Thursday, 8 December 2011



Never take them for granted. We spend a lot of our time in conversations. Spoken, written, typed even signed. They are all words.

Dementia takes the conversations  away. Sometimes it leaves all the words but no ability to string them together. Sometimes, as is the case with Mum, the words disappear first, leaving the conversations locked inside with no means of expression. This quite often results in bouts of frustration, maybe even anger when she wants to tell or ask something.

Today has been one of those days. Mum was out in the morning with  the respite carer,  visited a garden centre looking at decorations. She is always in a good mood after a morning with Donna, as am I after a morning "off"

Quick visit to see the lovely gentleman for coffee then home. Mum disappeared upstairs for a while, probably to top up the nut mountain while I started to prepare tea. 

We then had a good two or three hours of  Mum trying to tell or ask me something. We just cannot get to the bottom of it. We tried all the usual methods to no avail.

It could be something as simple as her wanting to visit somewhere or something as complex as a desire to learn astro-physics, there is no way to tell. 

Sarah in from work and she can shed no light either. In the end we had to switch to the diversion tactics of food and me acting the fool. This does have a relatively good success rate and worked like a charm this time.

It seems that if Mum manages to convey her thoughts straight away there is no problem, but as soon as she stops or struggles the thread is lost, mostly never to return. I think I will try to bring this up with her tomorrow as it did seem to be something important.

An example from this week,

  • "Its red I cant see it"
  • What is it mum?
  • "Its red, it was in the thing"
  • What was it in mum?
  • "Its red, you know..."
  • Repeat ad infinitum

Anyway she is watching that funny man with the hat (Fred Dibnah) on the telly happy as Larry, so Sarah and I can settle down with a glass and a bit of radio


  1. chris ashby-zwozdiak8 December 2011 at 22:47

    Is/was your Mum a visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learner. Just out of interest, if I was a clever, bright lady like your Mum, I would seek the best and fastest medium to express myself quickly. Am sure that you have already investigated this, but just a thought. (Friend of Fabia's).x

  2. I don't have any family with dementia but I work with people who deal with it.. Last week was huge for language with a few people.. It is so frustrating for them not to be able to communicate what they wish to convey.. I like the "Me acting the fool" technique... I'm going to give it a go next time and see how it works :o)

  3. Hi Chris
    Thats an interesting thought. I never considered how she learns things. Mum is definitely a visual learner. She is very able to visualise things but often needs auditory cues too to help her remember things. Music is a great trigger for her memories.
    As a teacher Chris, how do you see us using this to help mum to express herself?