Maggie Sullivan

Maggie Sullivan has come to know Alzheimer’s intimately. She was caregiver and advocate during the eight years her mother lived with the disease. For the past 23 years, she has facilitated caregiver support groups for the Alzheimer’s Association, learning from the experience of more than 300 members of those groups. The opinions she expresses here are her own. Maggie is also a writer whose essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times and elsewhere.

  • Preserving Autonomy against the Odds January 27, 2017 by Maggie Sullivan - When the doctor diagnosed my mother with probable Alzheimer’s, he also told her, “I want you to stop driving.” He said her reflexes and judgment weren’t good enough. By that point in her disease, my mother had trouble following conversations,
  • Does She Still Recognize You? November 11, 2016 by Maggie Sullivan - An acquaintance I ran into at the supermarket stopped me with that question. It was one I got frequently when my mother was in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. The question made me uncomfortable. It seemed intrusive coming from someone
  • Adrift in Time September 22, 2016 by Maggie Sullivan - I was taking my mother to Maine to visit her brother. They had lived in New Jersey within a few blocks of each other their entire lives until, due to her dementia, she moved in with me.
  • When Behavior Speaks June 13, 2016 by Maggie Sullivan - I sat with my mother and her caregiver, Aliza, one afternoon in the Alzheimer’s unit of the nursing home. With my mother between us, Aliza and I chatted about the hot weather we had been having. All of a sudden
  • Regarding Alzheimer’s May 19, 2016 by Maggie Sullivan - An empty shell. Doesn’t know who he is. Violent. Doesn’t recognize family members. Unable to communicate. The negative stereotypes and exaggerations of Alzheimer’s disease abound. Even the harrowing descriptions of Alzheimer’s meant to increase our sympathy—robs its victims of dignity,