I Am Not Ashamed

  • by

A courageous daughter opens up about the family experience upon her father receiving a diagnosis of early-onset dementia, and how the “ripple effect” of speaking out can help make a difference in the lives of others. Brande Terashita tells her story of love, loss, and yes, even victorious JOY in sharing life with her father with dementia. 

This is the first story I’ve shared from the perspective of a child experiencing a parent with dementia. Brande opens the deep, personal door on how it has impacted the relationship with her father and also how this diagnosis affected her family dynamics, as a whole. I’m not gonna lie. You may need a kleenex or two. But I am so grateful to Brande for being strong and tenacious in demonstrating how honesty can not only help others, but also be an important source of healing in this journey. I’ll share a little caveat here – Brande is the daughter of Bernie Travis – the founder of Early Onset Dementia Alberta Foundation – who we interviewed back in September of 2019 to showcase their fall conference. I’m sure today’s story will make Bernie even more proud of the advocates following in her footsteps. 

If you’ve been listening to our episodes, and you like them (or maybe you’re a newbie and end up liking what you hear) do us a favor and share your email address. We are generating a new quarterly newsletter with project updates. You can also follow us on social media  – but if you’re actually one of our loyal listeners, we want to know who you are! Join our fan base and subscribe.

ACTION STEPS

  1. Don’t be afraid to talk about this – a family member living with dementia – and you’ll find that suddenly your level of support drastically increases. You aren’t alone. Many people are experiencing dementia everywhere around the world. Finding peer support has been the biggest game changer for many people I’ve talked to in this space.
  2. The other thing I found really enlightening for friends and family members to hear was her tip of: don’t feel you have to visit alone. Remember that age old expression, “there are strength in numbers?” Well it certainly rings true here, and it’s a wonderful piece of advice if you’re struggling in a transition period, or overwhelmed trying to cope with this diagnosis in your immediate circle.  
  3. And I’ll close with the final reminder that was shared at the top of our episode today – Speak up. Be bold. Open yourself. We need each other and you never know when YOUR story of personal experience might be the safety net for the next stranger, or friend you pass. 

Thank you for joining us on Life With Dementia, the solution-driven podcast sharing personal stories, relevant research, and practical tips for living well with dementia. 

Tune in through SpotifyStitcher, or Apple Podcasts, or stream live on our website. If you like what you read (or heard) share your comments with us on social media via Twitter or Facebook and please share with others so we can continue to grow. Together, we can all become dementia advocates and create a more inclusive, dementia-friendly world. 

If you’re interested in supporting the podcast please consider a monthly donation through our Patreon page. For the price of a latte, you can receive AD-FREE episodes and support a very worthy cause! Help me keep sharing these valuable stories and raising the voices of people touched by dementia around the world. Thanks so much!

Johnna Lowther, Life With Dementia podcast host

Show Notes:

Life with Dementia podcast is a proud member of The Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Podcast episode music by Blue Dot Sessions “OneEightFour”