Saturday 21st of September celebrates Alzheimer’s day during this month which is world Alzheimer’s month.
Alzheimer’s is now the country’s leading form of death and sadly still not completely understood by many people.
A 54 year old lady from Harold Hill, who does not wish to be named has shared her experiences and heart aches with the Havering Daily as she witnesses the demise of her 85 year old mother who suffers from dementia.
‘It began two years ago when she started to forget things. At first I didn’t really think much of it truthfully, as I thought she’s in her eighties so it’s normal for her to be forgetful.
‘Then I started to see some warning signs like she would be leaving the gas on in the kitchen, or the taps running in the bathroom. I would go round to see her and she would just get up and go out in the street in her nightwear.
‘Then I panicked and realised something was wrong. She was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and at that point I moved my mum in with me a I knew I could not leave her on her own.
‘Everyday is a challenge. She gradually deteriorates day by day. Some days she recognises me other days she does not know who I am and screams at me that I’m a stranger coming to take her away.
‘Episodes like these I really struggle with and find hard. To be completely honest it’s so heartbreaking for me. She’s my mum and I love her and she doesn’t even know who I am anymore.
‘I watch her day by day slowly get worse and I know there’s nothing I can do about it.
‘I pay for care workers to come in and look after her and now have to work part time as I can’t leave her own her own. My life revolves around my mum’s care and some days it is hard for me, but it is my mum and she looked after me when I needed it.
‘Some days she is happy and calls my name and she remembers certain things. Other days she just doesn’t know who I am and says there are strangers in her room and screams at me and the care workers.
I wish more money could be spent on supporting those with Alzheimer’s. There are many times when I could use an extra pair of hands, but I have the care workers and they are brilliant. Very kind and patient and without them I wouldn’t even be able to go out to work or get my weekly shopping.
‘Alzheimer’s doesn’t just affect that one person, but the whole family as the knock on effects are vast and tragic to the entire family. She’s still my mum even if she doesn’t recognise me, it doesn’t stop me from loving her, how could it, it’s my mum.’
If you want to share your experiences with Alzheimer’s, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org