my mum


Registered User
Jul 8, 2004
hello.I find it so hard to see my mum struggle with this disease of alzheimers.she was my best friend two years ago.We did so much together and now I feel I have lost her.I have a little girl of seven monthes.she is lovely.Sadly mum does not really understand who she is.Two years ago mum would of been able to look after her,but now mum is similar to a child.I hate this watch such a dignified and proud lady become incontinent and confused saddens me immensley.she too would be heartbroken if she had insight into the condition.Thankfully she does not.She once was a nurse.I miss the old mum terriblly.I am lucky I have a supportive partner and sister.My brother currently is the main carer for mum.We are waiting to place her in a home.I know she would hate this.I feel so guilty because at times i dont want to see her like this so I make excuses not to see her.I love her so much.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hello Naomi

I'm really sorry.

Yes, Alzheimer's does trash the lives of the sufferers, and also of anyone who is very close to them. There's no point in trying to hide that.

For all of us there are lots of lost futures, things that might have been. We all miss some beam of light that our loved one could uniquely bring to our lives.

Once the illness starts to take over, all we can do is our best to make things as comfortable as we can.

First important stage is to draw a line under our previous lives because it won't be the same again. Having done that, we have a choice. We can walk away, or we can hang on in there.

If we hang on in, then we need to establish a new relationship with the person. It will be different and, yes, you are correct that there are huge similarities between the needs of a child, and of a person with dementia. The key thing is that as your little girl has immense trust in you, so will your Mum [as she always has had, of course!].

It may be impossible to put aside those glimpses that provide a comparison between the Mum you see now, and the one you once knew. But she IS still in there. Believe that.

If your Mum would be best cared for in a home, then that is the important thing. Not your feelings or your ideas of what her feelings might be - that part of her is changed now.

Care homes often get a bad press. They are not all like that. This afternoon I was at the funeral of a man who was a younger person with Alzheimer's, and a resident at the same home as my wife is in. Some of the staff from the home, ones who cared for him, were there too, and they were crying. The staff get really attached to their residents. We all only knew him when he had dementia - but he was well worth the knowing, even then - perhaps especially then.

If you can, try mentally to step back from your Mum, then approach her again and begin to establish a new relationship with her as she is now.

I did that with my wife Jan, and I have been in awe of her strength in fighting her dementias. She has taught me tons. And frequently she is able to give me a flash of herself as she was, and it is so worth waiting for. That makes things better for me because I know that if I hadn't taken the time for her now, when she might otherwise be alone, she would have known it. So would I.

So look upon the time ahead as an opportunity to learn about another side to your Mum. As you do that you may feel less pain inside yourself as you become absorbed. Don't worry about her incontinence, feeding, and the other things that will change, because your Mum will probably accept that as quite natural now.

Oh, and do continue to take your little girl in to see her, so one day you can tell her she met a very fine lady who would have liked to have known her.

It IS hard. Best wishes.
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Registered User
Jul 8, 2004
thanks for your message.what you say makes sense.I am sorry about your wife.


Registered User
Aug 18, 2003
east sussex
Dear Naomi and Bruce
Thank you Bruce for putting into words what i could never have done - you brought tears to my eyes as i read it and thought of my Dad - it was so true.
I try to be strong for my mum but there are times i wish Dad could have a chat with me again. I know that will never happen and 99% of the time i cope with it then the other 1% when something triggers me i have a few tears for the Dad i had.
They say it's good to let it out - i must say it works for me.
Take care all of you that are in the same postion and keep smiling.
Love Sue.


Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
Tully, Qld, Australia
One of the hardest things I've had to cope with is seeing my parents as they are now and then remembering the vibrant and intelligent people that they were before they got AD. It's almost as if they have already died and just their body shells are walking around each day. Sometimes I want to shake them and say 'Hello, is anybody home - are you still in there????'. I guess this is the worst thing for all of us having to remember the good times and now being utterly powerless to prevent the relentless progression of this disease.

But then was then and now is now and we just live every day to the best that we can. What else can we do, except care.

It's not easy. Every day at a time.