Alzheimer’s: Not Just A Memory has been published by Tricorn Books at £14.99 and is available from Amazon.
Angela, aged 56, said: “The book is written in a journal format. When my husband began to show signs that something wasn’t right with his wellbeing, I started making notes.
“On nights I couldn’t sleep I would write down what was going on. It became a kind of therapy.
“For twelve long years I’ve keep this journal, and last year I decided to get it published so that it would help other people on their journey, to let them know that they are not alone.
“Derek was 61 when he was diagnosed; I was 44; and we had two school-age children.
“We were leading a normal family life, we both had good jobs and a nice house which Derek had built for us.
“We did everything together as a family and considered ourselves a tight unit.
“We enjoyed holidays together, running the girls to and from after-school clubs. Derek loved his football and working in the garden.
“There were no signs that Derek was ill.
“In fact, in all the years I have known him, he was only ill once.
“He was borderline workaholic and hated taking time off work as he was self-employed.
“He always insisted that we couldn’t afford for him not to work.
“He would only have a couple of weeks off a year.
“The early signs were his hearing.
“Then later he would hit his head with his hands.
“When he walked out of work, we were left with only my part-time wage. Not enough to run a house, let alone a family.
“A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s was just the beginning of what was to be a rollercoaster of emotions and heartbreak – a system that’s not set up for younger onset, being too young for a care home, and challenging behaviour not acceptable, ending in a forensic hospital.
“The book is aimed at anyone who has been touched by Alzheimer’s. I started writing in 2008 as a kind of therapy.”
Derek is currently in palliative care in Surrey.
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