I began writing about my experiences as a caregiver for my mom and aunt when I learned that others were seeking comfort and were desperate to learn they weren’t alone. Since I’m a writer by profession, it was only natural that I put pen to paper (or fingers to computer keys) to share and bring solace.
After my articles appeared in local and statewide newspapers, caregivers often called me to thank me for writing about various situations. They seemed to feel the need to chat with someone else who had gone through or was going through what they were.
Gradually my writing expanded to magazines, then online publications and blogs. I eventually wrote the book, When We Become the Parent to Our Parents.
I discovered that I’ve forgotten how many publications I’ve written for about Alzheimer’s and caregiving in my desire to help others. Recently I came across the article, “Can Children Cope With a Grandparent’s Alzheimer’s?” based upon my grandchildren’s interaction with my mom…their great grandmother in The Lutheran Digest.
Even if you don’t write for publication, perhaps you’d like to keep a journal about your experiences. This helps you cope and to share with others.
When my aunt and mother developed Alzheimer’s and I became their caregiver, each one necessitating different types of care, I never thought I’d be writing about the experience, even though I’m a writer.
“Keep a journal,” my husband Jim said. “You may want to remember some of the experiences.”
I thought this might be for reference when I needed to recall times and dates or to relate to friends and family.
However, I soon found others with Alzheimer’s family members and friends turning to me to share and to ask for suggestions. After spending a great amount of time on the phone one afternoon with a friend, I realized the information she sought might be of interest to others. So I approached a newspaper I often wrote for. I asked if they would be interested in a series of articles about Alzheimer’s and caregiving. They were and the series was well received.
I realized there was a need, so I kept writing…for newspapers, for magazines, and eventually my book, When We Become the Parent to Our Parents. Next I began speaking to caregiver groups and others.
With Alzheimer’s continuing to afflict so many families around the globe, I find an even greater need for me to write…to inform and to encourage.
Share and ask questions. I’d enjoy hearing from you.