Sep 30, 2013

Why I Write About Alzheimers Caregiving

He was my best friend, my chief confidant, my biggest supporter. He was my life partner – my soul mate. He was always there for me.

By Marie Marley
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Why I Write About Alzheimer’s Caregiving

Those of you who visit the Alzheimer’s Reading Room frequently know I have published numerous articles about Alzheimer’s caregiving here – approximately one per week over the past two years.

Why do I write these articles? Simply because I must. But that’s the short answer.

Let me go back in time and talk about the origin of that “must.”

I had a 30-year relationship with Edward Theodoru, a colorful and eccentric Romanian gentleman, scholar and lover extraordinaire.

Ed was everything to me. He was my best friend, my chief confidant, my biggest supporter. He was my life partner – my soul mate. He was always there for me.

Ed was my rock. And he treated me like a treasure.

When Ed developed Alzheimer’s I began keeping a journal. After he passed away I felt compelled to write a book about our lives together, using the journal as a starting place.

Working on the book was, I think, mostly a way to help keep Ed alive in my heart. It was therapeutic. It was also something to do with the massive amount of free time I suddenly found on my hands.

But then the writing began to take on a life of its own. I had always loved writing, and the project became a wonderful creative outlet. I felt compelled to work on it every free moment I had.

I intended the book to be simply a memoir – a way to share our love story with the whole world. But when the Amazon reviews started pouring in (there are now nearly 70), most readers talked about how helpful the book was to them in their caregiving duties.

I should note that the book doesn’t present any advice. It’s just that in the course of narrating our story, I relate the solutions I found to the numerous problems that arise when caring for people with Alzheimer’s.

I like to say that I accidentally wrote a book for Alzheimer’s caregivers.

When the book was published, I started studying marketing in order to increase sales. I read in several of my marketing books that publishing articles on the internet is an excellent approach to doing just that.

And so I starting writing articles for the Alzheimer’s Reading Room, the Huffington Post and Maria Shriver’s website. A total of over 150 articles. They had the intended result – sales increased considerably.

But again, just as had happened with the book, readers started saying how helpful the articles were to them as Alzheimer’s caregivers.

They talked about that in their comments on the respective articles, and I received numerous personal emails from grateful caregivers. I even received some letters thanking me for writing the articles.

I also received emails from some directors of facilities for people with dementia telling me they copy and distribute the articles to their family caregivers.

So in conclusion, I write about Alzheimer’s caregiving because I must.

More specifically, I do it: to help keep Ed alive in my mind; as a wonderful creative outlet;  and most importantly,

to help others going through the same difficult experience I went through.

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You are reading original content +Bob DeMarco , the Alzheimer's Reading Room