With Father’s Day having just passed, we find ourselves thinking about fathers, their caregivers, families, and loved ones.
Daniele is a husband and a father. He and his wife, Erin met in Florence, Italy in 2002 while Erin was studying there. She returned to Canada in 2005, and Daniele joined her in 2006. They got married and started their family here; originally thinking they would make their way back to Italy, but ultimately stayed here so their children could have more opportunities.
Several years ago, Erin noticed that Daniele was not acting like himself. He would forget where he put day to day items, forget basic tasks, he also disengaged emotionally, and expressed very little interest in his wife and children. At this point, Erin was concerned so she contacted his doctor, who ended up blaming it on stress. This progressed for a few more years, to the point that they went back to the doctor insisting that there was something more that was wrong. The doctors and specialist ended up ordering several brain scans, tests and examinations, with the results ultimately ended up pointing to Dementia, and then Alzheimer’s.
One main effect that the Dementia has on Daniele and his family, is the disconnect between he and the family. Unfortunately the Dementia has led Daniele to lose his memories of his two younger children. He likes that they live in the house with the family, knows that they are Erin’s children but does not understand that he is their father as well. He has begun to depend heavily on his oldest son Niccolo, whom he does remember. While he is sceptical of the rest of the family at times, Niccolo is able to calm his anxieties and lift his spirits when needed.
Although the relationship between Daniele and his family has changed dramatically, they still find moments to appreciate each other and the time they have together; even if it’s just dancing around in the living room. Even though the familial roles are different now, Daniele is still a husband and father and the love in the family is still strong.