Instead, Ms Townsend has watched her Pop suffer the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease, since his diagnosis in 2001.
Ms Townsend’s personal experience with the condition resulted in her involvement with Bring it to the Table fundraiser organised through Alzheimer’s Australia WA.
Ms Townsend’s Pop, Roy Strugmell, celebrated his 90th birthday this year.
‘It’s been really hard, he used to be involved in our lives and interested,’ Trinity said. ‘Most of my childhood he was just around the corner. My grandparents were always there.’
Trinity’s mother Amanda Townsend said they made the decision to move her father from Mandurah to a care facility in Bentley.
Mrs Townsend’s mother Carmen followed and visits him at mealtimes.
‘Mum said if he had died people would offer condolences,’ Mrs Townsend said. ‘She’s lost her husband, but no one has sent the sympathy card.’
Mrs Townsend said her mother had her own health issues. ‘The hardest thing about mum getting sick is that she thought she would be there for him,’ she said.
There is also the worry that Mr Stugmell’s children and grandchildren would eventually develop the disease.
‘I did get apprehensive and thought maybe it is hereditary,’ Mrs Townsend said.
‘Every time you forget something you think, is this it?’
Ms Townsend said it was too late for her Pop.
‘But it might not be for others,’ she said.
‘Hopefully fundraising will result in better prevention and then a cure for the disease.’
Mrs Townsend said Alzheimer’s has had a lingering, profound, ongoing effect on her family.