Stress Release for Alzheimer's Caregivers

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“Breaking the Silence: A Caregiver’s Voice” by Frances H. Kakugawa Gives Advice, Instruction, and Inspiring Poetry for Caregivers to Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, or Other Major Illness.

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month. As part of its commitment to support such worthwhile causes, Willow Valley Press (, publisher of the award-winning book “Dandelion Through the Crack,” proudly announces its newest book, “Breaking the Silence: A Caregiver’s Voice” by Frances H. Kakugawa. It is scheduled for release November 28, 2010.

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. The latest report from the Alzheimer’s Association, “2010 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures,” estimates there are currently 5.3 million Americans of all ages that have Alzheimer’s disease. This number is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years and potentially triple to 16 million by mid-century.

But Alzheimer’s affects more than just the victims. In 2009, an estimated 10.9 million family members and friend s provided a whopping 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care for a person with Alzheimer’s or similar dementia. Providing this care is often unbelievably difficult and stressful. It can cause financial and employment problems as well as, significantly, physical and mental health problems.

The Alzheimer’s Association report stated that “Family and other unpaid caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia are more likely than non-caregivers to have high levels of stress hormones, reduced immune function, slow wound healing, new hypertension and new coronary heart disease.”

Developing strategies and finding activities that provide relief from this stress and its complications are doubly important as these problems ultimately impact their patients too. One outlet that many have discovered is through journaling and poetry. Frances’ book, “Breaking the Silence” will be an important aid for this.

Frances Kakugawa was born in Hawaii in the village of Kapoho. Becoming a teacher, she taught in Hawai´i and Michigan, and lectured at the University of Hawai´i. Frances has authored nine books.

In 1997, Frances became the primary caregiver for her mother, Matsue, who had developed Alzheimer’s disease. Frances found that poetry and journaling helped her to manage the tremendous burden of care. This inspired her to start a journaling and poetry writing support group for caregivers through the Aloha Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. The combined writings from her first sessions are incorporated into her book, “Mosaic Moon: Caregiving Through Poetry.”

Frances has now completed her newest work, “Breaking the Silence, A Caregiver’s Voice.” Building on her experience as a teacher and support group moderator, she has written a book that is a thoughtful and honest look into what caregivers face each day, and provides a real value for those who must cope with incredible pressure, anxiety, and difficult decisions associated with Alzheimer’s caregiving.

“Breaking the Silence” is a compilation of poetry, journal entries, and how-to advice. Frances weaves her own poetry and that of six other caregivers together, along with journal entries and advice for the novice poet. It’s a handbook for caregiving survival.

“Breaking the Silence: A Caregiver’s Voice” is currently scheduled for release November 20, 2010, to coincide with National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month. More information is available at

About Willow Valley Press:
Willow Valley Press is a small publisher, located in Nevada City, California and has been publishing books since 1999. Willow Valley Press releases interesting books of all kinds: memoirs, autobiographies, local history, personal growth/self-help, firearms instruction, Vietnam-era accounts, business how-to’s, cookbooks, and humor.

For more information, contact Barry Schoenborn, 530-265-4705 or email info(at)

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