatt-Dix at wyattdix@comcast.net will support the cause one hundred percent.