Filed under: Alzheimer's, Daily Kos, General Musings, Health, movies, Preparedness, Publishing, Society, Writing stuff
I mentioned in passing last week that I was working on all my care-giving posts for a book. Here’s a bit more about that project, as it is tentatively shaping up.
Sometime last year, when I cross-posted one of those entries on Daily Kos, I discovered that there was someone else there who was in pretty much the exact same situation: caring for a beloved mother-in-law. For a variety of reasons, it is fairly unusual to find a man caring for a mother-in-law with dementia. We didn’t strike up what I would call a friendship, since both of us were preoccupied with the tasks at hand, but we did develop something of a kinship, commenting back and forth in one another’s diaries on that site. Our paths diverged – he and his wife eventually needed to get his mother-in-law into a care facility, whereas my wife and I were able to keep Martha Sr home until the end. But the parallels were made all the more striking by those slight differences. In the end, his “Mumsie” passed away about six weeks before Martha Sr died.
Recently this fellow and I picked up the thread of our occasional conversation once again. And discovered that both of us, independently, had been thinking of writing up a book about the experience of care giving. It didn’t take long before we realized that together we could produce a more comprehensive book, and a lot more easily, drawing on our individual experiences to show similarities and different choices. A few quick emails sorted out the pertinent details – basic structure of the book, that all proceeds from it will go to the Alzheimer’s Association (or them and other related organizations), some thoughts on publishing and promotion – and we were off and running.
For now, I’ll just identify him by his screen name: GreyHawk. By way of introduction, check out this excellent post of his at ePluribus Media, where he very neatly explains the *why* of our decision to write this book:
Special thanks to Jim Downey for the supplying the links to the video and to his blog, and just for being him; my wife and I took comfort from the fact that we were not alone in our situation, and that we knew at least one other couple who were going through a very similar experience to our own.
That’s it right there. Millions of Americans are facing this situation today, and millions more will in coming years as the baby-boomer generation ages. I’m not a scientist who can help find a cure to the diseases of age-related dementia. I’m not wealthy and able to make a significant difference in funding such research. But I can perhaps help others to understand the experience. GreyHawk and I are going to try, anyway. I know that my wife and I found comfort in knowing that we were not alone in this. So did he and his wife. If we can share that with others, and make their experience a little more understandable, a little easier, then that will be a worthy thing.
Wish us luck.
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