Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sometimes the pages outlast us - An Internet journal on caring for an Alzheimer's parent

In the last few weeks, I've come across at least 2, perhaps 3, websites that are still operating despite the fact that their creators have passed away (yes, I prefer the euphemism, passed away, to die, though I will use die occasionally). And each time I do, I get the same feeling accompanied by my own staring off into the window behind my desktop monitor. What is that feeling? Well, as with so many feelings, it's difficult to translate. But...I just find it really neat that webpages that have expressed the feelings, thoughts, opinions, and sentiments of their creators can continue to live on the net, providing valuable information and sometimes needed insights to those who find them. And when that happens, the experience is not only a testament to the webpage writer, but a way for that writer's life experiences to be transmitted to others and passed on.

Unfortunately, it's not always the case that a person's pages will continue after they're gone. For most sites (some free sites may not fall into this category), hosting fees need to be paid every now and then and there's also the issue of domain registrations that need to be kept up. So, I would suggest to those who are aware of a family member's writings online, try to keep them going if you can after the person is gone.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if, oneday, someone decides that this is a good business idea; that is, for a small fee, ensuring that someone's pages will be maintained on the net. Though, this may already exist at the site, (however, there is no guarantee that will always be around).

Here's a link to one of the three sites I found recently. Her name was Denise Cooper and according to a short message at the top of the screen, she died in 2002. The journal she kept may be helpful to anyone caring for a parent with Alzheimer's disease.

Coping with Alzheimer's disease by Denise Cooper

(It's sites like this that show the real potential of the web)

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