They Don't know do they?

Discussion in 'After dementia — dealing with loss' started by ellejay, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. ellejay

    ellejay Registered User

    Jan 28, 2011
    My elderly neighbour , aged 94 but sharp as a tack, always asks after mum, so I told her mum had died. Her son was with her, he's mid 50's.

    He knew my mum had dementia, he asked "Did she know you?" & I said not for quite a while, no.

    "It's odd isn't it?" he said " How they remember long ago, but nothing recent?, Mum worries about going in a home, but I wouldn't do that to her!"

    So that , then, is dementia and caring in a nutshell. Who knew it was that uncomplicated?

    I hope he never has need to find out more, of course, but I did feel like punching him :mad:

    Lin x
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    It`s as well no one knows till they experience it Lyn.
  3. Loopiloo

    Loopiloo Registered User

    May 10, 2010
    I know how you felt, Lin. Even when people say nothing, you can see by their eyes, expression, what their thoughts are about someone 'being put' in a home. If only they knew the reality. Not that I would ever wish dementia in anyone's life. I still feel guilt when I encounter this attitude - but also feel as you did.

    Loo xxx
  4. Scouts girl

    Scouts girl Registered User

    Jan 18, 2017
    How insensitive people can be! As you say let's hope he never has to make the awful decision to move his mum into a care home. My mum is nearing the end of her life now and so grateful that she is being so well cared for in her care home and given the specialised care that I could no longer give her. Doesn't stop the tremendous guilt I still feel though. I can imagine how you must have felt from his remark. Me too would have had to fight the urge to slap him xx
  5. lemonjuice

    lemonjuice Registered User

    Jun 15, 2016
    #5 lemonjuice, Sep 2, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2018
    This annoys me so much.
    Yes for some people it may ward it off for a while, but it's not a certainty.

    My mother did exercise including Keep Fit classes most of her adult life. On retiring she took up bowling as well and walked pretty much everywhere. Even walking round and round the house and garden when her heart failure made her anxious about being stranded when out walking. Hardly a dy went past, unless on holiday that she didn't do her housework. Had to be finished before she went out in the afternoons. et .

    She also never drank or smoked.

    She kept her mind active with puzzles, crosswords, playing cards etc. and spoke two languages fluently.

    Yet dementia struck her down, advanced rapidly and then has left her a 'breathing corpse for the past 2/3 years. The contrast with my friend's mother, not nearly so fit/ active etc is alarming. Despite being diagnosed a good 18 months before mine, she is still able to ambulate, speak and express her opinions, feed herselfetc. In fact recently a 'visiting' Dr at the NH declared her 'medically fit to return home? :confused::eek:
  6. ellejay

    ellejay Registered User

    Jan 28, 2011
    It's back to the "Fluffy absent minded little old lady/man " thing that people who haven't experienced Dementia think it is. . How lovely if mum only forgot where she left her slippers instead of the reality :mad:

    Lin x
  7. lemonjuice

    lemonjuice Registered User

    Jun 15, 2016
    #7 lemonjuice, Sep 2, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
    If only it were that. Then we wouldn't all be worn and stressed out looking after our PWD and their 'challenging behaviour' at the end of our tethers, actually relieved when we can get some respite when we finally have to give in and put them into a Home. ;)
  8. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    I'm so sorry to read your sad news ellejay, and would willingly offer my services to "deal" with your neighbour on your behalf. :mad: I find it so hard to accept that, in this day and age, people are still so ignorant regarding dementia.

    I used to grit my teeth, and dig my nails into my hands, when anyone asking if John was better (!), to be told "no" by me, would then say "but he looks so well!", as if a clean shirt, a shaved face and a neat haircut were absolute proof that he was fine.

    And I cannot think that people are blissfully unaware of the hurt they cause, when they say "I would never put my Mum/Dad/Husband/Wife in a Home", knowing that you have.

    It's nearly 3 years since John died, but I still hear this, from saintly "friends" who don't have anybody ill, let alone with dementia, in their family, but who blithely talk about a neighbour, or distant relative, who has been "put" into a Home. Aaaaagh!!
  9. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    I'd like to help Scarlett deal with your neighbour.:D
    An ex villager called in on mum one day , plonked himself down and proceeded to comment on her putting dad in a home saying it was a shame she didn't want to look after him herself, also that a friend of his has a wife with dementia and he loves taking care of her:confused: I'd have punched him had I been there:mad:
  10. Amethyst59

    Amethyst59 Registered User

    Jul 3, 2017
    How CAN people be so judgmental....and another one that makes me want to deliver a swift kick to the shins is ....oh, I'm forgetting people's names all the time. I think we all have dementia when we get older. AGH!
  11. DMac

    DMac Registered User

    Jul 18, 2015
    Surrey, UK
    My MIL had a neighbour who was particularly judgmental. She was highly critical of me, my OH and his siblings when MIL went into a care home a year ago. She was convinced that my MIL was absolutely fine and didn't need to be there. Nothing we said could convince this lady otherwise. So she took it upon herself to take MIL out on short trips to local theatres, cafes, garden centres etc. every so often, which was all fine and very nice of her.

    Then one day, she called me and told me that she wouldn't be taking MIL out again. She didn't offer an explanation and I didn't enquire. I suspect that MIL said or did something that embarrassed her. I was sorry for the unspoken misfortune, but couldn't help feeling a sense of schadenfreude at the same time.

    To my knowledge, this lady has not visited my MIL since. :(

    Oh, and by the way, WE (OH and I) still take MIL out. These days we just make sure to bring spare incontinence pads and pants with us. ;):p :D
  12. sunray

    sunray Registered User

    Sep 21, 2008
    East Coast of Australia
    People who we had been friends with for years would see my husband Ray with a shiny face, clean clothes and combed hair and remark in front of him:"Are you sure Ray has dementia, you wouldn't think it to look at him." I'd push the wheelchair as far away from them as I could with him looking back at me and frowning. Plenty of insensitive people out there who have no social filters to make them stop making unfounded remarks.

    And then they assure you they would "never put their loved one..." etc. And one of the things they never do of course is visit their friend or relation once they are in the nursing home so how would they know whether they need to be in there or not? My two cents worth. And yes, I used to feel like screaming: "How would you know what you would do were this your loved one?"
  13. Squintykid

    Squintykid Registered User

    Jul 19, 2016
    My father started not recognising people in the last weeks before he was admitted to hospital.
    He remembered his great grandchildren and they were only toddlers but thought that my nephew was me, my niece his daughter, that I was his brother and that my sister was our mother.
    He went into a safe and happy place 40 years into the past and only recognised my voice but did not know who I was when he opened his eyes.
    In someway a blessing, but in no way easy watching from the outside as he lived a past life of fading memories.

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