A DUNFERMLINE-BORN man who found a love for poetry through recalling his family's journey with dementia has been invited to join an elite class of authors this Burns Night.

Pat McTaggart had never written a poem before penning his book, 'Our Dementia Journey', finding solace in putting his emotions surrounding his dad's diagnosis into words.

He has now been invited to join US-based AlzAuthors on January 25, a group of writers who focus on the disease which has turned Pat into a carer for his father.

Pat said: "I am delighted to be invited to join AlzAuthors.

"It is a wonderful organisation 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.

"The support and response we received after publishing it was really humbling."

Pat's dad, also named Pat McTaggart, grew up in Kincardine while his mum, Margaret, was brought up in Oakley.

The pair settled in Dunfermline with their three children while working in Paton and Baldwins Woolen Mill in Clackmannan, and they later moved to the town to be closer to work.

At 88-years-old, Pat senior now lives with mixed dementia, a combination of alzheimers and vascular dementia, while Margaret struggles with her mobility.

They both rely on their son, who retired four years early from his career as a finance director within the IT sector to move in with his parents.

He said: "As a carer for dad, I know how difficult both physically and emotionally dementia can be for both the person who has it and close family, particularly those who are carers day to day.

"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."

He continued: "Being a carer I find to be a constant process of learning and trying to do things better.

"Over time, as I wrote more poems, I started to think that perhaps some of the things I learned from our dementia journey may be of some small help to others on the same journey or who are about to start it.

"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."

On February 20, to celebrate his dad's birthday, Pat will publish a second book, titled 'Poems for People Who Care'.

This collection will focus on all those who are carers for loved ones and is dedicated to carers worldwide "for the love and compassion they show and their dedication in caring for those they love".

Royalties from both Pat's first book and upcoming release will continue to go to Alzheimers Research UK, with 10 copies of 'Our Dementia Journey' having been donated to the Alzheimer Scotland Brain Health and Dementia Resource Centre in Alloa.

On his inauguration to AlzAuthors, founder Marianne Sciucco said: "We are delighted to have Pat join our collaboration of authors.

"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."