Father’s Day story: Barry Clark

My Father’s Day story actually starts by talking about my mum.  She was diagnosed with young onset PD over 25 years ago.  For many years she has had minimal and manageable symptoms, and on their retirement from teaching, my parents enjoyed camping, international travel, spending time with family, and walking together almost daily.

Over the past decade, my Mum’s PD has steadily progressed, with significant decline in the past 3 years.  My Dad has always been on this journey with her and is now completely responsible for all her care.  It started with him finishing her sentences when words wouldn’t come, then he took on more and eventually all of the cooking, cleaning, shopping and household tasks.  Dad has cared for Mum through medication-induced hallucinations, an extended period of delirium brought on by surgery, and he continues to advocate for her with all branches of healthcare.  He manages all aspects of their daily life and personal care, and they have had to give up most of the fun things they did together. 

Now, as Mum’s dementia progresses, Dad is trying to comprehend and deal with the “loss” of his life partner, best friend & wife of 53 years.  Also, Dad was diagnosed with PD about 5 years ago.  His symptoms are currently managed with medication but taking care of himself is not always a priority as his primary focus is Mum. 

On this Father’s Day, there aren’t enough words to express how much I admire, appreciate, support and love my Dad.

Jenn Roggeveen

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