I have a personal connection to Alzheimer's and lost my father after an incredibly long battle with the disease 15 months ago.

After going through that, I wanted to help others who have found themselves in the same overwhelming situation that we suffered through, so I wrote an essay about our experiences, which was just published.

I wrote it not only to tell my story, but to raise awareness, provide insight and resources, draw attention to the signs and red flags of Alzheimer's (there are many people at this very moment who have a family member with dementia and do not even realize it), and to offer a glimpse into how Alzheimer’s can affect not only those afflicted with the disease, but — almost more importantly — their loved ones, because it is they who bear the deepest burden and suffering.

Above all, it's meant to help people navigate the devastating journey of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's.

Here is a quote from Greg O'Brien, author of "On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer's":

"Excellent piece, Darren. Excellent! Hoping as many people as possible will read your words. You have great insight, a gift the world needs to hear."

I'm so incredibly sorry about your loved one(s). I hope you will read the essay and would be eternally grateful if you can share it with others in any capacity possible.

Thank you and all the best,


The essay:

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I just read your essay and I have tears in my eyes. I have a mother diagnosed with alzheimers and it is the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with. I took comfort in your words knowing that you understand the pain experienced by the caretaker. A caretaker has lost the parent, but must continue to take care of the person who remains. I visit my mother 3-4 times a week and each time she sees me she says, "I'm so surprised to see you". This is interpreted by me as "where have you been; you are neglecting me". You must deal with all curveballs thrown your way and do it with a smile. I don't always reach my goal of a smile. I pray for patience.

Dear Darren

thank you for sharing this and I am so sorry for the loss of your dad.

your essay is beautifully written with care and love and really spoke to me.
my dad has been in and out of hospital/rehab and now respite since end October. Vascular Dementia has been raised but we are still waiting for our MRI and memory clinic appt. my dad is a gentle giant, my mum has borne the carer role for the last 2-3 years as physical decline set in. So much of what you’ve written has hit home

thank you Darren very much for sharing this
wishing you and your family all the best

Thank you for sharing your essay with us.

What hit home with me was when you talked about the Dad you knew "dying", long before his actual physical death.

To me, that's the hardest part of all of this. The long, long death. It just keeps going on. And onnnnn. The woman in MC is no longer my mother. Her body is a shell, with a strange, robot person living inside. It's heart-breaking.

Please consider coming back and helping others with your experience. And, again, thank you.

Hi Darren, I read your article, thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear father to Alzheimer's. I lost my mother on 2/22/22 to dementia so I know how you feel. I can particularly relate to your statement:

"The day my father was diagnosed, we left the hospital with almost no guidance on how to proceed or navigate the treacherous waters into which we were thrown, nor were we made aware of the countless ways in which our lives were about to change. I consider it a great failing of the healthcare system. In that most crucial, vulnerable, and desperate of moments, we were sent home completely in the dark about what to expect, prepare for, how to care for and protect my father and those around him, and where to seek help."

Amen. Any disease of the brain, including mental illness, is so under-treated and not understood, even now, in 2022; we are all left to flounder around and figure things out for ourselves! Most doctors DO NOT understand dementia/Alzheimer's or any of the various dementia's in general, and it's mind-boggling how alone we all ARE on this journey. My hope, like yours, is that advances will be made in our medical community to study the brain diseases and to learn more in an effort to help all who suffer, and their FAMILIES, to find coping mechanisms to deal with the behaviors. AgingCare forum is another wonderful resource for me and for countless others with loved ones suffering from dementia. From one another we often learn a lot MORE than we do from doctors and so-called 'experts' in the field.

Wishing you all the best.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm sorry for the loss of your father during covid. Many on this forum are currently going through what you've written on or have suffered the same loss. For the demographic that needs to hear this information, maybe consider posting on or submit the article to local and newspapers. Hopefully you will add as an important resource of information and help. Maybe you will consider being a regular contributor to this forum?

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