Dementia: It’s Been A Long Road

In several posts I wrote about my ‘unofficial mother in-law’, my partner’s mom who has dementia.  You are welcome to read more about her in these posts: ‘My Mother In-Law Teacher’ and ‘…hold back the tears in my eyes’.  She is 92 and has dementia and is living with her youngest son – my partner’s brother. has the following information:

Dementia, also known as senility, is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember such that a person’s daily functioning is affected. Other common symptoms include emotional problems, problems with language, and a decrease in motivation. A person’s consciousness is not affected. For the diagnosis to be present it must be a change from a person’s usual mental functioning and a greater decline than one would expect due to aging. These diseases also have a significant effect on a person’s caregivers.

This is an exact description of my unofficial mother in-law’s situation.  I met this lady about 12 years ago and the first couple of times I spent with her were the ‘get to know’ visits when my partner’s dad was still alive.  When my partner’s dad died about 6 years ago, his wife, my unofficial mother in-law stayed with us for a period of time.  It was not an easy visit; besides going through her mourning, she was angry, frustrated and very hateful.  This visit is the only time that I hated her mainly due to her mean and hateful comments directed at her sons.

Since that event, she has stayed with us numerous other times with some good visits and some bad visits.  But during these visits I have grown to admire her and to respect her and to love her.

I believe the loss of her husband is the break that Dementia had to progress rapidly and to take over – providing a beginning to the end – the start of a long road.

I have no idea when the end will come; as each day mounts, so do her struggles.

My hope is when the end has come and the travel on the long road is completed, she has a sense of serenity and she knows her life was lived with meaning, purpose and accomplishment.

My hope is she will know her life and her dementia that is her long road, has taught me to live life for the moment, have persistence, and never become defeated.

11 thoughts on “Dementia: It’s Been A Long Road

  1. my mother passed in 2012, she had dementia for over 5 years, it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through, watching the mother who was always there for me to confide in slowly fade away….dementia is such a sad disease…I miss her everyday……

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah Terry, my sympathies are with you and Gary and his mom. It is so hard to keep in mind that their brain disease makes them behave in ways that are strange or hateful. My girlfriend is struggling with her Dad’s Alzheimer’s at the moment and nothing I say helps. I am glad you are at the less difficult stage now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kerry, she is better now that she is living with the younger son. At one point she was still living in Boston by herself parttime and it was difficult. She still has bad days, but at least now she has a stable comfortable home. Thanks for reading this post, I appreciate it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My apologies but I need to mention a minor irritation that I’m having while reading all of these wonderful posts about your mother-in-law. You keep calling her your ‘unofficial mother-in-law.’ Why? What’s unofficial? Certainly not because you and Gary don’t have a marriage certificate I hope. Millions of people don’t have marriage certificates for hundreds of reasons and still refer to their mother-in-laws. It’s a social name more than a legal reference.
    Sorry about the rant especially if you’re using the ‘unofficial’ tag for personal reasons that are none of my business. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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