Diane Keaton's Book "Then Again" is an Homage to Mom

Actress and icon Diane Keaton completes a three-year labor of love with the publication of her book Then Again. The memoir serves as an ode to her mother, who in 2008 died at the age of 86 from Alzheimer’s, 15 years after she was diagnosed with the disease.

Then Again (Random House, $26), on sale today, is culled from from the eighty-five journals Keaton’s mother, Dorothy Keaton Hall, kept over her lifetime. Ms. Keaton juxtaposes her own thoughts about life with those of her mother during a similar time-frame.

Calling her mother the “love of my life,” the book poignantly details Ms. Hall’s frustrations with aging, struggles with caregiving for a terminally ill spouse, and the fear of what lay ahead after her diagnosis through her many journal entries.

June 1993. This is the day I heard I have the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease. Scary.

Ms. Keaton describes how her mother continued to write in her journals. When she could no longer write sentences, she wrote single words. When she could not find the words, she wrote numbers. She wrote in her journals until she could not write any longer.

Ms. Keaton also describes these difficult years helping care for her mother as her mind succumbed to Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder named for German physician Alois Alzheimer, who first described it in 1906. Today we know that Alzheimer's is a progressive and fatal brain disease.

Diane Keaton discusses the relationship with her mother in an author interview on NPR. "The two of us were partners in life. My mother really was this person who was in love with my aspirations," she says. "That's really why I forced myself to read (the journals). And of course, I was completely unprepared for the depth that I encountered."

You can read an excerpt from this wonderfully bittersweet book here.

Caregiverlist.com’s Caregiving Training Videos help support caregivers by training them for the challenges of caring for seniors with memory loss, including Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

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