A Year to Remember

About this Site

I'm Brenda S. Parris. In August 1994, I quit graduate school at Florida State and came home to Alabama to take care of my mother who had Alzheimer's Disease. I took care of her until the end of December 1995 when we put her in a nursing home. Then she died in April 1996.

I want to share all the information I can find about this disease because I know that knowledge is essential to being a good caregiver. Even those who are not caregivers need to know about this disease because almost everyone knows someone who has Alzheimer's, and probably most of us are at risk for getting it ourselves.

I began this web site in July 1996. Less than two months later, at the end of August 1996, it was awarded "Best Homepage of the Year" by My Internet Services Provider, HiWAAY Information Services in Huntsville, Alabama. Since then, there have been numerous Awards and Reviews, many of which I'd never expected. Many people have written asking permission to use some of My Poems, and they have been published in caregiving newsletters across the country. I've also had the opportunity to write an article for Caregiving Newsletter, telling about how I came to begin my web site and how I've found support and help in my grief through the Internet. In 2001, because so many had asked about getting it in printed form, I published my story as told here in my book Waiting for the Morning. In 2004, I was asked to tell me story in an article for The American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and ohter Dementias, which was a great honor.

Working on my web page was my way of dealing with my grief in those months following my mother's death. Through it I have come to know so many wonderful caring people, though I may never meet them in person. The Alzheimer list, the CANDID chat, the people with Alzheimer's and Caregiving homepages, those who have Contributed Poetry--all of these as well as online grief support groups/sites, and so many who have emailed me or signed my guestbook--have given me comfort and support for which I am forever grateful.

I was not able to return to graduate school for over a year, but I returned in January 1998 to begin working on my remaining twelve semester hours. I commuted a six-hour round- trip most of the year for my classes at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa while working two part-time positions in Decatur, Alabama. In December 1998, those twelve hours transfered back to Florida State, and I graduated. In 1999 I was accepted the position of Technical Services/Reference Librarian at Calhoun Community College, where I will have been for 25 years as of the fall semester 2024.

I hope that you find something at this site that will help you, whatever you are going through. I welcome your comments and suggestions, or if you just want to email me about your situation. Though I may be slow in responding sometimes, I do try to respond to everyone, so please feel free to email me at any time.

Thank you.


Mother Touching Flowers My Advice to Caregivers

Cherish your person with Alzheimer's,
hold their hand, say "I love you",
comfort them when they are confused,
love them when they are angry.
It may be the hardest thing you've
ever done, but these days won't last.
Try to please them, to make them happy
in spite of the disease.
Things will go smoother, both of you
will be happier, and you will know
you've done your best--
with memories to cherish
for the rest of your life.

Copyright © 1998-2024 Brenda S. Parris