A lot of people think their Nan is the best in the world... Without sounding arrogant I know mine is!
Let me tell you a little story about my Nan or as I still call her Nanny Pat! Born in North London back in 1927 she was one of the lucky ones to survive the war, working in factories during this time and going on towards the end to marry my Grandad (who was also lucky) in 1944!
This would be the start of my fairly large family, they went on to have 7 children (my fabulous Aunts and Uncles), who in turn went on to have many children and grandchildren themselves, I have lost count how many cousins I have but we must be near the 50 mark by now including my cousins kids!
Any way back to Nan, for as long as I can remember she has been kind, nice, friendly and welcoming to everybody! Despite if people hurt her or were selfish she always put other people first! Saturdays at my Nanny Pat's was like a social club, as kid it was brilliant! Everyone would be at hers, there was always food on offer and Tea (I blame her and my Dad for my love of Tea!!), not to mention copious amounts of biscuits! And there would be a load of us cousins together having fun!
Sadly we lost my Grandad when I was 11, it knocked the family for six, but from what I saw my nan carried on, being independent! She eventually moved out of her flat in Finchley (thanks to the help of my uncle) and moved to a lovely little house in Welwyn where the Saturday meet ups continued!
My Nan was always out and about, doing her own shopping, or meeting up with her sister in town for a game of bingo!
Then things started to change for my Nan, I cannot be totally sure when this happened but I am convinced it was following an accident she had. One day whilst out on one of these trips she was getting on a bus, the driver pulled away too quickly and she fell and broke her wrist!
She was never the same after this! I am convinced this was the start of her Dementia (Alzheimer's) Things started to change slowly, first a number of my aunts / uncles (and my mum) had concerns about how Nan was looking after herself and her health in general!
She started to go out less, loosing weight and starting to look old (not a surprise considering she was over 80). Then the unthinkable started, she became very forgetful, you would visit her and she wasn't sure if she had eaten lunch, by this time she had carers (if you could call them that) coming in to check on her 3 times a day.
Gradually over about a year the Nanny Pat as everybody knew her had started to change, the short term memory was disappearing, and once when we visited her at home she was unable to remember my daughters name, this was horrible, I know its not Nan's fault it was this horrible and cruel disease! I know a lot of the family would have experience something similar and it pains me to see her in that way, you can tell at times there is that vacant look in her eyes, it looks as though Nan is away deep in thought ..... she she has also developed the shakes in her hand!
Nanny Pat is now in residential care, she has been in a fantastic home for nearly a year now but each time I visit it hurts that little bit more! This once great Nan has been reduced to a frail old lady that struggles with her own memory and is reliable on other people to help her stand now!
It is a disease I never ever want another family to have to go through, but with no cure in sight this is going to be a big challenge and one which I hope in some little way to be able help with!
If anyone else is going through something similar you have my sympathies it is a cruel and disgusting disease that robs the people it attacks and hurst so many of the family around them!
Thought I would share some pictures of my Nan, I asked some of my cousins to share some pics and this is the result, they are from different periods but I think its clear you can see a change! 😔