The Original Loretta Brown Show

Mom and Dementia and Me

Mom and Dementia and Me Hundreds of thousands of people die from dementia every year, and their relatives and friends, number in the millions. It’s the club that no one wants to belong to. But the good news is, you can find help—you need to know where to look. Leona Illig has written a book that may answer some of your questions. In 2014, her mother began to show signs of dementia, and four years later, she passed away from complications of that disease. Leona, who had no formal medical training or care giving experience, suddenly had to navigate a complex, confusing system of medicines, doctors, and treatments. Her book, Mom and Dementia and Me, is written from a layperson’s point of view with the hope that others can benefit from what she learned. Included in the book are chapters on how to adapt your house to the needs of a dementia patient, how to choose the right medical equipment, and a checklist for things that need to be done before the end comes. The book also contains, somewhat surprisingly, a lot of humor. 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, the premier astronomy magazine in the United States. Her latest non-fiction book, Mom and Dementia and Me, was praised by the senior reviewer for “The Midwest Book Review” as “a winner.” She holds an associate degree in Elementary Education from Anne Arundel Community College and a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a member of The Authors’ Guild, Sisters in Crime, The Mystery Writers of America, The Historical Novel Society, the Maryland Writers’ Association, and the Eastern Shore Writers’ Association. Leona lives between Baltimore and Annapolis with her husband, David, and a very small spaniel named Clara. For more information, please see her website at