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Lost Memories: My Gran’s Alzheimers

Written by: Jamie Roberts, Student, The University of Strathclyde

Jamie shares a personal story in which he speaks about his Gran who is living with dementia

Dementia. Everybody knows the word. Most people will associate it with memory loss and getting older. Which I suppose it is. However, it is much, much more. In a nutshell, dementia eats away at the brain until the person that has it is no longer the person you knew.

Ten years ago my gran was 72. She would lose her keys. She would forget her pin number. She would forget her passwords. Fairly standard for someone her age? If only that’s what it was. In 15 years we have gone from small memory lapses to virtually no memory at all.

I am hoping that blogging about something so personal to me will give you an insight into how devastating a disease dementia is.

It is not as simple as just having ‘dementia’ there are several types. We have Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular dementia, Frontotemporal and dementia with Lewy bodies to choose from. I’m not going to describe all the different types of dementia but you can find more information here (this link will take you away from our website). My Gran Ruby has Alzheimer’s disease.

Ten years ago I was 10. Gran was just a ‘normal’ Gran. She was driving, cooking, playing bridge and loved her garden. She lived with my Grandad and I would see her regularly after school. Even as young as 10, the cracks were showing. With hindsight, writing her passwords down and then forgetting where she put them was just one indication that she was already suffering from the disease.

People just laugh off wee things like forgetting your keys, not knowing what day it is and forgetting people’s names. And it can be funny – like the time washing up liquid ended up in our mince and potatoes… not the best meal she’s ever made us! Funny, but with sinister undertones. We have gone from laughter to heartbreak over the last ten years. Gran is now in a home. I see her often. I don’t know if she sees me. My blog hopefully gives you an insight into the journey that I and my family have been on, and are still on, with gran. I also hope I can raise awareness of the disease and let others know if you are dealing with a similar thing, you’re not alone.

You can read four other blogs that Jamie has written about his Gran on his Lost Memories page (this link will take you away from our website). 

The Silent Assassin (this link will take you away from our website)

Shhhhhh… (this link will take you away from our website)

A Home from Home? (this link will take you away from our website)

Happy Memories (this link will take you away from our website)

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