LOSING US: A Dementia Caregiver's Journey

Rosella Leslie

LOSING US: A Dementia Caregiver's Journey

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Author Rosella Leslie didn’t cause, couldn’t cure, and absolutely couldn’t control the dementia that attacked her husband’s brain. What she could control was her own response to the impact this disease had on their lives during her twelve years as John’s primary caregiver.  In her memoir, Losing Us: A Dementia Caregiver’s Journey, released in October 2022, she reveals with honesty and compassion the guilt and shame she experienced for not being or doing enough, for her emotional outbursts and for wanting to escape what began to feel like a life-sentence in a rapidly shrinking prison. With equal candor, she shares the sweet and sometimes funny moments she and John enjoyed. The poems that introduce and complete each chapter are cries from the heart, grieving losses, championing victories, sharing tender moments and humorous incidents that spark both tears and laughter.    

Much more than a memoir, Losing Us is an informal guide to dementia caregiving, providing links to caregiver resources and showing friends, families and the community what they can do help. Leslie’s insights demonstrate that dark thoughts and harsh feelings are not shortcomings, but a natural response to being in an impossible situation and encourages caregivers to keep putting one foot in front of the other as they move toward the faint light of hope that shines at the end of this very dark tunnel. As Caregiver Anna Wright put it, "Reading Losing Us is like having an understanding and helpful friend at your side on the journey of caring for someone with dementia, sharing her toolbox full of helpful tips she learned along the way in her own caregiving experience." 


The image is of the author and her husband walking away from the camera into an unknown of light and darkness, symbolizing the path of dementia.