Our mother and daughter relationship
Mum and I have always been close, but recording the podcast has helped us navigate the inevitable changes in our relationship. I am a carer now as well as a daughter. The podcast has allowed us to have open discussions about how we feel. It has also helped us to plan and talk about what care might look like for Mum in the future.
Mum also still loves music, and she still remembers how to play the piano. She continued to teach piano after the diagnosis, and prior to the pandemic, she sang in two choirs and played piano in a care home. Music is so important to her, and it keeps her mind active.
Life doesn’t have to stop after a dementia diagnosis, and I can still spend time with Mum doing things we both enjoy. We went on a Dementia Adventure holiday together which was lots of fun and something we wouldn’t have done otherwise. Mother’s Day is another day where we get to spend some valuable time together. We will catch up, video call the grandchildren and enjoy some tea and cake!
Penny hosts the Discovering Dementia podcast with her mother, Rosemary.
Spreading awareness of Admiral Nurses
I found myself calling the Helpline in moments of crisis. At those times, you just need someone who tells you what to do to get out of a particular situation. It was so great to speak to a dementia specialist, the Admiral Nurse is immediately with you in that situation. Once I understood Mum’s behaviour, it was much easier to deal with.
I decided to take part in the World Alzheimer’s Month campaign with Dementia UK as I want to do anything I can to spread awareness of Admiral Nurses. We need more of them. It’s been a long journey for us, it would have made such a difference to have had an Admiral Nurse from the beginning. But the Helpline was invaluable. There isn’t anything else out there that offers that support when you need it in the moment. More people need to know about the Helpline and virtual clinics services, so you can speak to a nurse even if you don’t have one in your local area.
I am now a Dementia UK volunteer ambassador and local community events to talk to people about the charity. I’ve realised how little people know about Dementia UK and the support available to them. That’s why talking about dementia and raising awareness is so important.