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

Bringing mum back home coincided with my growing interest in nutrition and eating well. This posed challenges at times, but there was an upside which I share in this post.

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.

Flowers

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.

Selfies

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.

Cloudscapes

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.

6 thoughts on “The year in pictures: Caring for mum at home

  1. Dear Julia

    I’ve so enjoyed reading your blog about caring for your Mum and her dementia. These are wonderful photos containing much love and some happy times together.

    Would you mind if I shared the blog with friends?

    Frances x

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    1. So nice to hear from you Frances. Thanks for letting me know that you have enjoyed reading the blog. That’s so nice to hear. I would love you to share the blog with your friends. My facebook profile and the blog itself are open to everybody. Hope you Martin, and family are well. Sending love. Julia xxx

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  2. This is a wonderful tribute to you and your mum. Your photos show such gentleness and love. I don’t think you could have done more for your mum and they must be lovely to look back on.
    I hope things continue to have joy and peace for your mum and that you are getting the chance to get your own life back.
    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful, positive post. xxx

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    1. Thank you Sally. I was looking forward to compiling those pictures as clear themes emerged over the year and it was nice to go back through them, remembering and enjoying the memories. Yes, gradually getting back into work and settle back in Brighton, though I am here again in South Wales this week. It’s good to get back to normality, but hoping I don’t lose all that I’ve learnt from mum. Hoping all is well with you. x

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