Debbie Compton, Certified Caregiver Advocate: Aliens in the House, now what?!

An interview with Debbie Compton, Certified Caregiver Advocate Aliens in the House, now what! On February 22, 2024 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.



Debbie Compton is a three-time caregiver for parents with different forms of Dementia, Alzheimer’s , Parkinson’s and Vascular Dementia. She is a Certified Caregiving Consultant, Certified Caregiver Advocate, Educator for the Alzheimer’s Assoc. speaker, and author of 9 books.


Debbie’s first book, Caregiving: How to hold on while letting go, offers actionable steps for caregivers as well as questions to ask doctors, in-home caregivers, facilities, and more. It is full of humor and inspiration.


Debbie is the founder of The Purple Vine LLC, whose mission is to empower caregivers with the tools and strategies needed to reduce stress, block burnout, and learn to laugh again.

Debbie believes it’s okay to get knocked down, but it’s not okay to stay down.


Please tell me a little about your background.


I was in upper management, traveling coast to coast when my Dad’s Parkinson’s got worse. Since mom already had vascular dementia, changes had to be made. I became a full-time caregiver.



Can you tell me more about your organization?


I founded The Purple Vine LLC to help caregivers get answers I couldn’t find myself. I offer actionable solutions to challenging and often bizarre situations.


What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?


My passion is supporting caregivers. When Dad started seeing aliens tunneling into the house, I had no idea what to do. I researched a lot but couldn’t find actionable information to help me. I don’t want other caregivers to struggle like I did.



What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?


Understanding the disease, it’s progression, medication side effects, and non-pharmaceutical interventions.


What type of training and how long are the programs?


Currently coaching or consultations are offered via Zoom and time frame is dependent on the need.


What effect can it have on an individual with Parkinson’s?


Consultations can bring peace of mind for both the individual living with Parkinson’s, and their caregiver. They also leave encouraged and more prepared for the future.



What would you like to see as a future goal for your programs?


Possibly start group coaching and encourage members to share ideas with each other. There is comfort in also realizing they are not alone on this journey.


What events do you participate in? Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s speeches.


How does this also assist the caregivers?


Caregivers benefit from my training and my hands-on experience. I teach using humor always.


How can someone get in touch?  What is your website? or by e-mail at



How can others also become advocates for awareness?


Talk to people about your experience. Share your struggles with policy decision makers. Get involved with the Parkinson’s Foundation, (


Did you find hallucinations random?


No. Most hallucinations, in my opinion, have a component of reality in them. Dad’s aliens took a lot of journaling to figure out. I recorded times, foods, weather, current events, and more.


I discovered they originated from the setting sun glaring off dad’s white mailbox. He also had macular degeneration so his mind transformed the sunburst into aliens. I got rid of the aliens by closing the front door just before the sun hit the mailbox.


In your opinion what is the key to effective advocacy? 


Learn your person. Demand what’s best for them. If you can’t do it, find someone who will.


What other activities do you undertake to help improve and support your daily living Eg exercise and alternative remedies?


I do step-aerobics to improve circulation, blood flow, and coordination. I take walks on alternate days.


Why should people who don’t have Parkinson’s care about this? 


Because you never know when you or a loved one may get it. It’s a terrible disease currently with no cure.


Have you had any family members or relatives affected by Parkinson’s disease?


My Dad passed away from Parkinson’s.


If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?


It’s okay to get knocked down, it’s not okay to stay down. Everyone makes mistakes, give yourself some grace. This is not an easy journey.