Living with Alzheimers / Dementia

Life is Just a Bowl of Choices by Robyn Russell

Since becoming a full-time carer for my Mother-in-Law, Jemima, I have seen firsthand just how dreadful this disease can be not only for the sufferer but also for family members. Watching it progress from the early stages over a period of 12+ years and in particular watching how she has coped with it has been a real eye-opener. Reading up on
the subject shows that the effect and progression is very different for everyone so whatever you read can only be a guideline. However it does give you a good insight on what is likely to happen and the many ways there are of dealing with the different stages.
In Jemima’s case it started in her mid 80’s and developed very slowly with short term memory loss in the initial stages followed by a general confusion with understanding what was being said to her and her own ability to communicate with others. These early stages led to us seek help through the GP to have an assessment carried out by the local
dementia clinic. At that time she was diagnosed with on-set age related dementia.
The assessment itself was a real hoot, if I can dare to say that, as Jemima’s spirit has always been there right from the start and is still very much in evidence. When asked to remember an address her response was “Why would I want to do that”. It seemed strange to her to be asked to remember a fictitious address to which she would have no use. When asked to remember a fruit and he would ask her in 5 minutes what that fruit was her response was “What fruit? What are you talking about”!  ……….

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