My grandmother has taken care of me since I was born, so she has always been a big part of my life.
I would incur my mother’s wrath when I disturbed grandmother’s sleep by making lots of noise, but grandmother never got angry with me and used to defend me whenever I got a scolding (or beating) from my mother for doing something wrong. It is this form of caring that made our relationship such a close one.
She used to live with my parents and I but her dementia made things difficult. When she started having mood swings and started hearing voices in her head, which told her to look for “somebody”, we would always have stop whatever we were doing and follow her around.
I felt frustrated and helpless. It was an arduous journey because my parents could not give up their jobs to provide full time care and I, too, could not stay at home as I was in university.
After two years, we decided to place her in a nursing home. It was a difficult decision but it was safer for her in a nursing home, where chances of her falling would be minimised. We still visit her weekly, and we have seen her get better over time. Until we are able to afford a live-in maid, I believe it is best that she stays there.
It has been a heart-wrenching journey. But we need to remind ourselves that she did not make our lives difficult on purpose. She is just as helpless as we are. We can only give her the best care we can provide, let her live her final years with pride, and with as much happiness as possible.
Grandmother might not be the same as before, but I will always love her.