I have walked in your shoes . . . .

Dementia care - my personal experience

In January 2008, my beloved wife Nancy was diagnosed with early-onset dementia. She had just turned 65. On the day of that diagnosis, at that precise moment in our doctor’s office, our lives changed forever. Nancy pivoted from being a successful interior designer, wonderful mom, and loving wife, to a person facing an incurable disease. I pivoted from being a husband and proud step-dad to Nancy’s three children, to being a loving, proactive, and devoted caregiver.

For the next several months I felt like a nomad wandering in a desert of confusion, anxiety, and fear. I had no clue around “next steps”. Both of us lacked meaningful information about dementia. In short, Nancy and I basically just went on with our lives, and didn’t talk much, if at all, about her dementia diagnosis. In fact, it wasn’t until I joined a dementia support group in the fall of 2008, that I began to gain clarity around my role as a caregiver.

Over time, Nancy’s dementia progressed to a point where in July 2010, I came to the  painful realization her needs would be best served by moving her to a secure memory care residence within an assisted living community in our home state of Washington. On July 4, 2012, Nancy died. It was indeed her Independence Day – freed from the bonds of a relentless and unforgiving disease.

The reach of dementia in my life provided me with a gift – the realization my true calling is to connect with and assist caregivers and families of those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

This entails the following:

  • For Dementia Caregiver Support, I provide personal, one-on-one coaching to the caregiver as they progress on their care journey.
  • With Dementia Family Support, I guide family members through the difficult conversations associated with the care of their loved ones facing dementia.

Education & Professional Credentials

  • BA in Philosophy: Chaminade University, Honolulu, HI (1970)
  • Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Arizona School of Law (1973)
  • Trained Family Law Mediator
  • Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Washington (2015)
  • Trained Elder Care/Adult Family Mediator

Professional Affiliations

Senior Care Coalition (SCC): A networking organization of professionals providing services to seniors.

North East Seattle Together (NEST): Based on the national “virtual village model”, NEST is a community organization which – through the support of volunteers and trusted business referrals – empowers older residents to stay in their homes and engaged in their neighborhoods for as long as possible.