Dementia and its impact on a family member – Dementia Awareness Week #DementiaAwarenessWeek

Joe Shortland from Touchstone’s Community Support Team discusses the impact of dementia on his family.


In 2013 my partner’s father, John, was diagnosed with both Parkinson’s disease and dementia, and sadly he passed away last month from the illness.

The last several years had been a very difficult time for all the family to see such an able bodied, intelligent, and kind hearted man, and whose memory and physical health had quickly deteriorated.

John used to love reading history, and watching old black and white films on his laptop, but as dementia progressed he found it difficult to use the computer and research historical topics. I was able to make a few minor adjustments to John’s laptop, and to make easier for him to operate, e.g. make screen and icons much larger to read, and learned how to use Google Voice Search.

John’s dementia actually brought the family closer together, helping and supporting each other to make his life as comfortable and independent as possible until he unfortunately went into a nursing home.

I am hopeful one day a cure will be found for dementia, and it will be a thing of the past. However, until that day comes, I am committed to help and support those with dementia, including family, carers and in the workplace.

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