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I was recently contacted by an author, Barbra Cohn, whose husband was diagnosed with AD about 7 years ago. She is a spouse, just like all of us, trying to find a way to handle this difficult and frustrating AD journey.  She is writing a book "One Foot in Heaven: How spirituality helps families cope with Alzheimer's disease."   I told her I did not fully understand what she meant by “spirituality”.  This is how she described “spirituality” for all of us:

“Having a spiritual connection doesn’t mean that one has to be connected to an organized religion or specific belief. Many people feel they are spiritual because of a philosophy, a particular lifestyle, or because they are continually searching for meaning and purpose in life. Some people fulfill a spiritual need by seeking harmony with nature, music or art. Others attain their spiritual aspirations through meditation and yoga.
Regardless of the form it takes, having a spiritual connection is an effective way of managing some of the stress and emotional issues that accompany caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. And relating to a person who has Alzheimer’s disease on the level of spirit allows for communication that transcends language. “

Since I feel that I am more grounded and practical than “spiritual”, I do not have a lot to say on the subject (That’s a rarity – me with little to say!), but I am guessing that you, my readers, do have many varying opinions to voice. Both Barbra and I would like you to contribute your ideas in two different ways. I am posting this as a Message Board topic, and welcome your responses.

Barbra would like you to have an opportunity to contribute your thoughts to her book project. See below for her request.

A Special Opportunity to be part of a book project
on Alzheimer ’s and Spirituality

I'm writing a book called "One Foot in Heaven: How Having Spirituality Helps Families Cope with Alzheimer's Disease" — and I'm looking for care partners, people with memory loss, and professionals who are interested in contributing.

You don’t have to be a writer to be involved in this project. If you prefer to dictate your story or be interviewed that will work.

I'd like to have the major religions represented, and spiritual practices such as meditation, yoga, etc.

"One Foot in Heaven" is meant to be a cathartic experience for the contributing families, and a spiritual how-to for others dealing with the devastating effects of Alzheimer's. There is also the possibility of it being made into a TV special.

If you are interested or know of someone who might be interested in participating,
please contact Barbra Cohn,
303-447-8300, or


TOMORROW: Trying to acquire something positive out of the AD misery.

Feedback to joan@thealzheimerspouse.com