Dementia -merely human.
“I think that the only reason people hold onto memories so tight for so long is because memories are the only things that don’t change, even when people change..” Unknown
This is a post that I have wanted to write for some time but my heart is still raw with pain. I’m comfortably numb as the song goes . No words I write can do justice to what this illness does to people we love.
We have had the plague
Aids and HIV.
The new cowboy in town in Dementia.
He has all the traits of the best cowboy in town
A steady hand
A look that says so much but not something you can be sure what it is thinking
It is true to its word
It takes Pride in his work
A true perfectionist
It doesn’t mind who it consumes and takes out the process.
AGE : 15.
LOCATION : Kitchen ( Gran’s home ) South Africa
Gran comes shuffling in to the kitchen
“Que ce qui pas?“
“I will make you a chamomile tea” in her French accent
She spent a lot of time and money putting me in rehabs and looking after me when I was growing up.
I am possibly the first and only person to have seen my Gran cry that I know of — I’m not proud but honoured she trusted in me.
STATE: possibly drunk or hungover
LOCATION: Gran’s Bedroom, France
Grandpa was not doing well. My Gran broke down.
All I could do was hold her.
She knew Cancer and Chemo was going to be the undoing of him.
He still tried to look after his ‘Trois filles’ ( me, Mom and Gran) until his last breath.
The greatest love affair ever! ❤
What a pair they made.
Grandpa got a massive contract with L’oreal in the 1950′ -1960’s . He was the main sales rep for promoting the Loreal brand in Africa.
They travelled everywhere
to name a few.
Gran had spent most of her life travelling. Her father was a general in the army. Her step father was some sort of captain and she spent a few years in the cote d’ivoire and other places.
They had 6 children together
And two other sons who I don’t have pictures of. She was and still is the queen of the family.
So much elegance ,grace and charm. She suffered a lot of heart ache in her life. Lost love, her mother was jealous of her as were her two step sisters.
She was kicked out of her home when she was 16 years old and pregnant. She went on to become a femme de menage and a beautician to survive the streets of Paris..
When she met my grandfather she never had to worry about love or money again. Even when he passed on from Cancer. Her twin sons and my own mother are still after her.
The relationship she had with my mother was unbreakable- even now. My Gran still demands my mothers time and is happier when she has her to herself.
Alzheimers and Dementia does not discriminate.
A cold and bitter night in the U.K..
The Wind screeched out a name
A lady manages to fumble with the keys to a door and lets herself out.
Where is she going?
a flash of car lights,
Great big BULGING eyes
a night gown whips around the lady’s ankles
She couldn’t live on her own any more. She was found walking the streets in her night clothes, by her carer ,at the time on the coldest night the U.K. had in 2013.
Gran in her new home – the first of three new care homes she would move to until the present.
This was a place with bells and whistles on. It was like a 5 ***** hotel.
In the few months she stayed here.
She was found sitting in bed drowning in her own piss.
She had spread faeces all over the walls and under her nails.
The home said she was ‘too much trouble’.
Funny, they didn’t have a problem with taking our families money for the few months she was there.
New home – two days until Gran’s 80th. Her twin sons came out to surprise her
The day my Aunt died of lung cancer . My Mom got a call from her care home to stay Gran had broken her hip. She spent 12 days in a normal hospital ward.. Always calling out. Neglected.
WAS THIS WHAT SHE SAW?
We thought we were going to lose her.
2 -3 hours
TEETH EXPOSED – FERAL
THIS SOUND – my idea of Dementia raging in audio.
She couldn’t speak but she could scream and lash out.
I don’t think I slept for 2 days after that event.
Gran in hospital . The last time she would ever walk
Gran loved to walk
Gran will never walk again.
She had to be moved to another home that could meet her needs. No fancy hotel .
Gran’s 81st birthday
I go see my Gran every week with my Mom. I take my daughter. I don’t want her to forget my Gran.
She went from speaking two languages, walking, laughing, taking pride in her appearance to this person.
To be a person who would blanche if she knew what she was like now.
Maybe she does and that is what makes her so angry still. Yes, she screams and she can’t talk and she scares me sometimes because I don’t know what to do to help her; but she is still my Gran and she has a mental illness.
IT IS NOT HER FAULT!
Her home she lives in now has really put quality over quantity. It’s not a show home -.
The only people who have got my Gran to a place in her illness where she is probably going to be able to come to my wedding ceremony in June.
May is# MAKE MAY PURPLE month.
Across the world May is the month for creating mental health awareness.