As previously mentioned as my Mums alzheimers progresses as does her grasp of what is currently happening in her immediate surroundings, what has happened in the past and how the two realities interconnect. She struggles to comprehend things she is watching on television and this is becoming an increasing cause for concern e.g.
Mum (phoning me): “You need to come, there is a tiger in my room'”
Me: “I don’t think that’s very likely”
Mum: “Can you hear it growling? It’s very fierce”
On coming into her flat we discover ‘The Life of Pi” is on the television. I explain the tiger is not real, it is on the television. It cannot bother her. I change the channel to reassure her.
Mum: “Where has it gone?”
Me: “It’s not there, I have changed over the channel”
Mum: “Maybe it is under my bed. Can you check? Be careful it might be angry”
After checking under the bed, in the wardrobe and in her bathroom, she is appeased. The tiger has gone…finally.
Last night she was watching a period drama set in a gothic setting and phoned to tell me there was “Spooky in my room.” When we came in and reassured her the “spooky” was on her television and not with her, she was unconvinced and unnerved and maintained it was there.
Earlier she was watching a programme about Usain Bolt and told me she was listening to “him, that man in our family talking.” I explained he is a famous Jamaican sprinter and in no way related to us, but she found this hard to accept.
Her memory seems to be failing her even on the very familiar. She asked me yesterday what was through her living room door. I had to take photos of the rooms beyond and talk her through each one, but they were received with the unfamiliarity and uncertainty of someone who had never visited them before. I cannot imagine how strange those feelings of not belonging in your own home must feel and struggle to reassure her when nothing seems to allay her confusion.