Ma is the mother of Dilly’s husband (Mr B), she was diagnosed with dementia in 2012. Ma agreed to let Dilly write about the family’s new life and experiences in the Life with Ma series.
Dilly’s story continues…
When we visit Ma, I’m always anxious about seeing signs of deterioration and relieved when little seems to have changed. This time, we were treated to her old spirit and plenty of amusing moments.
Her son writes daily instructions on the whiteboard about her pills and lunch preparation. Underneath the latest one, she had written, ‘Strange way of communicating. What’s wrong with the spoken word?’ And earlier in the week: ‘Where’s the soup? It’s not in the bowl!’
She is prone to very decided and serious opinions. Having inquired where all the soap had gone, she responded to a flippant suggestion that maybe she had eaten it with, ‘I DO NOT EAT SOAP!’
We all went to the local art gallery. Being a painter herself gave Ma ample opportunities to criticise. She particularly went for the performance pieces – ‘Can’t be doing with that’ – and the unhappy clashes of paintings hung on unsympathetic gallery backgrounds. The cake in the café was definitely her highlight.
In the car, her attention is drawn to the same shop fronts. ‘I have never heard the name Penstick before,’ she will say each time we pass.
The spirit of Ma
Ma remains a sunny, opinionated elderly woman, in a strange world where her astute observations make us laugh. Whether she is sulking over a badly cooked pizza or demanding, ‘Who is that man who is in the house all the time?’ – muddling up her grand-daughters’ respective boyfriends – the essence of Ma is still there and we love her.
Dilly, a daughter-in-law (continued soon)
Life with Ma also features in Living with dementia magazine, which you can subscribe to.