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Come Home, Daddy: An Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Memoir

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Loved it! 😍

Heartbreaking true story of one family's struggle with Alzheimer's, told through a daughter's eyes.

Summary:

A true story, told from the author's heart, recounting her father’s struggle with early onset Alzheimer’s.

 

Main Characters:

David: The father, strong, stoic, kind-hearted owner of a small business.

Renee: The mother, who struggled heroically tending her stricken husband.

April: The only child.

 

Overall:

It is a relatively short book, written with the intention of helping the caregivers (amazing human beings, for the most part), and those living with the disease. The author shines a very bright light on her experiences, warts and all.

 

The author opens with her dad playing cards with his relatives, all good-natured fun. This David smokes, likes a beer, and does serious math in his head. She gives a bit of background into her growing up, the hard-working dad, the mother holding things together, and the author happily hanging out with her cousin Shannon.

 

After that, we begin to see the first signs of trouble: inappropriate comments, repeated conversations, and other inexplicable behaviour. The business begins to decline, as David seems to lose interest. Unscrupulous employees take advantage, and swindle him.

 

In 2014, the author's father eventually gets diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. He also contracts some additional serious medical issues over the next two years, which necessitates surgery under anaesthesia. This has the very unfortunate side effect of increasing the progression rate of his Alzheimer’s.

 

Over this period, the author pulls no punches in describing the deterioration of her father, to a stage where they were doing everything for him bar helping him to eat. She ended up falling and having a serious injury, which was when the author became the primary family caregiver. They did hire in some help, which gave certain relief, but it was a full-time, thankless role that mother and daughter took on. Eventually, they reluctantly put him into a nursing home.

 

The author describes the help and resources available to them as a family. The book also highlights how important it is to have adequate health care. They needed an elder lawyer to help navigate the system.

 

It is a heart-breaking story, and the author is to be commended for how she tries to remain objective. You really feel for this man who was loved until his last moments, and the care lavished upon him. It is a bitter, relentless disease, but this book shows that the carers are not alone.

 

It is an eye-opening read, and I would recommend it.

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About the author

April Enciso is a writer, and author of the new middle-grade series, MAGICMALS, The Beginning a fantasy science fiction novel about a race of magical animals. She also has a non-fiction work, a memoir "Come Home, Daddy: An Early-Onset Alzheimer's Memoir." view profile

Published on September 07, 2018

20000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

Reviewed by