SA-born author Gerda Saunders pens book about living with dementia

South African-born author and professor Gerda Saunders has opened up about her life with dementia.

Saunders published her memoir "Memory’s Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia", which has received international acclaim.

Gerda was raised on a farm in South Africa and emigrated to the US with her husband Peter and their two small children in the 1980s.

On her 61st birthday in 2010, she was diagnosed with cerebral microvascular disease, a condition that stops blood reaching her brain.

Cerebral microvascular disease is the second leading cause of dementia after Altzheimers.

Within months, decided to retire from her position as the Associate Director of the Gender studies program at the University of Utah and began journaling her experiences.

She started jotting down notes about her daily challenges and misadventures.

Read: How setting the record straight changed the life of historian Deborah Lipstadt

I never really kept a journal... I saw this as more of observations.

Gerda Saunders, author

I had warning signs at work and at home.

Gerda Saunders, author

It was one of those moments that was shocking and funny at the same time when my neurologist said to me: It seems you are already 'dementing'.

Gerda Saunders, author

Take a listen to her moving story:

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
LISTEN: Buying your teen a smartphone? Emma Sadleir's word of warning to parents

LISTEN: Buying your teen a smartphone? Emma Sadleir's word of warning to parents

The digital space is dangerous terrain for adults and kids. Expert Emma Sadleir explores the legal consequences of social media.

SA crew finishes second in Cape Town leg of round-the-world yacht race

SA crew finishes second in Cape Town leg of round-the-world yacht race

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race lasts 11 months and sees over 700 crew members taking part from over 40 countries.

Dad left super proud after young violinist (14) wins gold on national stage

Dad left super proud after young violinist (14) wins gold on national stage

14-year-old Gilah Kellner has bright classical music career ahead of her and her father can't help but gush over her achievements.

Brittle bones? What you need to know about osteoporosis

Brittle bones? What you need to know about osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become thinner and more fragile, making them more prone to breaking.

UWC opens nine science centres at disadvantaged Cape schools

UWC opens nine science centres at disadvantaged Cape schools

Schools that will benefit from the programme are in areas such as Vredenburg, Nyanga, Mossel Bay and Albertinia, a prof explains.

How setting the record straight changed the life of historian Deborah Lipstadt

How setting the record straight changed the life of historian Deborah Lipstadt

Renowned Holocaust historian Prof Deborah Lipstadt recounts the book and legal battle that changed the course of her life forever.

Popular articles
Three mistakes to avoid when nominating a beneficiary

Three mistakes to avoid when nominating a beneficiary

Certified Financial Planner Paul Roelofse has a difficult conversation with Phemelo Motene around nominating a beneficiary.

Why low sexual desire is not 'abnormal'

Why low sexual desire is not 'abnormal'

Low sex drive is common and non-sexual relationships can also be fulfilling, explains clinical sexologist Dr Eve.

Man wants end to six-year marriage after wife refuses to cook for him

Man wants end to six-year marriage after wife refuses to cook for him

Geoffrey Matovu filed for divorce in the Family Division of the High Court accusing Ms Tryphena Nakiyingi of being disrespectful.

Jerome Booysen of Sexy Boy's life could be under threat

Jerome Booysen of Sexy Boy's life could be under threat

A fight broke at a hospital where Booysen was admitted and it is believed Booysen was the target of the scuffle.

Estate agent Aida admits it’s the source of SA’s largest data hack ever

Estate agent Aida admits it’s the source of SA’s largest data hack ever

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Stuff magazine’s Toby Shapshak.

UCT engineering student creates affordable grey water system

UCT engineering student creates affordable grey water system

Nkosinathi Nkomo came up with a system that could turn grey water into usable water amidst the Cape Town water crisis.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.