This afternoon, please welcome author Mary Hiland to The Write Stuff. Mary is sharing a review of her book, The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: A Daughter’s Memoir. I know you will enjoy reading about this one, and will definitely want to share Mary’s book review on all your social media. Thanks so much!
I was totally engrossed in this book from start to finish. With insight and humor, the author perfectly relates her experience with her mother as ‘Mom’ transitions from independent living to assisted living and from being a functional 94-year-old to a totally dependent 98-year-old with dementia.
Ms. Hiland adeptly describes her changing relationships with her mother as well as with the facility staff. Whether the reader is blind like the author or not, so many of us can relate to this experience, as it’s something we have already gone through or that we worry might happen to us and our parents in the future.
The author has a special ability to paint scenes that are both so real and poignant with her words. All professional caregivers in any discipline — in fact, all adult children — should read this compelling book. We all can learn from the author’s words.
Independent Living Consultant
Making the decision to move an elderly parent into assisted living against his or her will presents myriad challenges. Like many adult children who want to respect their parents’ wishes, I didn’t take action until it was unavoidable. But unlike most adult children, I had to deal with this crisis as an only living child who is totally blind. The logistics alone were merely the start of my uphill struggle with this daunting task.
During the last two years of my mother’s life, I learned many lessons about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and she learned to accept the difficulties of being in her late nineties and living in an assisted living community.
In The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: A Daughter’s Memoir, I not only describe the move, my mother’s adjustment to a foreign way of life, and the emotional trauma for both of us, but also offer some advice and comfort for others who are experiencing such dramatic changes.
What makes my story unusual is that I tell it with blindness always in the background. You will find some touching moments, some troubling ones, and some that are relevant to your own life.
This is a memoir woven through my observations of who my mother was and who I am.
Author Mary Hiland
Mary Hiland, a native of Cincinnati, lives in Gahanna, Ohio with her Seeing Eye® dog, Dora. She is a graduate of the Ohio State University with a B.S. degree in Social Work. She recently retired as Executive Director of The American Council of the Blind of Ohio. Before that, she served for over 21 years as Director of Volunteers for VOICEcorps Reading Service: https://www.voicecorps.org/
Ms. Hiland has been published in Chicken Soup for the Parent’s Soul, Redbook magazine, Toastmaster magazine, and The Columbus Dispatch.
Visit her blog at https://seeingitmyway.com/
In 2001, Ms. Hiland carried the Olympic torch, and in 2015, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from her local Toastmasters Club.
Ms. Hiland has two adult children and five granddaughters. Her passions are reading, public speaking, cycling, cross-country skiing, swimming, hiking, and taking long walks with Dora. She writes for the pure pleasure of it.
As an only child for most of her life, she benefited from the single-minded love and devotion of her parents. So when her mother, who was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and was going blind and deaf, needed to give up her independence and move into assisted living, it was time for Ms. Hiland to step up and assume the duties and role reversals required for her mother. She wrote about her experiences with the hope of being helpful to others in this tough place in life. The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: A Daughter’s Memoir is her first book.
Buy The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: A Daughter’s Memoir at the links below:
The print edition of The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living is available at the following online stores:
Find Mary on Social Media Here:
Mary’s Blog: www.seeingitmyway.com