Ken’s Story

When my family and I began noticing my wife’s forgetfulness and changes in her behaviour, we assumed it was due to her demanding career as a home care case coordinator and being overworked. But these changes kept progressing, and after a while, we couldn’t ignore the signs of dementia.

Brenda was eventually diagnosed with early-onset dementia. My two sons and my daughter-in-law saw how much I was struggling with this, and we decided I should connect with the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba to get some support.

They listened, helped me better understand what I was going through and connected me to a variety of different resources including the annual Care4u conference and care partner support groups.

Attending the support groups has helped me tremendously. It’s so refreshing to walk into a space and just know you’re understood. Whatever your situation or changes you’re experiencing, the other people in that room get it. They have become an extension of my family. Learning tips from them has gone a long way in helping me care for Brenda and understand more about what she’s experiencing.

Brenda now lives in long-term care, and I’ve had to adjust to living on my own. It’s the little things, like cooking a meal alone, that makes me realize how much dementia has affected our lives. I feel Brenda’s absence from our home all the time. With the help of the Alzheimer Society, my children and I focus on giving Brenda the best care we can. We visit Brenda nearly every day. She was the glue that held us together – now we’re giving back all the love and strength she’s given to us.

What are some tips you would give to others experiencing dementia?

  • Contact the Alzheimer Society.

I tell anyone I can that the first thing to do if you notice things that go beyond normal signs of aging is to contact the Alzheimer Society.

  • You can’t always see the forest when you’re in the trees.

Keep an eye out for your neighbours, colleagues, friends and family who may be struggling with dementia.

  • Educate yourself on dementia.

The more we know, the earlier we can catch signs and symptoms. Learning more about dementia can also help you become more confident as a care partner.

  • Join a support group.

There’s a whole community of people out there going through situations just like yours who are eager to listen and share ideas with you. Support groups lifted me up and gave me the reassurance I needed to keep going.


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