Tennessee Pastor Shares Lessons Learned From Dealing Alzheimer’s and Dementia in New Book ‘Coffee With Mom’

Mike Glenn, lead pastor at Brentwood Baptist, poses with a stack of ‘Coffee with Mom’ — the book he wrote about his mom’s battle with Alzheimer’s

As a minister for more than 40 years, Mike Glenn walked through the valley of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with many families through the years.

But he admits that until you face it personally it is truly hard to understand what a family goes through.

“Caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is totally consuming,” said Glenn, pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood, Tenn.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and more than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

Glenn recently penned a book, published by B&H Publishing, entitled “Coffee with Mom: Caring for a Parent with Dementia.” His hope is that the book will provide encouragement to families who are walking down a similar path and help them realize they’re not alone.

“Sometimes, the only thing you want to know is that you’re not alone in the world,” he said. “I hope by telling my mom’s story, you’ll understand there are lots of people who are walking the same road.”

He noted that every patient is different. “There is no ‘right way’ to deal with the disease,” Glenn said.

The book is based on a series of tweets Glenn posted following this daily meeting with his mother, Barbara Glenn, over coffee. He would stop on his way to church each morning and have coffee with his mother at the retirement and memory care center where she lived.

“Sometimes those visits were funny. Other times they were painful beyond belief,” he noted.

The tweets, he said, were a way “to deal with the funny but painful daily process of dealing with Mom and her illness. The tweets found a life of their own and the book followed from there,” he said.

The book was released nearly a year after his mother passed away in July of 2018.

Glenn said having coffee with his mother was “hilarious, humiliating, warm, freezing cold, angry, touching, loving, and brutal” but a year after her death, “I would give anything to have another cup of coffee with her this morning.”

One of the things he learned from his experience was the importance of having conversations about the subject before it becomes an issue.

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Source: Baptist Press