Elaine Lohrman , author of the book, Conversation with Nora: A Family’s Journey with Alzheimer’s , is a retired music teacher and currently lives with her husband in the Washington, DC, area. She loves to sing for family and friends, designs and creates custom bridal gowns, and enjoys writing novels. Ms. Lohrman is active in P.E.O., a philanthropic educational organization for the advancement of women and is an active member of St.Paul's United Methodist Church in Kensington, Maryland.

Below is our interview with Elaine Lohrman:

1. Tell us about your research?

Researching the topic of Alzheimer's was not in my mind at all until my mother began to display odd behaviors and becoming quite forgetful. Because of her staunch refusal to seek a definitive diagnosis, my sister and I were at a loss as to what was happening to our usually loving mother. I began studying the disease and searched for information on how to deal with this terrible mind and spirit-robbing illness.

2. At what point in your career did you decide to write this book and why?

Alzheimer's affects the entire family, not simply the person suffering from the disease. I sought help from a Stephen Minister, a lay person trained to listen and guide people through tough situations. Her name was Nora. Conversations with Nora is a diary, if you will, of the many heart-to-heart talks we had over dinner every week as we shared the hardships and heartbreaks of watching a parent fade away. My writing was cathartic and healing, and eventually became the basis for a story that I hoped would help others walking the path of Alzheimer's with a loved one.

2. At what point in your career did you decide to write this book and why?

Alzheimer's affects the entire family, not simply the person suffering from the disease. I sought help from a Stephen Minister, a lay person trained to listen and guide people through tough situations. Her name was Nora. Conversations with Nora is a diary, if you will, of the many heart-to-heart talks we had over dinner every week as we shared the hardships and heartbreaks of watching a parent fade away. My writing was cathartic and healing, and eventually became the basis for a story that I hoped would help others walking the path of Alzheimer's with a loved one.

3. Tell us a little bit about yourself as a mother and an MD?

While I am not a medical doctor - nor am I a mother - I know that my female friends in the medical profession face many challenges, including juggling a busy career with caring for children of their own. Alzheimer's often adds to their day the burden of caring for an aging parent and can make an already hectic life seem overwhelming. Women in this "sandwich generation" need time to refresh their minds and re-energize their bodies.

4. What advice would you give to other young female MDs?

One of my favorite people in the whole world is my rheumotologist! She always has a ready supply of smiles and encouraging words for me. Her secrets for a chronic case of joyfulness is to make appointments with herself to concentrate on exercise, healthy and enjoyable eating, time for girlfriends, date nights with her husband, and practicing a faith-filled life. For a busy mom and professional medical practitioner, staying sane and happy is hard work, but well worth the effort it takes to create a space in which to breathe, laugh, and grow.

5. How do our readers purchase the book?

Conversations with Nora focuses on all those things, but particularly on making difficult journeys easier when equipped with a strong faith in the healing powers of Love. The book can be purchased at Amazon.com and is available in paperbook and ebook format.

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