It is Dementia Awareness week and with over 850,000 people in the UK with dementia it is a topic that needs to be discussed more. With 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 getting dementia it is likely it could affect you or someone you love one day.
I remember when I was about 11/12 years old and I went to visit my great auntie in a care home. She was at the ripe old age of 90 and she kept telling us that her dad was coming along any minute to pick her up to take her for ice cream. I was baffled surely her dad couldn’t still be alive and if he was I am sure I would have meet him before. What confused me more was my dad went along with it. It wasn’t until we got outside my dad explained that when people have Dementia they revert back to the past believing they are still living in that time. I didn’t know my great auntie that well so I didn’t see the full devastating effects that Dementia has on a person and their family.
To get more of an insight into the effects of dementia on both patient and family I have been reading Cassandra Farren’s heartbreaking new book ‘I’ve Lost My Mum’. Cassandra shares with us the devastating effects of how dementia affected her mum and how tough it was on her and her family. Her story is heartbreaking, she was so close to her mum that she truly had to dig deep to be able to stay strong while at times her mum didn’t even know who she was.
We are always told that honesty is the best policy but for Cassandra she had to make the heart wrenching decision to tell her mum what she describes as ‘Love Lies’ to try and help her mum cope better in testing situations. Even though Cassandra knew that these love lies were beneficial for her mum’s welfare they took a lot of strength and courage to go through with.
This book is a very insightful read, it highlights what worked well in the care of her mum and what didn’t so if you have someone you know who is suffering from dementia reading Cassandra’s story will give you lots of great first hand advice.
You will however need to have tissues at the ready to be able to read this book as it is so raw and emotional you will not be able to read it with dry eyes.