Join Peggy Sweeney-McDonald for "Life in the A-Zone" podcast. These are her stories of moving back to her hometown in Louisiana after 36 years to live with her father and mother after her Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It has been a tough journey but through the hard times, she found the strength to keep moving forward and found those precious moments of grace. Writing these stories of love, laughter, life, and loss in the A-Zone has helped her to grieve and heal and she's honored to share them with you. Her hope is for you to find courage, strength, and grace as you navigate your caretaking journey with your parents, spouse, or family members. New episodes will post each Wednesday.
"Life In the A-Zone podcast is a daughter's story about love and family in the midst of their Mother's Alzheimer's served with a side of Southern pie alamode. It's poignant, heartwarming and sad, with a side of humor. Peggy Sweeney McDonald will have you laughing and smiling one moment, and crying the next." - The NG Podcast
"Peggy shares the journey of the caregiver, the painful chafing of the heart when nothing we can do with our hands, our minds, our whole body and soul can reverse the outcome. Her story is a tender quilt of family moments, Louisiana culture, remembrances and heartbreak, patches of life bound by the love and devotion of a caretaker." - The Accidental Blogger
"The always delightful Peggy Sweeney McDonald peels back another layer of her onion of talent revealing a propensity for sharing her life moments with enormous detail and enthusiasm! Allowing you to see what she sees, what she’s smelling, and understand what she’s feeling...pulling you into the moment she’s describes as if your standing by her side, holding her hand and living it with her! Can’t wait for the next episode! "
"Tears of sadness & tears of happiness for you, Peggy. I caught myself holding my breath since I have had the honor of holding Momee, Big Daddy, Jimmy Dean, Erin, and you in a loving warm embrace. You have a beautiful family!
For Peggy, shopping with her mother followed by a lovely lunch with the Sweeney sisters was a favorite mother/daughter bonding activity. However, shopping with their new unwelcome friend, Alzheimer's, is a different story altogether.
Simple life lessons to deal with her mother's Alzheimer's are discovered as Peggy walks around the beautiful neighborhood lake. A crawfish boil at a neighbor's home brings a much needed afternoon of Louisiana festive fun and new friends.
Peggy takes a girl's trip to Natchez, Mississippi with her mother, her mother's best friend and her goddaughter. The weekend is a celebration of friendship and love with a side of pie. Everything is better with pie!
Peggy's stressful day over her mother's choice of clothing for Grandparent's Day turns around that evening when her family goes to hear live music at a local bar. Watching her mother and father slow dance under the stars creates lasting memories of the love between her parents that will live forever.
Peggy plans a “good day” for her mother decorating the house for Easter sparking many childhood memories. Celebrating Easter may be different these days, however, creating new memories can be just as heartfelt and special!
Peggy and her father make special plans for her mother, but soon realize road trips with an Alzheimer’s patient are challenging, exhausting, and emotionally draining. Their best-laid plans are trips to nowhere.
Taking an Alzheimer’s patient on a cruise may not seem like a good idea, but Mom’s 82nd birthday deserves a big celebration. Her smiles and endless laughter makes it worth the awkward moments, and we are blessed with the memories.
Another step down the ladder of the Alzheimer’s journey is inevitable as Peggy’s mother begins walking out of the house unnoticed. Trying to figure out the next move to keep her safe brings confusion and frustration.
Decorating for the holidays is bittersweet as Peggy realizes this may be the last Christmas with her mother living at home. She longs for Christmas of yesteryear as a lifetime of memories fill her heart.
Peggy realizes it is time for her mother to leave the nest as the family prepares to move her into a memory care facility. The beloved home her mother created will never be the same once she is gone.
The last weekend with Peggy's mother before moving her into a memory care facility has arrived. Nothing can prepare the family for this life-changing moment in their Alzheimer's struggle. Friday night is bittersweet as Peggy and her mom share beignets in the backseat of the car creating a special memory.
As Peggy's mother settles into her new life at an Alzheimer's Memory Care facility, they begin to adjust to an empty house without her. The Alzheimer's struggle at home is gone, but so is her mother's love and spirit.
Peggy takes her mother to the hospital and everything changes as she is placed on palliative care. Alzheimer's is winning the battle and Peggy surrenders to the bleak reality.
Peggy’s mother is barely speaking these days as she grows weaker from Alzheimer’s. However, in a special moment of clarity at the Memory Care facility, she shares a beautiful and heartwarming life lesson.
Peggy spends the night with her mother at the memory care facility and in a moment of peace, her mother tells her everything will be alright. Peggy realizes her mother's struggle with Alzheimer's is slowly coming to an end.
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