Our Dementia Story
“Alzheimer’s came between us. It does that, drives you and the love of your life apart, going your separate ways because you cannot follow. That’s the story really, that’s it. The end.Or that’s the condensed version. The long version is what follows.
This is a love story from start to finish, Irene and Rachael’s, and is based on the highly emotional diaries of Rachael Dixey, who looked after her civil partner Irene after she developed early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The story charts the daily decline and inexorable loss of Irene to dementia; consequently Rachael turns from lover and soul mate to carer and, finally, single woman.
This book is a powerful and moving account of the progression of dementia and raises serious questions about how our society cares for those who develop the disease, especially at a young age and in the gay, lesbian community. It also deals with loss and grief, during the illness and afterwards. Their memoir will be invaluable for anyone affected by dementia, those working in mental health and those caring for a loved one with a life-changing and incurable illness. Our Dementia Diary tells with brutal honesty of love, loss and life with Alzheimer’s and opens up discussion of how dementia can be handled better.
“Beautifully written without sentimentality and with lots of humour too – Rachael Dixey gives us a true insight into the dilemma of the ‘carer’, the ‘lover’ and the ‘career professional’ trying to juggle all roles and yet retaining her own identity. A must read.”
About the author:
RACHAEL DIXEY and Irene met in 1980, when Irene was a bubbly, fun and warm-hearted young school teacher and Rachael, seven years her junior, a budding academic specialising in health and developement.
The realisation of their love for each other came simultaneously and suddenly and led to a partnership that lasted half of a lifetime. With a shared zest for life, they travelled widely, worked hard and expected to grow old together in their home in the north of England.
When Irene was only in her early 50s she started to falter. When she was finally diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, Rachael looked after her for as long as possible at home. She continued working – a hard decision that turned out for the best.