Aliceheimer’s found me rather than the other way around. In February of 2008, for the second time in the space of six months, my mother, Alice, had just been kicked out of her apartment. The reason? Her Alzheimer’s disease. My sister and I looked for alternatives around New York City, her life-long home. We were hoping to keep her near the relatives to which she was the closest, near to her friends. Instead, she moved hundreds of miles north to live with me and my family in the Vermont woods. Vermont winters are long and cold. She hated snow. I was the daughter who got on her nerves. The feeling was mutual…

If Alzheimer’s disease brought humor and clarity into our lives, does this mean that our lives were utterly crazy beforehand? Perhaps it was a bit of insanity that led me to move Alice, into our home just as our nest was about to empty, just as she was losing her marbles. But with a community of help that included pirates, good neighbors, a cast of characters from space-time travel, and my dead father hovering in the branches of the maple trees that surround our Vermont farmhouse, Aliceheimer’s let us write our own story daily—a story that, in turn, helps rewrite the dominant medical narrative of aging.

"I just wanted to know your name."


"Pretty name."

"Thanks. You gave it to me."

"And if I just call, you'll come?"

"It might not be me, but if you call, I promise you, someone nice will come."

"That's good. Thank you. I'll sleep well knowing that."

Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?



“A deeply moving, informative, and funny memoir by a woman watching her mother's descent into Alzheimer's disease." - Roz Chast, author of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?