DownEast Today interviews Kathryn Smaw Amerson


Martha Bishop, co-host of DownEast Today, read The Caregivers and invited author Kathryn Smaw Amerson to the set.  Co-host John Moore interviewed Amerson to reveal the character of Aunt Bette, pronounced “ont” because she insisted she was not an insect.  Aunt Bette had been a college professor who retired to her hometown of New Bern, North Carolina.  From the early 1960s to the early 1990s, she was seen as brilliant, worldly, and eccentric by the small Southern town.  Her company was requested by all the town’s social events.  When she seemingly suddenly exhibited signs of dementia, her status in the community evaporated. 

Amerson said The Caregivers provides two storylines.  One is of healthcare, eldercare, and elder abuse.  Through this plot Amerson hopes to effect change in eldercare, much like change has been effected in childcare.  The second storyline allows readers to see Aunt Bette”s humor and intellect as she recalls events of the 20th century.  This plot enables readers to observe that her life was not defined by the last five years of declining health, but by her marvelous 95 year journey.

DownEast Today will air Amerson’s interview on Wednesday, March 30 at 6:00 am and 7:00 am.  The television channels can be found on the DownEast website:


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