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"My Story - or Ken and Barbie's story (yes my parents names are Ken and Barbara).
My mother (Barb) was diagnosed with Dementia two years ago at the age of 68. Shortly after she was referred to a geriatrician to be fully assessed. During the assessment she got confused therefore decided she did not like the geriatrician so left and told everyone 'the doctor said there is nothing wrong with me'. So to date she has not received or participated in treatment or strategies which might slow the process.
In the past few months she has deteriorated rapidly, and on occasions she does not recognise or remember my father (Ken) and her husband of nearly 50 years. Fortunately my dad is an angel and is currently still caring for her, even though the good days are getting less, she has become quite aggressive and this is often aimed at him.
We are a supportive family who get together regularly. We are good at laughing at mum's antics - this is how we cope. Last Friday I took mum for a pedicure and manicure. When we were picking colours she picked the most distasteful barbie sparkly pink/purple I have ever seen (which is not something she would EVER have chosen)! Fortunately before they started she looked at it and said 'what is that horrible colour? I don't want that', so I picked her a more neutral colour which I knew she would be happy with. My nieces were mortified I was going to let her get such a horrible colour."
Pictured are siblings Melinda (left) and Justine, with their mother, Barbara (centre), at Barbara's 70th birthday party. Along with their brother, Brad, they are one of Canberra Memory Walk & Jog 2019's top fundraising teams, The Dean Team.
Sponsor Melinda and The Dean Team to help them raise money for Dementia Australia, in support of Barb.
If you or anyone you know needs assistance with coping with dementia, or if these stories cause any distress, please call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.
© 2019 Dementia Australia