September is Dementia Awareness Month.
I am sharing my experience with excerpts of my journal that I kept, and that was an important tool for my wellbeing throughout this time, while caring for someone I loved.
Research suggests that every three seconds someone in the world develops dementia.
It is my heart felt hope that my small action of sharing will make a big difference and contribute towards building an understanding of some of the challenges families face as this condition brings about change in a person you love.
Mum Mum called my boys the “little fellas” my daughter came along the year she passed away and she just loved them all so much.
Every morning they would sit together and have breakfast and we all had fun throughout the day.
Some days weren’t so easy though. Like this day.
How do you explain to and 2 and a 3-and-a-half-year-old they could not do what she was asking of them, there were tantrums brought on from this confusion?
It was not easy as in their eyes she was an adult and how do you even start trying to explain this to children this little. I don’t know how I stayed calm, I just did. I just knew that fighting the issue wouldn’t help. I learned to remove the kids from the situation as best I could.
This type of situation didn’t happen all of the time but when it did, it was very hard. I knew she couldn’t help it, and I tried my best to explain to my kids what was happening and somehow, they got it.
January 20 1996
This evening Mum Mum was rounding up the boys, telling them it was time to go home. I tried to discreetly tell them that they couldn’t go with her. How could I explain that she couldn’t look after two little boys properly?
Mum Mum heard me tell the boys, they couldn’t go with her, and was confused by them becoming upset which added fuel to the fire. I asked Josh who had become upset to calm down, in his frustration he threw a stone at me.
I told him off.
Mum Mum then set upon me, slapping me in the head and on my arms. I picked up my boys and bought them into the house in an attempt to diffuse the situation.
She came into the house shortly after still agitated and confused. I explained calmly that they were my children “You Liar” she said and hit at me. I asked her not to do it.
The hardest thing in this situation was I was unable to cry, I was unable to show my children I had feelings.
I was numb.