11 / 3
      12 / 4
      4 / -5

      Negaunee man writes book about Alzheimer's to honor his mother

      A Negaunee man decided to honor his mother after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and passed away in 2012.

      Jim LaJoie's book is titled "Hi Mom. It's Me." In 2010, LaJoie's mother, Shirley Jandreau, was diagnosed with dementia.

      "As my mom's Alzheimer's began to progress, there had reached a point in time where I would walk into see my mother and she didn't recognize who I was and she didn't know my name so one of the things that became pretty easy for me is I would just say hi mom. It's me," said Jim LaJoie, author.

      One of the lessons LaJoie said his mother taught him was to always treat others with dignity and respect.

      "I wanted to do something in her memory so the book is how I felt with Alzheimer's disease and the trials and tribulations that come with that," LaJoie said.

      LaJoie added people suffering from the disease should still be treated with love.

      "I spent a lot of time with her. I tried to comfort her and just hold her hand. Even at the point where she no longer recognized me as her son. When I walked into the room, she knew I was someone that loved and honored her," LaJoie said.

      According to the U.P. Region Alzheimer's Association there are over 7,900 people living with Alzheimer's in the Upper Peninsula.

      "It really does take a huge toll on the family and it's an important point that Alzheimer's is a family disease that impacts everybody. It impacts family members even if you don't live nearby," said Regional Director of the U.P. Alzheimer's Association Ruth Almen.

      LaJoie's book can be purchased on as well as Snowbound Books in Marquette.