Caring for someone with dementia is no picnic. The sometimes-saintly aura that surrounds the carer can blind an outsider to the true difficulty of the task. No one knows what it’s like to be a full-time carer until you’ve been one. Sometimes it’s so all-consuming and isolating you feel like you’ve entered an alternate universe, outside of the beat of daily life. My sister and I shared caregiving for our father until he passed away. He refused all other outside help. We did it by commuting to Toronto from Los Angeles, where she lives, and Somerset, UK, where I was. We put our lives on hold for five years, and felt we were well on the way to losing our collective marbles.