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Please join us and our guest, Leona Upton Illig, for a show on Mom and Dementia and Me: A Caregiver’s Journey. Hundreds of thousands of people die from dementia every year, and their relatives and friends number in the millions. It’s the club no one wants to belong to. But the good news is, you can find help—you just need to know where to look. This book may answer some of your questions. In 2014, Leona's mother began to show signs of dementia, and four years later passed away from complications of that disease. With no formal medical training and no caregiving experience, Leona suddenly had to navigate a complex, confusing system of medicines, doctors, and treatments. Her book, which actually contains much humor, is written from a layperson’s point of view to help others benefit from what she learned.
Leona has lived in various places around the world including Thailand, Laos, Egypt, and Yemen; she has studied Arabic, Cambodian, Lao, Thai, and Vietnamese. After retiring from the U.S. Department of Defense with the rank of Defense Intelligence Senior Level, she worked as a book reviewer for Children’s Literature, LLC. Her published fiction includes a children’s book, The Elephant and the Bird Feeder, and a coming-of-age novella, Thumper: Life on the Farm. Her short stories have been published by The MacGuffin and The North Atlantic Review; her latest story was chosen for inclusion in The Bay to Ocean Journal, 2022. Her humorous non-fiction articles have been published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and by Sky & Telescope. Leona holds an Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education from Anne Arundel Community College and a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park.