The 80's - My Grandmother
Dementia in the 1980s was not as well understood as it is today - and when my Gran started behaving oddly - it was just put down to her age.
She would put a chicken in the oven - forget to switch it on - and then try to serve it uncooked ---- vegetables in a saucepan would sit in cold water - until she deemed them cooked - she would hide money - under carpets - --- under bedding ---- in cupboards ----- all found after her death.
She sold valuable items to doorstep antique traders - somehow only when my Grandad was out shopping - until he discovered his gold fob watch was missing - and started checking the cupboards and asking neighbours to keep an eye open when he was out .
Then she started attacking my Grandad with whatever she had to hand --- rolling pin - saucepan - a knife etc --- demanding to know who he was and why he was there.
In the end he could no longer cope - and for his own safety she had to go into residential care - and was diagnosed with ‘senile dementia‘ - a term even used in a letter from her care home to my Mum and Aunt.
In those days - residents really were sat in circles around a room - often strapped in chairs or wheelchairs - and with nothing to do --- totally reliant of visitors to hopefully visit or take them out.
My Gran regularly escaped - doors were not kept locked in those days - and the police often found her wandering the streets.
The front door was eventually locked - and she would spend hours rubbing her foot on the carpet in frustration - until she wore a hole in it. The home owners were not amused - and sent a letter asking for payment for the damage --- either immediately - or on her demise.
This particular home is local to me - and I went to see it when looking for a care home for my Mum ---- 6 years ago - and was horrified when I asked what activities were available for the residents. I was told they relied on visitors for that - as - ‘they are all past it anyway’