A Message from Our Friend David Hilfiker, Who Was Recently Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

David Hilfiker founded Joseph’s House in the summer of 1990 when his young family and three of his patients, men who were homeless and had AIDS, moved into the House to form a community of welcome. David’s roles at Joseph’s House have changed over the years, but his friendship and his pleasure as our community matures in love have only deepened.

David recently shared the news of his Alzheimer’s disease in an email to his friends and on his new blog. This generous act; living the difficult realities of his life in a transparent and self-reflective way is how David lives his life.

To all of us at Joseph’s House, David Hilfiker is a beloved teacher and friend. We share David’s reflection on his diagnosis here.



  1. Cathy Brown says

    I am grateful to you, Dr. Hilfiker, and all who have written in, for your willingness to share the journey of your dementia. Early last summer I was diagnosed with another dementia, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. It is rarer than Alzheimer’s but like it, slowly steals functions which serve to define your Self. When the Washington Post published a piece on Dr. Hilfiker’s blog I knew I had to read all I could about his journey. This has lead to a desire to learn as much as possible about him and to hope that others will read these comments to find support for thesmselves. I am now retired as a social worker but I still love to share in people’s stories.

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