Former Alaskan writes book about being an Alzheimer's caregiver
A long-time Alaskan whose life was deeply affected by his mother’s Alzheimer’s disease has written a book to help other caregivers who might benefit from his experience.
Bob Miller published late last year his memoir, “My Mom Inez: Our Alzheimer’s Journey,” which is the story of a son’s determination to protect and care for his mother as he struggles with the signs of her losing her mind to Alzheimer’s.
“This book grew out of my effort to understand, accept and effectively deal with what was going on in my mother’s life, and how it affected all the people who loved her,” Miller explained. “I told the story in the context of my family’s life in order to give readers an understanding of who my mother was prior to her illness.”
Miller came to Alaska in July 1964 when the U. S. Army assigned him to Fort Richardson, where he served as a chaplain’s assistant in a Nike-Hercules missile battalion. Upon his release from active duty in 1966, he returned briefly his native Nebraska before returning to Alaska to be a reporter and columnist for the Anchorage Times.
Miller spent 40 years in Alaska, working in journalism, politics, communications, marketing and public relations. From 1970 until 1977 he was manager of public affairs for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, the oil industry consortium which constructed the 800-mile trans-Alaska crude oil pipeline. In 1992 he became director of public affairs for the University of Alaska statewide system with offices in Fairbanks.
Miller’s parents moved from Cozad to Colorado in 1966, and his father died there in 1983. His mother remarried in 1987, and following her second husband’s death in 2001, Miller started noticing her mental health declining. In 2004, he retired from the university and moved to Longmont, Colorado, to live with his mother and care for her.
“When it became obvious that her condition was not due to normal aging, but rather to Alzheimer’s disease, I tried to learn as much about the disease as possible,” Miller said. “But nothing I read could have prepared me for what caring for her would be like.”
Writing in his journal about daily events in their lives led ultimately to his decision to write the book, Miller said.
“I hope the book will resonate with people who are now, or will in the future, provide health care for their aging parents. It will encourage them to think about what will happen to them in their final years; all the while making them laugh, cry and think in the process.”
The book can be ordered online or from any bookseller. It is available in hardcover, softcover and e-reader versions.