Stories

Day 12 – When the Mind is Lost

We can all have a bit of a laugh about the silly things we do. I know just last week I couldn’t find the milk – I had put it in the cupboard instead of the fridge. Ugh!

I remember we used to chuckle when my grandmother would do some silly things – like put the dustpan on top of the cupboard in the bedroom, or come to stay the night only to pack her bag a few hours later and drive off home.

At some stage it didn’t seem silly, or funny anymore. It got hard. Day after day of explaining, wondering where she was, what she was doing. The family relationships grew tenuous as she told one member something different to another.

And the decline continued. The flesh was willing, the mind was lost.

It was terrible to watch, heartbreaking for all that loved her.

A family gathering tonight and my sister in law is experiencing similar with her own dear mother. Many of us have been there.

The human mind is so powerful yet so fragile.

Dementia. Iit covers a host of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Fronto Temporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD), Huntington’s disease, Alcohol related dementia (Korsakoff’s syndrome) and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease.

At the moment there is no cure. It is the second leading cause of death in Australia, with an estimated 436, 366 Australians living with dementia and 250 new diagnosis a day.

Day 12 of the Advent Calendar for Making a Difference profiles Dementia Australia. It supports the people living with Dementia as well as the carers. They “advocate for the needs of people living with all types of dementia, and for their families and carers, and provide support services, education and information.”

Many of us will have a story about dementia. The work that Dementia Australia does can make a difference to families. Perhaps you can help make a difference too.

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FOOTNOTES

Image credit – © Can Stock Photo / monkeybusiness;

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