Those who know me, or indeed read this column regularly, will be aware that unfortunately my mother suffers from dementia.
A kind soul approached me this week and enquired as to how she was. They didn’t know me personally, but had read about mum.
I was touched by such concern and agreed to give an update acknowledging that I hadn’t written of my mother’s health for some time.
Previously, I had mentioned how my brothers and I were struggling to get funding for mum’s care, which now sadly has to be 24 hour.
Thankfully, we do now have funding, but it’s unclear as to how long this will last. This is an additional worry when the most important thing is to ensure that she is given the best possible care.
Initially, my mother was taken into respite care as we struggled as her health deteriorated.
Her first place was not ideal, but she is now at a specialist centre where things are geared towards residents with similar conditions.
My three brothers and I visit as often as possible and mum seems to be quite content there. Her lack of memory is really difficult for her to come to terms with as she used to be as bright as a button.
She struggles now and could not tell you what she had for lunch even though she had eaten it literally minutes before.
I find it best not to ask her anything that requires her to recall things. She seems to enjoy it more when I just regale her with stories.
She says she remembers, but that’s irrelevant. In fact, I’m able to get away with embroidering the truth if she can’t challenge what I’m saying. This allows me to make the tales as tall as I wish, and if I can make her laugh then I’m happy. I visited this week and had her crying with laughter. I found it uplifting, and I know that she really enjoyed herself.
The fact that she couldn’t remember I’d even been when one of my brothers visited a couple of hours later took the shine off slightly, but when she was doubled over laughing she was my old mum again.