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’ 

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