Mum moved back into a care home last month. I have lived with her and cared for her over the last 12 months, but had always planned to return to my own home at the end of the year. I took lots of photos to capture our good times together, knowing these times were limited. I’ve enjoyed compiling these pictures, which bring back treasured memories.
Preparations for bringing mum home
The year started with preparations for bringing mum back to her home. These involved removing pictures that might distress her, clearing out furniture, creating ‘dementia friendly’ door and drawer signs, and making a nice space outside to relax.
Walks with mum
Going on walks with mum was one of the many things I really enjoyed about our year together. She loves being in nature and sometimes it helps to calm her.
Meals at home
Mo, the neighbour’s cat
Mo, the neighbour’s cat, was a huge blessing. Although he scratched mum occasionally, she loved him; she lavished lots of attention on him and told him he was a sweetheart.
Meaningful and purposeful activities
One of the biggest challenges over the year was keeping mum occupied. If not engaged, she would become miserable or anxious.
Friends and family
Mum’s special friends have stayed in touch. Cards are read and re-read, and provide opportunities to remember the senders fondly. Roger and Jill (top left) have visited several times. Seeing family, old and new friends has meant a lot to mum and me.
Mum loves flowers. Over the year she enjoyed the plants in bloom on our many walks. She repeatedly commented on the cut flowers in the dining room, noting when the buds eventually blossomed.
My efforts to cajole mum into smiling for the selfie often ended in fits of laughter.
Ice cream and tea and cake
Ice cream or tea and cake was always a winner with mum. Going out to eat, or simply for a drink in the pub, also worked. While out, mum loved to watch the world go by.
On our seaside walks I often looked at the sky and pointed out the clouds to mum. Mum showed lots of appreciation and indulged my endless desire to take photos of the sky.