Hannah Davies's column on caring for a loved one with dementia: about learning from our mistakes
What a surprise! My purpose for writing this column is to help other people by sharing what works for me when looking after my Mum who lives with Alzheimer's. Mum now lives in a care home so I am also keen to share what I've experienced when making the decision that Mum needed to move and also the things we've learned along this part of the dementia journey.
I never expected to be able to share any part of our experience to such a wide audience as BBC TV and radio, but that's what happened last Tuesday breakfast time. A deer in headlights is the best description of how I looked on screen, and totally terrified is how I felt inside.
Following a recent conversation I didn't want to fall into the "carer's monologue" which I think describes perfectly the trap that I have previously slipped in to: expressing the situation through issues rather than voicing how to help Mum live the most fulfilling life she can at the moment. It is not a life anyone would willingly choose, but it's the best we can do.
I reduced the make-up lady to tears just before going on screen when I relayed my family's experience of moving Mum to a care home and the subsequent poor treatment of her in our first choice, so I didn't relay much of our story on air. Upsetting others is not something I wish to do.
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Looking back I could still have shared more details than I did, but I guess that's the same as anything life passes our way - we all live and hope to learn from our mistakes.