Day 87: 23 July 2017
Tuesday, 24 July 2018 07:27

One needs to be careful writing on the funny side to dementia, because it’s a horrible and sad way to see a loved one go. The disease itself is not at all funny. I know; I watched my very capable, independent and former sporting champion mother succumb to it. Yet, rather than mope, I found it helpful to laugh with (not at) Mum. My then wife and I finally had persuaded Mum to agree to spend a fortnight trying out an aged care facility – respite they call it – no small feat in itself! We visited her daily to help make the stint bearable, and to show that we weren’t far away. One morning, my wife walked Mum over to where a group of inmates were playing carpet bowls. They watched on for a while, then Mum leant in towards my wife, and said, ‘Riveting, isn’t it?’ I read where a woman kept referring to her late husband in the present tense. ‘But he’s been dead thirty years,’ said her son. ‘Well, then,’ said the woman, ‘who was that I climbed over this morning to get out of bed?’ An aged care patient had a view from her window of a park, and a statute. ‘I don’t know what he’s doing,’ she said, ‘but he’s been standing there an awful long time’. A dementia patient called out, ‘What kind of hotel is this?’ Being helped to the toilet by a male nurse, the female patient quipped, ‘It’s been a long time since I’ve had a young man take down my pants.’ Man in a suburban nursing home placed a folded hand towel on his head. When asked why he did it, he said it was to keep the kangaroos away. Staff asked him how it was working out, and he said, ‘Well, I haven’t seen any kangaroos yet!’ Mum: ‘I don’t know who you are, but thank you for visiting me.’ The patient thinks his food is poisoned. He tells his nurse, ‘I’ll try it if you eat some first’. The one good thing about dementia is you make new friends every day.