I'm Ralph, I'm Dad - Dr Glennis Mafi


A daughter explores identity, relationship and a gentler dementia.

Ralph Wood was diagnosed with dementia, and over the ensuing years his daughter, a medical doctor, along with other close family members, walked that journey beside him.

Through poems, drawings and brief comments, I'm Ralph, I'm Dad lovingly tells the story.

Though this is a personal account, it is a journey that others face, and in the telling you may just find that dementia is not quite as bad as many of us fear. Along with the struggles there can be gentleness, humour, hope, surprises - and even joy.

Containing practical and poetic insights, this book can be a companion to you as you follow that pathway with the one you love.

A Rampart Book.

What They're Saying:

"You show the feelings associated with caring for a loved one who has dementia in a way which expresses so well all the emotions of the moments. How you show the discernment and perception that is needed, and the love or understanding that can make up for what is missing, is valuable. It helps to make me feel that we managed O.K. and others can too."
- Noel Buchanan (cared for his wife Barbara who had dementia)

"Glennis takes us on her father's journey through life and his journey through dementia. She shares with us the poems she wrote with love and humour as her father succumbs to the consequences of this devastating disease. Using her unique perspective as a daughter and a doctor she explains along the way what is happening and why. If you love a heartfelt story and you care passionately for someone living with dementia this is a book well worth the read."
- Rhonda Preston-Jones (Clinical Lead, Dementia Auckland)

"In I'm Ralph, I'm Dad Dr Mafi uses her father's biography and practical examples of his life with dementia, to show that identity, humour and spirituality are retained even late in the illness. Glennis reveals the beauty of every-day existence when caring for someone with this disability and the importance of 'being a friend of time' in this situation. Family photos and sketches enhance the gentle words. This book will greatly comfort people afraid of dementia, whether for themselves or others."
- Dr Chris Perkins (FRNZCP, Psychiatrist of Old Age)

"Dementia is a deep, complex and meaningful experience. Its presence reminds us that we are much more than our memories. We are human beings who live in bodies that are weak and broken, but sometimes that brokenness can help us to see the world a little more clearly. To be human is to have a body, not just a brain. To be human is to be loved in community; to be loved by God and by one another. It is love that defines our humanness, not our abilities to remember things or to think clearly. Glennis Mafi offers an important insight into dementia in all of its dimensions - physical, spiritual and relational. She draws us towards that strange new world of dementia, not in a spirit of fear, but in a spirit of love, hope and new possibilities. If we can look differently at dementia then perhaps we can care more passionately. This book will help us move onto the road towards such a goal."
- John Swinton (Professor of practical theology and pastoral care at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland)

About the Author:

   Glennis Mafi (MB ChB, FRNZCGP) was a doctor for 45 years, most of them in general practice in Tonga and Auckland. She retired in November 2019. She has both academic and personal experience of dementia, completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Geriatrics and helping to care for her father through his dementia. She is married to Manu and they have four married children and twelve grandchildren.

Printed book: NZ$23.95

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ISBN: 9780473518660 (Softcover), 9780473518677 (ePUB), 9780473518684 (Kindle)

Other Books of Interest:

So Old So Quick - Sir Patrick Eisdell Moore Peace in the Storm - The Dando Family Help in Times of Need - N.G. & M. Williamson

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