Feb 1, 2010

Random Thought at the End of 2009

Alzheimer's will try to rob the Alzheimer's caregiver of their spirit. It will try and send them into the black hole of depression. Every day Alzheimer's whispers in the ear of the caregiver -- give up.
By +Bob DeMarco 
+Alzheimer's Reading Room 

I made a decision to get serious about the Alzheimer's Reading Room in November, 2008. We had about 45 real subscribers, and 1,000 page views a month.

How and why did I make the decision? Simple really. I started receiving emails from real people, real caregivers. As I read and responded to those emails it had an impact on me. A very real and positive impact.

As I read emails, I started to think about where I was on the Alzheimer's caregiver continuum. Often I thought, been there.

Been there might sound like an easy explanation. Been there often meant scared, afraid, confused. Been there often meant a need to vent. Been there. Still there.


During 2009 I wrote, Alzheimer's is a sinister disease it kills the brain of the person suffering from Alzheimer's, and it will try to kill the Alzheimer's caregiver.

Alzheimer's will try to rob the Alzheimer's caregiver of their spirit. It will try and send them into the black hole of depression. Every day Alzheimer's whispers in the ear of the caregiver -- give up.

Some caregivers give up. It is not because they are weak in spirit, it is because they are often weak in support.

Most Alzheimer's caregivers are ill equipped to deal with Alzheimer's disease. You can put everything we know about Alzheimer's in a thimble on the day we hear the word -- Alzheimer's.

Most Alzheimer's caregivers don't know where to turn. The vast majority of Alzheimer's caregivers won't get any help from their doctor. We have to do something about that.

The word "doctor" comes from the Latin "docere" meaning to teach. A doctor was a teacher, especially a learned or authoritative one. Personal care physicians have a lot to learn about Alzheimer's disease. They need to learn how to teach the Alzheimer's caregivers what to do. How to start them on the road to good caregiving. I suppose we need to find a way to teach doctors about how an Alzheimer's caregiver feels on the day they say -- Alzheimer's.

How to educate the personal care physician? I'll give that some thought in 2010. I am open and receptive to insight, advice and ideas on how to accomplish that mission.


During 2009, the Alzheimer's Reading Room started to grow. It grew thanks to reader referrals and Google. The Alzheimer's Reading Room isn't part of a well funded organization. We don't have a marketing budget or a marketing team. I often wonder, I wonder what would happen if we had sponsors. Or, some kind of serious marketing effort. A real effort to bring the Alzheimer's Reading Room into the awareness of people who could benefit from the advice and insight.

For every Ronald, Olga, Angil, Laurry, Tony, Rose, Phil, Pamela, Lou, Carole, Jocelyn, Judy, Betsyanne, Sandy, Emma, Mike, Laura, Patricia, Nancy, Dave, Ilene, Kathy, Barbara, Gail, Dan, Kerry, Dale, Beverly, Julia, Lilli, Elizabeth, Brian, Patrice, Gloria, Liz, Brenda, Amy, Lori, Christy, Jessica, Jim, Margie, Pat, Nancy, Alison, Peter, Katherin, Jana, Amanda, Lynda, Max, Stazza, Paula, Beth, John and Carolina there are thousands more...millions more. Could they benefit if they knew about the Alzheimer's Reading Room?

We reached about 61,000 unique individuals this year. Some came once, some came often. If everyone was a caregiver (not likely) we reached less than one percent of the caregivers.

If you would have asked me in November, 2008 if that was possible, I would have said yes. If you asked me if it was likely, I would have said no.

Here is something surprising. We have about 1,660 subscribers now. The subscribers account for about 8.5 percent of the pages read each month. We are now 30 times the size we were when the year started.

I am spending about 5 hours a day on this blog now. I have more than 85 emails in my box that I need to respond too. I have a stack of books that deserve my attention, I'll get to them.

Here is the good news, I made about $1.25 an hour for my effort (might sound puny but I received a raise this year). This came from the Google ads and clicks through to Amazon books via the website. Thanks for the support.

During the year I turned down several offers to write for other sites. One offered 300 bucks an article. Another offered to pay me by the word (that would have been a good deal for me --LOL).

I turned down two legitimate offers to buy the Alzheimer's Reading Room. Both offers were for more than the blog is worth -- by any metric. My buddies tell me I am an idiot for not selling. It is not the first time they told me that. They usually learn a few years down the road who was the real idiot.

If I was in it for the money I would quit tomorrow.

I decided I'll stay right here.

I'll continue my own metamorphosis. I'll start the metamorphosis of the Alzheimer's Reading Room soon. The natural progression of growth and learning.

Based on the emails, I believe people are learning and benefiting from this blog.

I know I am learning a great deal from each of you. So thanks.

2010? Who knows?

My name is Bob DeMarco, I am an Alzheimer's caregiver. My mother Dorothy, now 93 years old, sufferers from Alzheimer's disease. We live our life one day at a time.

I am looking forward to the future.
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Bob DeMarco is the Founder and Editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized influencer, speaker, and expert in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 4,000 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, Alzheimer's Reading Room
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