Dementia podcast to feature talk with local author March 13

March 1, 2024

Local author Lisa Graff was recently interviewed for Dementia Spotlight, a weekly podcast hosted by Bobbi and Mike Carducci, that focuses on caregivers and those who will become caregivers.

Graff’s segment about her self-published second novel, ”Up in the Sky So Blue,” and her personal experience will air Wednesday, March 13, on listeners’ podcast platform of choice. For more information, go to

When Graff started the book, she didn’t plan to write about memory loss. Like many people during the COVID pandemic, she simply wanted to escape to a better world.

“I always had this image of being on a swing and swinging high enough to go to another world, a much happier place. My 9-year-old character Marissa lives with her grandmother, who is beginning to suffer from dementia. So I created a magical world where she can go to feel happy and supported.”

Several years ago, Graff became the caregiver of her Aunt Sonia and Uncle Ed, who were struggling to live independently in Johnson City, Tenn..

“Sonia had fallen and broken a hip which forced her to bed. Ed couldn’t understand why his wife of 50 years wasn’t going to cook his dinner. He had his nights and days mixed up,” Graff said. “I needed help.”

Through the Veterans Administration, Graff was able to bring licensed caregivers into the home to help her family.

“That experience reminded me of my own grandmother’s situation. When I was in high school, she came to live with us. It was my job to bring her a snack after school and to play cards with her. But after a fall down the stairs, she was placed in a nursing home. It devastated my mother and me,” she said.

In the book, each time Marissa returns to her own grandmother's kitchen, she faces reality. Graff writes, “Marissa looked at her grandmother and saw the top button of her robe was buttoned in the third or fourth hole, and tea stains dotted the bodice of her floral nightie. Granny's hair was matted and needed washing. How could Marissa wash it for her? She felt embarrassed. Grams used to brush her hair every morning and dab perfume behind her ears.”

Graff said, “My novel wasn’t intended to become a children’s book. If your main characters are children, then it’s labeled a children’s book, but this story is intended for all ages. Adults need to find coping mechanisms, too. I am interested in speaking to local book clubs to discuss this topic.” To contact Lisa Graff, email and go to

Biblion, Browseabout Books, local libraries and Amazon carry “Up in the Sky So Blue,” one of more than 350 books featured in a global community group called AlzAuthors who write about Alzheimer's and dementia from personal experience. Co-founded in 2019 by Jean Lee and Marianne Sciucco, AlzAuthors’ mission is to share Alzheimer’s and dementia stories to light the way for others. To learn more, go to



Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter