A TOUCHING and uplifting collection of poetry written by a Wee County man is to raise funds for research into dementia.

Clackmannan's Pat McTaggart has published Our Dementia Journey, a set of heartfelt and emotional poems about his family's battle with the condition.

The book is helping to raise funds for Alzheimer's Research UK and 10 copies have also been donated to the recently opened Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Resource Centre in Alloa, which includes the charity's first brain health hub.

The poems are written from the perspective of a son caring for his dad with dementia, while his mum also has mobility and other health issues.

Pat, who had never written a poem before he started working on the book, told the Advertiser: “Often, books can be quite long; and time to research, on the other hand, very short.

“It was only by chance that I saw online some quotes and a few poems about dementia and these really hit the mark with me.

“Having never written a poem in my life before, suddenly I started writing poems.

"I found that they helped me by putting down on paper how I was feeling, including my emotions, and helped me better reflect on and better understand certain situations.

“Being a carer I find to be a constant process of learning and trying to do things better.”

As time passed, Pat began to think that, perhaps, some of the things he has learned could be useful for others at the start of that caring journey.

He added: “Poetry seemed to me to be a good way to provide it with fairly short poems, easy to read and often with a simple message.

“I hope the messages and advice in the poems will help others avoid some of the heartache and emotional stresses that dementia can bring.”

Pat's work takes the reader through the family's dementia journey, including reflections and thoughts on different aspects from the perspective of his dad and the rest of the family.

He said: “Some of the poems are very deep, others are light and, hopefully, amusing and will make you smile.

“Some of the poems look at the challenges faced by carers who need to find a way of caring for their loved ones while also finding a way of coping and caring for themselves.

“It was very emotional for me writing the poems. Most of all, I hope readers will find the poems uplifting, showing the power of the human spirit to overcome challenges with faith, hope and love.”

Ultimately, the collection of poems is a celebration of Pat's parents as well as of the family's love for them.

Bernie Carranza, regional fundraising officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, added: “This collection of poems that Pat has written is both touching and uplifting.

“It shows the heartache and the love present in his family’s dementia journey.”

Our Dementia Journey by Pat McTaggart is available on Amazon and people can contact Pat via pat@poemsfordementia.com about the book.