Dad was diagnosed with dementia when I was 17


New member
Jan 15, 2023
Hello I found this forum after really struggling to understand my own feelings about my dads dementia.

I am 23 and my dad was diagnosed with dementia when I turned 17 and for the past few years he has been unable to dress himself, feed himself, can’t talk much and also struggles with many other health issues. My family is a slightly unusual set up with my parents having a 26 year age gap between them so my mum is turning 60 this year and my dad will be turning 86.

My dad has been in hospital for the past 6 weeks, meaning he missed Christmas this year, and I’m really struggling with the guilt of feeling angry. I feel so guilty than I am angry I’m in this position when I am lucky my dad is here but I am angry about how my mum is unable to work and is now his full time carer , my dad has never understood when I got my drivers license, when I got my dream job etc. I only moved out 6 months ago and it was the hardest thing I have ever done, I always cared for him half the time but I felt like I needed some kind of freedom (I still look after him 4 ish days a fortnight). It’s difficult to explain to others as I feel as though I’ve started to grieve my dad in so many ways, I’ve hardly known him not having dementia and I feel like most of my memories of him he doesn’t understand that I’m his daughter, he’s had sepsis multiple times and doctors have told us to say our goodbyes multiple times over the past few years.

I’m not really sure how to get through these feelings of guilt and anger but reading other people’s stories on this forum has really helped me a lot so I wanted to add my story on here too.


Registered User
Feb 18, 2017
@RainbowsNeedRain , all your feelings and emotions are totally usual for families of a PWD but in your situation you are having to manage this at a young age just as you are setting out on your own life. Have you thought about having some counselling to help you come to terms with your experiences. I can only imagine how tough it must be to realise that your dad has not been able to see the milestones in your recent years. I was a young carer myself for different reasons, long before the term was ever coined and know that sometimes we need a bit of support to get thoughts and feelings in perspective so that we can move on. Thank you for sharing your story.


Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
Hi @RainbowsNeedRain and welcome to Dementia Talkin Point. We are a friendly and supportive community and now that you have joined us I hope that the understanding and empathy you'll find here will help with your understandable but entirely unwarranted feelings of guilt and anger. Do come back anytime you want to raise issues, find solace in sharing with others in a safe place, or to let off steam. There's always someone listening.