Husband’s CD tribute to wife aims to help dementia carers
- Credit: Archant
Bob Crowley’s wife Julie McCreadie – who worked for many years at the East Anglian Daily Times and was Suffolk Mercury series editor – lost her battle with vascular dementia on Valentine’s Day last year, at the age of 72.
Now Bob is determined to raise awareness of the condition with the release of a CD and also to raise funds for research into the early diagnosis of dementia.
The 18-track CD, called Care Comfort and Compassion, includes music and poetry that have helped Bob to cope with his loss, including tracks featuring Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, and Annie Lennox.
Former construction professional Bob, 76, said: “Julie was an extraordinary woman. She was a newspaper editor for many years, editing eight weekly newspapers in East Anglia.
“She was also the first woman to work on the floor of the London Stock Exchange and was City Editor for a leading national newspaper. At the peak of her career, she was Deputy Chief of the Guild of Editors.”
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Bob, of Bovey Tracey, near Newton Abbot, watched helplessly as dementia tightened its grip on his bright, charismatic wife, and says he now wishes he’d understood more about the condition at the time.
Unfamiliar with dementia, he “deeply regrets” not recognising the symptoms when they first appeared in 2009.
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He said: “I’ve come to realise, through my experience with Julie, the importance of early diagnosis.
“If I’d known then what I know now I would certainly have been better prepared because dementia can put a strain on people’s relationships.
“There were times when I would get frustrated – more with myself than with Julie – because I didn’t know how to cope with her changed behaviour as her dementia took hold.
“There needs to be more research into early diagnosis because that would really help couples in their relationships, and I hope sales of my CD will contribute to that.
“I just want to do as much as I can to honour Julie’s memory, and to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Society – I think she’d proud that I’m doing this.”
There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. The condition is the UK’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes.