I was a care partner with my husband Dale from the time of his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease in November 2010 until his death in November 2021. Dale was an American Baptist minister with theological degrees from Southeastern Baptist Seminary and Duke Divinity School. He served congregations in NC, IN, NY, and NJ, and for the last years of his ministry was a chaplain with the SC Department of Mental Health. I earned my MSW from Rutgers University and was a social worker with the SC Department of Mental Health, later working as a curriculum developer and trainer with The Center for Child and Family Studies at the University of South Carolina. Most recently, Dale and I helped develop and teach a course at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC entitled “Dementia through a Pastoral Theological Lens.”
From the time of his evaluation until the disease removed the memory of its presence, Dale faced his condition openly, hoping to reduce stigma and help others. This blog is an attempt to carry forward what he started by sharing the story of our journey.