17 September 2010

Dementia Awareness Week

Greetings all,
I have a funny post up my sleeve (believe me - have children - will experience embarassment) but i thought i'd just give a shout out for Dementia Awareness Week here in Australia.  As it's something close to my heart with my mummy, who has been going downhill for 5 years now with Alzheimer’s.  Sadly my mother was diagnosed the week her sister died from complications of Alzheimer's Disease (giving up on life, eating, drinking). 
So you might hear me comment over & over that my parents are non stop jet setters & cruisers but that is because they LOVE to travel, coupled with the fact my mother is relaxed, less stressed & can focus better on my father, appearing less forgetful & frustrated while on holiday.  My father tries hard, but after nearly 55 years of marriage, he has never EVER cooked a meal, picked up the vacuum or done a load of washing.  In his defence, he joined the Navy aged 17 & well, never had to do anything for himself, as he married the ultimate housewife.  So it's a struggle for both of them.  Anyway, i think we're all a tad mentally healthier on holiday!!
So spare a thought for the many people, bloggers, families out there with someone close to their heart suffering from a mental illness.  My children have had one grandmother taken from them with breast cancer, it's so very sad to see their other grandmother can't always remember who they are. 
Just to put a little spin on this as my mother has a brilliant sense of humour & would appreciate this . . . 3 of my children are very polite around my mother when she calls them the wrong name, gives them the wrong drink, drifts off mid sentance . . . except ONE.  Yes, everyone has ONE of those blunt, direct, no nonsense children/ grandchildren (i hope) - ours is the middle 9 y.o. daughter.  If Grandma starts stuttering or repeating herself, stuck on a thought . . . our impatient daughter will correct her or worse . . . say "AND Grandma, come on, finish the story, AND" while waving her hand in a come-on-hurry-up gesture.  In all honesty it breaks the ice & we all have a giggle.  Love you mummy, good luck to everyone out there with these often talked-around diseases, blame the illness not the person!!  Love Posie

7 comments:

Lizzie said...

Lovely post Jennie and I know exactly what you feel. My Mum has Alzheimer's and there is a genetic link back too... You have to keep smiling, laughing and enjoying, it's been a ball watching Dad learn to cook and shop, first time in 61 years for him. The other day I was there and he said, and I quote "We've been waiting for you to get here, we want to know how old we are?" I cracked up totally, apparently they had been talking about how long they had known one another and then couldn't for the life of them remember how old each one was...!! Life is a constant adventure in their house and I love it...........
Lizzie
xxx

m.e (Cathie) said...

hugs lovely Ms Posie!

Tania McCartney said...

Hugs and kisses. I can't even imagine. xx

Melinda @ Here We Go Loopy Lou said...

My Nan, who died 18 months ago, had Alzheimer's. It was heartbreaking watching "the ultimate housewife" too, the woman who loved sewing, cooking and fashion, and the matriarch of our family disappear as the disease worsened. Big hugs and kisses to you and your family x

Stacey said...

My Nanna (who definitely WASN'T the best housewife!) suffered from dementia. She was always fond of a drink and a smoke and had vibrant dyed bright red hair. Such a character! When she got dementia she became very aggressive and often had to be "separated" from others at the aged care facility she ended up in. It was quite funny, to be honest. What wasn't so funny was when she got to the point when she didn't recognise my Dad. Poor Dad, it broke his heart every time.

Kylie said...

Hugs and kisses to you all - yes everyone needs one of those children:)

Amanda said...

We have had bit of a glimpse into your world the last couple of weeks my MIL picked up a UTI and has been acting strangely. Hopefully she will return to normal when the infection clears. But it has been a bit of a wakeup call for us all.