A CLACKMANNAN poet who had released an uplifting collection of works on dementia is set to join an elite class of authors this Burns Night.

Pat McTaggart, who featured in the Advertiser last June with his family after releasing a touching and uplifting collection of poetry to raise funds, has been invited to become a member of US-based AlzAuthors this Burns Night.

His book, Our Dementia Journey, includes heartfelt and emotional poems about his family's journey with the condition since his dad's diagnosis and is raising funds for Alzheimer's Research UK.

The collection of works has since sold throughout the UK but also in France and in the US and Canada while ten copies were also donated to the then opening Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Resource Centre in Alloa, which includes the charity's first brain health hub.

With poems written from the perspective of a son caring for his dad with dementia, while his mum also has mobility and other health issues, the works include messages of hope and advice for families navigating the same waters.

AlzAuthors is a community of bestselling and award-winning authors who came together because their lives have all been impacted by Alzheimer's and dementia.

Pat, who never penned a poem before starting work on his book, express his delight at being asked to join AlzAuthors.

He said: “It is a wonderful organization who are renowned worldwide for their collection of literature and the work they do sharing Alzheimer’s and dementia stories to light the way for others and striving to eliminate the stigma surrounding the most important disease of our generation affecting an estimated 47 million people worldwide and forecast to reach 150 million by 2050.

“As someone who only recently started writing poetry, to be invited to join AlzAuthors on January 25, the day set aside to honour Scotland’s greatest ever poet, Robert Burns, makes it even more pleasing.

“It took a lot of thought by my family before deciding to share a very personal story of our dementia journey with others and we are so pleased the book seems to be helping others on the same journey.”

Pat received humbling support following the release of the book with many helping him to raise awareness of dementia and the challenges it brings to families.

And on February 20, his father's birthday, Pat will be releasing another book.

Titled Poems for People Who Care, the focus will be on all those who care for loved ones.

Pat said: "It occurred to me in writing the first book that caring for loved ones, no matter what illness or condition they have, is a similar journey for all carers certainly from an emotional perspective.

“This second book therefore is a collection of poems about caring for loved ones.

“It is dedicated to carers worldwide for the love and compassion they show and their dedication in caring for those they love.”

Royalties, just like with Our Dementia Journey, will go to Alzheimer's Research UK.

Marianne Sciucco, one of the founders of AlzAuthors and a registered nurse who cared for hundreds of patients with dementia over a 20-year career, is delighted to have Pat join the collection of authors.

She said “His heartfelt poems will make an excellent addition to our collection of books on Alzheimer's and dementia written from personal experience.

“We are honoured to help him raise funds for Alzheimer's Research UK.”

Visit amazon.co.uk/dp/B0B1N2XS3L and amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BSDCNSYT for Pat's books or find his website at poemsfordementia.com for more.