Yes mum

My 90 year old mother has dementia. The word dementia comes from the Latin dementiae. In the dictionary, it is defined as, madness, distraction or folly. The mum I knew is slipping away and all I can do is massage her dry skin with rose scented cream, hold her hand and try to bring her some joy. 

Some weeks the phone calls from my mother are so numerous, angry, repetitive and bat shit crazy, that I find myself glancing at shite online trying to distract myself while I listen to her tell me stories that I’ve heard 100 times. These conversations become so bad, that reading updates on LinkedIn seems like a good idea. 
But this week I found the upside to my mother’s dementia.We had a cup of tea and then she handed me her mail.
“Do you know what to do about this?” she said. I looked at the envelopes and realised that amongst the bills and a letter from Centrelink, was the ABS voting form for the Same Sex Marriage survey. I grinned.
“Yes mum, yes I do. If any of your friends here in the nursing home need help with this, I can help them too.” Helping people, that is what Christians who want to heal the world can do.


That’s good enough for me…

Last week I arrived at my mother’s nursing home to find she was watching Julie Andrews on the big screen TV with a group of other residents. She was very happy singing along to Edelweiss and Climb Every Mountain.

Then I read that a study by U.S. scientists has shown that the brain function of those suffering from dementia can be improved if they belt out their favourite show tunes.

Researchers working with elderly residents at a US East Coast care home in a four-month long study found that people who sang their favorite songs showed a marked improvement compared to those who just listened.

Among the songs sung during 50-minute sessions were hits from The Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma and The Sound of Music.

The most improvement was among those sufferers with moderate to severe dementia. I must keep my mama singing.

When my kids put me in a home for bewildered single mothers, hopefully I’ll be busting some moves to Gett Off by Prince, and my favourite Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan tunes. But I’ll probably be warbling, “C is for Cookie, Cookie, Cookie, Cookie start with C. Yeah!” on repeat.

C is for Cookie