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Elderly parents

Tell us about your loved one.

4 replies

Whatmonth · 14/04/2023 21:04

My mum has dementia and is in a nursing home.
I'm going to let you know who she WAS not is,

Mum was born before the second world war.
Eldest daughter of a poor family.
Passed all her exams then went to work in a office as secretary to the big boss.
Played the piano at a high level. Entered a beauty contest and won.
Dad taught her how to drive and look after the engine of her car.
Could wallpaper and put a plug on white goods.
But in her own words can't cook to save her life.
After getting married had 3 children. All girls.
When the youngest went to school mum started work making bullets for the British Army. Left as didn't need to work full time.
For 'pin money' called bingo at a large club. Then as a barmaid and lastly a dinner lady. Never needed a till to add up.
Mum was the life and soul of any party. First and last on the dance floor.
Loved holidays. Playing bingo. At one point she won the big one which was
£10k shared with her only sister. Went shopping in charity shops before it
became popular. Arts and crafts. Has written poetry and stories which have been published. More friends than we could count. Sent and received over 100 Christmas cards.
After dad died we needed to make an appointment to see her as she was out all
the time.
Then her life changed stopped going out, couldn't remember her family or friends.
The butterfly lost its wings.

OP posts:
stopringingme · 14/04/2023 21:17


What a moving post.

Your Mum is wonderful.

I have been there and you really grieve for the person they were.

The person who died was not my Mum, my Mum left us a few years before.

She was a wonderful Mum, Nanny and Great Nanny.

She worked in a bank until she got married, then left as married women didn't work.

She had us 4 and was always there for us and also cared for her parents.

She took on cleaning jobs when money was tight.

She was a childminder, it was quite a sight to see her with 8 children in tow.

I miss her 💔

HotelNotPortofino · 14/04/2023 21:25

What a lovely post

Dad had dementia but recently died

I’m honestly both upset, grieving and also extremely relieved as he was hating what his life had become, and was near constantly distressed and anxious

Before this he was humorous, well educated, well read, well travelled, taught me to change a plug, change a tyre, drive, change a bathroom (mostly…and how to organise works and deal with trades)

A single father to me for many years, gifted me the most bizarre gifts for birthdays and Christmases, sometimes £, sometimes art, sometimes something from black and decker, all usually a week early or a week late.

And a paperwork hoarder. He’s left me a copy of just about every letter he sent or received.

But he was never boastful.
Going through his stuff, I realise he did so much more, with many well known names in motor racing, than he ever admitted to.
it’s quite astonishing what he did, and how good he was.

Whatmonth · 14/04/2023 21:26

Mum has 7 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
But can only remember the great grandchildren.
She was not the motherly type but loved us all in her own way.
Funny most things we know about her we only found out when clearing the house.
Forgot to mention the beads/necklaces/broaches all cheap tat but she even now
wears. The good stuff are still in boxes never worn.
Wonder if its we didn't want to know or she didn't want us to know about her life.
Think she would have liked to be a hippie.

OP posts:
IthinkIsawahairbrushbackthere · 15/04/2023 11:35

My mum was the oldest of four children. She was studying for her A levels and there were hopes that she would become a teacher. One evening she was attacked on her way home from a friend's house and had a breakdown so did not finish school. On a whim she and her cousin applied to the GPO to become telephonists. They were accepted and she worked in the telephone exchange until she married my dad. Dad was in the Navy and stationed at a base just outside the village. They had met in church and he fell in love with her straight away. Mum didn't find out for many years that after he had met her and known her as part of a large friendship group the next time he went on leave he broke off his engagement because he knew that mum was one he would marry.

Dad was in the Navy and mum loved her life as part of the Naval community, moving from post to post. It was a big change for someone from a tiny rural community where English was a second language for most of her friends and neighbours.

I was an only child and loved by my parents and family. Our house was ever quiet as mum and dad both had a tendency to bring home waifs and strays - homesick sailors and Wrens, wives who were missing their husbands, anyone in need. There was always a way to squeeze an extra seat at the table and to make dinner stretch to feed one more.

When I reached secondary school age they decided to settle down and dad left the Navy. A few years later they bought the house where we now live and mum threw herself into the life of the church. She and her best friend were always the ones who would volunteer to take someone to the hospital, sit with someone who was lonely, entertain visiting preachers. We used to tease them, saying they lived for others and you could tell who the others were by the haunted looks on their faces.

Old age caught up with them both and twenty years or so ago mum's friend developed dementia. Without her partner in crime mum started to slow down and her own health began to deteriorate. My dad had various issues including a hernia and a bad back and they began to rely more and more on me. Mum's mobility decreased, dad picked up most of the slack and I filled in the gaps. But even though her pain was not really managed by medication she still wanted to host coffee mornings and afternoon teas with her friends and friends of friends! She would still babysit my tribe and showered us all with love.

When dad died I took over everything that he had been doing and became her arms and legs. The physical side of caring - the personal care, getting her up in the morning and to bed at night got too much and for the last year she was at home she had carers twice a day to do those things. I still did all her meals and everything she needed including being her almost constant companion.

Through all the pain of losing her parents, her younger sister, my dad and crippling pain in all her joints she still kept up the appearance of a serene, happy person who always put others first.

Sadly her lack of language makes it impossible for her to express her feelings now. It is my turn to try and show her in ways that she can understand how very much I love her.

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