Northern Gardens Supports Marvellous Marjorie

Marvellous Marjorie

My Mother Marjorie, or Marg as her loved ones know her, is a resident at Northern Gardens Aged Care.  Mum was diagnosed around 5 years ago at the tender age of 68, with early onset dementia.

Unfortunately, when the doctor told me about Mum’s diagnosis, I received no additional information about dementia. I wasn’t informed of support networks or really anything that would help in understanding what to expect in the coming years. Mum and I were just sent off on our way.

In the beginning the onset was gradual and the symptoms were difficult to recognise or confirm that it was the disease. Now looking back, there were many signs that I didn’t realise at the time.

It hasn’t been easy on myself or my family watching our Mum deteriorating so dramatically, and right before our eyes, over the last two years.  Having to let go of who she once was has been difficult to fathom for all of us.

I had to learn that our relationship will never be the same and that Mum can’t communicate with me like she used to.  I had to let go of my needs as her daughter and put the focus on making Mum feel good.

Thankfully I have a wonderful, caring partner Mahney who encourages & teaches me ways I can do that.  Simple things like, massaging Mum’s hands or head, painting her fingernails, making her laugh and smile and just being in her presence.  I have come to understand that I don’t have to get a verbal response from Mum every time I speak to her and I can just tell her stories and talk to her about my day. The sheer enjoyment on Mum’s face is beautiful to see and so very rewarding.

We all desire love, laughter and happiness!  That doesn’t disappear along with your memory; it’s buried deep in our souls.  Once you realise that, you can really make a difference in the life of your loved one who is suffering from dementia.

Last year, the wonderful staff at Northern Gardens hosted a dementia information session facilitated by Dementia Australia. Afterwards we came to appreciate just how important knowledge is in being a vital contributor to the good care of Mum and others suffering from dementia.  Having these extra techniques and gaining some understanding of what is going on in the mind of someone with dementia has been really helpful to us making visits with Mum as fulfilling as possible.

In the spirit of ‘knowledge is power’ Sunday the 22nd April 2018, we as a family took part in the Melbourne Memory Walk & Jog and needed support! Staff at Northern Gardens have made donations to the page and are also taking a collection to support us.

All donations go towards Dementia Australia's ability to provide vital support services, such as counseling, support groups and education to help family, carers and professional training.

Thanks for reading our story!


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