“I had always wanted to write, I just couldn’t find anything that kept my interest enough to keep writing about,” said Taylor, a seventh grade reading teacher at Woodland Middle School. “My grandmother’s had Alzheimer’s for probably 10 years now. So seeing her every single week … just seeing the decline and how it changes your mind and the mood and all of that, it was something that really held my attention and that I wanted to write about because I thought it would be sympathetic to others.”
While Evelyn’s personality and health decline from Alzheimer’s reflect Taylor’s grandmother, the book’s plot is fictional.
“Basically, the character Evelyn — when she’s very young there’s an accident that happens where a young boy dies and she deals with that in her mind for the rest of her life,” Taylor said. “Finally, once she gets the Alzheimer’s, eventually the secret comes out about how the young boy died. It’s just about how it basically haunted her her entire life, but then when she gets this Alzheimer’s disease finally this secret’s revealed and it lifts that burden off of her.”
Along with Taylor’s website, www.katetaylortheauthor.com, readers can purchase a copy of “Call Me Crazy” at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. Interested individuals also can meet Taylor at a book signing Aug. 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Crossroads Public Library, 909 Harmony Grove Church Road in Acworth.
Along with providing readers an engaging story, Taylor said — through her book and website — she wants to reach out to those affected by Alzheimer’s and help educate others about the disease.
“I think more than anything I want it to be something that is relatable to those that have dealt with it, so that they do not feel like, ‘OK, I’m the only one having to deal with this.’ Because it’s really tough,” Taylor said. “I wanted it to be relatable. Then for those who don’t know anything about Alzheimer’s, I wanted them to realize how much it affects a person’s life.
“They lose their memory. It can sometimes change their mood, their behavior. But at the same time, even though it changed all that stuff I want them to know that at heart those people are still the good, sweet people that we’ve known our whole lives.”
According to Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s constitutes between 50 and 80 percent of dementia diagnoses, in which people’s mental abilities diminish, impacting their daily life. In the United States, more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s, the majority of whom are 65 and older. Each year, nearly one in three senior adults who pass away have succumbed to the disease or another form of dementia.
Alzheimer’s Association’s website, www.alz.org, reveals, “Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.
“Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions. ... Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.”