Awareness Month 2024: Mollie

Meet one of the British Columbians sharing their stories as part of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month this year.

mollie and gordon aam2024

While many people still believe a dementia diagnosis marks the end of a meaningful life, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is committed to flipping the script this Alzheimer’s Awareness Month by shedding light on the extraordinary stories of people who have discovered unexpected joy, peace and happiness while navigating the challenges of the disease. Our community has shown us that, despite the difficulties, living with dementia can inspire profound appreciation for the present. 

Throughout January, we are sharing the stories of people like Mollie Williams, whose husband Gordon is living with dementia. 

In the quiet suburbs of Vancouver, Gordon's diagnosis became a focal point for their lives and Mollie – like so many others – bravely assumed the role of caregiver. For four years, she meticulously organized social activities for Gordon, desperately seeking ways to maintain a semblance of normalcy in the face of a progressing illness. Unfortunately, as she immersed herself in caring for Gordon, Mollie neglected her own well-being. 

Three years after Gordon's diagnosis, when Mollie was on the verge of falling apart, her two friends stepped in. "They told me what I couldn't see myself - which was that I was burning out," said Mollie. As soon as they used those words, Mollie realized she needed to secure more respite care and additional assistance at home. That crucial intervention by those friends holds significant importance in her life story. 

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. became a refuge for Mollie, a source of practical information and a supportive community. "Attending the workshops and caregiver support groups saved my bacon. There's so much information available and you hear experiences from others, which is extremely helpful." 

Moving Gordon into long-term care was a gut-wrenching decision that underscored the emotional complexity of caregiving. However, the support Mollie found provided her with the strength to navigate this challenging phase. Profoundly grateful for the timely intervention of her friends and the ongoing support from the Alzheimer Society of B.C., Mollie felt compelled to share her story. 

Mollie emphasizes the importance of caregivers seeking support and the necessity of acknowledging their own needs. She recognizes the power of community and the value of open conversations about the challenges caregivers face daily. 

As Mollie reflects on her journey, she says, "Caregivers need care, too." 

Learn more about the campaign

Want to learn more? Read some of the other stories being shared throughout the month at