Monday, January 20, 2014

I hate dementia

I had a busy day today, however I made time to visit Murray in his nursing home.  I have known Murray for many years, but we have not been close. We were in the Rover Scouts some fifty six years ago.
We, the surviving members of that group, have occasional get-togethers and unfortunately Murray is no longer able to attend those infrequent gatherings. He has dementia and doesn’t know who he is or who I was today.   The nursing home he is in is a very nice place with caring staff.  When I visited him today, he didn’t recognise me or what I was saying.  He made many attempts at starting a conversation, but couldn’t get past the first few words.  His companions were all in special chairs and not watching the large screen television they were arranged in front of.  Next to Murray was a woman in her eighties nursing a celuloid doll.  She kept talking to Murray in what was probably the Croation language and he looked earnestly at her as if understanding what she was saying.

I have experienced similar before with a couple of close friends and I hate it.   

Murray looks fit and quite young.  Dementia has stolen his very being.

My dear wife Joan died almost three years ago with all her faculties intact. I have wondered if dementia might have spared her the knowledge of what was happening to her.  I am glad that she knew we were with her at the end.


Jane said...

Hi Kevin I've been reading your blog for a while now (I came to it via Freobiz). I'm Murray's eldest daughter, Jane! What a surprise to read that you were part of his scouting group. Thank you for going to see dad - it is quite challenging trying to make conversation with someone who is essentially nonverbal. Regards

Kev said...


thanks for reading our blog. I took a look at yours..well written, but have you made any recent postings?



Anonymous said...

Kev, It is so hard to know what to say to someone you have known for years but can't remember who you are. Remember when we visited John Rowe ? He didn't seem to recognise us but I think he was contented with us just being there.When I visited my dad he thoght I worked in the kitchen and shouldn't be standing around chatting to him.It is a cruel disease. I can remember Murray going to Richmond school. Marg