In this story: Carer / Mental health / Dementia /

“Caring for someone is such a complicated thing, as everything really just rests on you.”

“They say the creaking gate hangs the longest, and my mother has been ailing for as long as I can remember. At the moment, she’s actually really fit and well – the dementia is stable just now.

But when she was diagnosed, it was horrible. Thats when she was at her worst. She was going around the house at night cutting wires and, oh my God, threatening to hurt me. I had to get a lock on my bedroom door.

I was so stressed it was unbelievable. I just didn’t know how to deal with it because my mum’s dementia wasn’t diagnosed in the standard way.

I mean, people empathise and sympathise, but they were apparently powerless to do anything about it.

Even when I spoke to the people from the dementia unit, I got a phone call from a senior psychiatric nurse, and it was sort of patronising. They suggested that all I needed was a wee afternoon every now and then to go to the bingo. I have never been to the bingo- I thought “you don’t know me.”

It was a lot of stuff out of a book, and it wasn’t in any way tailor made to my situation. I found it very upsetting.

Caring for someone is such a complicated thing, as everything really just rests on you.

I used to see my mum worry about getting dementia and I used to joke with her like “don’t worry Mum, because you’re not really going to know about it – it’ll be me that will suffer.” And that’s basically what’s come to pass.

But you see all these whistleblower things on television about poor souls getting treated badly in care homes. I couldn’t consign either of my parents to that fate.

I’ve always been close to my mum. But it was always a case of we all had to dance to her tune. I still think to myself sometimes that she wasn’t always very nice to me in certain instances. And sometimes I kind of resent that I’m breaking my neck to do this for her. But at the end of the day, my conscience just wouldn’t let me do it any other way.”

This story has been shared in connection with the ALLIANCE’s Concert for Caring, showcasing the different experiences of care and caring in Scotland.

Each participant has been asked what song comes to mind when reflecting on their care experience. This is Anonymous’ song.

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