Press Release: New book helps ‘wake up’ those with memory loss

August 22, 2019


For immediate release


Natalie Bowers, Acorn Communications

natalie@acorn-communications, 859-486-0058


New book helps ‘wake up’ those with memory loss; provides ‘exciting aid in communication with loved ones’

 North Shore, Massachusetts – “Hilda’s Story: New Bedford, Massachusetts”, by Marblehead Resident Siobhan McDonald, is the first book in a series that is specifically designed to foster communication between senior citizens dealing with memory loss and their loved ones who want to communicate with them. The book launched online June 3, 2019 on the Barnes and Nobles website and it is also available through the publisher site, Granger St. Studios.

“Hilda’s Story” is a reflective tale of a woman’s childhood and the domestic activities she performed during her younger years. The story is written as a means to help caregivers, family and friends break through the barriers all too commonly seen in patients with memory loss diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The book utilizes illustrations, vintage photographs and a simple plot with built-in questions to enable family members and caregivers to build conversations with their loved ones.

Many people who have read the book to their loved ones report a positive experience. “Usually when I visit my father, he is vacant and distant; often asks the same question ten times. But when I read this book to him, he just came alive! He wanted to talk about his memories of his childhood and what he ate for lunch and the little details of his life. It got him really talking to me and I felt like we shared real quality time together and I felt like I had him back for an hour.” said Caregiver Greg from Gloucester.

The story is simple and intimate. The main character, Hilda, is the daughter of middle-class Portuguese immigrants growing up in the post-World War II era in the coastal Massachusetts city of New Bedford. Details of her domestic life offer the reader and their companion plenty of opportunities to build conversation. Vintage photographs are combined with line drawings to create visual contrast, and other images of objects like a plaid lunch box and a bowl of rice pudding (a staple dessert for children in the 40’s and 50’s) are complemented with questions to encourage lively discussion, such as, “Did you have a favorite clothing store?”, or “Tell me about some of the responsibilities you had growing up.”

By sharing ‘Hilda’s Story’, the interaction between reader and listener can move past the major communication barriers suffered by those with memory loss. Read aloud for entertainment, understanding, comfort, and connection, or simply offer the book for someone to enjoy at their own pace.


About the Author & Publisher

Siobhan McDonald came up with the concept of this series (Before Today: Reminiscing & Connecting) through her experience providing Visual Arts workshops to Seniors in Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Residential settings. She partnered with her sister-in-law, Becky McDonald, to create this book. Siobhan lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Siobhan runs Granger St. Studios, the publishing arm of her written ventures.


Hilda’s Story: New Bedford, Massachusetts is published by Granger St. Studios.

ISBN: 9781733039000

Published: 5/31/2019

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