Kimberly Williams-Paisley had to 'learn to love her mother again' after dementia

Linda Williams was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a form of dementia with no cure, at the age of 61.
Posted By Veronica Linares   |   Feb. 7, 2014 at 9:49 AM   |   Comments

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NASHVILLE, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Kimberly Williams-Paisley opened up about her mother's struggles with dementia in a personal essay she wrote for Redbook magazine.

The 42-year-old actress' mother, Linda Williams, was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia -- a form of dementia with no cure -- at the age of 61. According to the Nashville star, the disease turned her into a completely different person.

"I've watched a passionately joyful woman, a devoted mother, an engaged listener and friend deteriorate and transform into someone almost unrecognizable," Williams-Paisley wrote. "It's been agonizing to slowly lose her."

Willams' behavior was so erratic at one point that she was no longer fit to live at home and had to be transferred to a long-term care facility.

"The move was the hardest change my tight-knit family has ever had to endure," writes Brad Paisley's wife. "Our visits were agonizing for me. I couldn't look at her without seeing a fading picture of who she used to be. I resented this mostly manic, dangerous, crazy woman who had taken over my mother's body."

However, she soon learned that she just needed to find new ways to communicate with the woman that brought her into the world. Williams-Paisley admits that taking to people who had gone through similar experiences helped her a lot.

"She is, in many ways, a 'new' mom. But now it's easier to welcome memories of her as she used to be," Williams-Paisley writes. "I remember her as I run, the way she always used to, into a cold ocean when no one else wants to. I'm sure I know how she felt as I listen to my own children with all my heart."

You can read Williams-Paisley's full essay here.


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