Dimitrios Kambouris / WireImage 1 / 4
Dimitrios Kambouris / WireImage 1 / 4

Singer Amy Grant's father has been diagnosed with dementia.

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Dr. Burton Grant, 80, began showing signs of a faltering memory in late 2008, and the Grammy winner and her sisters finally forced him to seek help from doctors who determined he was dealing with a loss of overall brain function.

She tells People magazine, "Watching his brilliant mind go away was tough."

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The news prompted the singer to retire her dad's medical license and hire around-the-clock caregivers, and the 51-year-old admits the disease has presented a new set of challenges for her family.

Grant says, "He might not know my name, but I sense familiarity. ... It's a new reality. He doesn't make sense, but it's the comfort of hearing him talk and talking back to him. I wouldn't have guessed this is the way my dad's life played out. But I wouldn't change it. The unexpected and hard aspects of life draw us together."

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