We want to hear your stories about caring for someone with dementia

Published on June 14, 2017

Tam MacPhee spends time with her mother Norma Tedford at the long-term care facility Norma lives in.

©Tina Comeau

For two years, Tam MacPhee has been sharing the story of caring for her mom Norma Tedford, who has Alzheimer’s, with our readers in Yarmouth, N.S.

“In 2013, when Norma started locking herself out in the cold weather and walking down the street not knowing where she was going, her family knew she needed more care,” MacPhee wrote.

It took three years, three long-term care homes and a year living with her daughter’s family for Tedford to find a home. "Mom" became "Norma." because she didn't remember she was someone's mother.

“She’s 80 per cent the patient, and 20 per cent of the time my mom,” MacPhee said at the time.

Today, Tedford is in a seniors’ home near her daughter, but MacPhee’s caregiving is not over.

“Norma cannot ask for what she needs. She cannot ring a buzzer, “MacPhee explains. “She can’t holler to a nurse because she has forgotten how to ask for anything. For three years I have been her voice, trying to advocate for what I feel she needs and deserves.”

She still talks and although most of the words are jumbled together; occasionally she says something that I can understand and she may even ask a question. I cherish those days when she has these clear moments.

Tam MacPhee

Tam and Norma’s story is one of many.

Are you interested in sharing your story? We want to hear from people in Atlantic Canada whose family member or friend is living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia for an upcoming article.

To share your experience, contact Saltwire audience manager Jennifer Hoegg via email,, or Facebook message.

Read more about Tam and Norma

What is caring for a loved one with dementia like for you?

©Tyler Olson