Enzo's Story

Enzo Peace

Enzo was only nine when the early signs that his beloved dad Barry was not well when he was about 60 became evident. Being an only son, he was the apple of his fathers’ eye and they did many things together. One of their keen shared interests was a love of skiing, which sadly couldn’t continue to be shared as Barry’s illness progressed. What started as relatively simple things not being quite right – such as the constant losing of his dad’s car keys and mobile phone – gradually progressed to behavioural changes and his inability to do normal, everyday things like driving Enzo to school.

From Enzo’s perspective, he is grateful that his mum Sigrun was very honest with him about what was happening to his father. It helped him understand that his dad wasn’t well, rather than him thinking as a young boy that his father was just doing silly and strange things. Despite all the changes to his dad’s personality and behaviour, he never lost the love and respect that he had always had for him.

Enzo developed coping mechanisms of his own in respect of his dad’s journey with dementia. He and his mum talked about it openly and honestly at all times, and they even shared jokes to help cope with the often difficult situations they faced. He accepted quite early on that he had already lost the dad he knew, and that helped him as his illness progressed, and as Barry eventually passed away some nine years after the dementia first became evident.

He wanted to share his story because he hopes it might help other young people to start conversations about dementia and how it affects families.

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