My mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2010. This is a blog about coming to terms with her absent mind.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A short break

Mum happily went off to Torbay with Ray and Sandra this morning. It will be a nice break for her, she likes Paignton and will get to see her brother.

Yesterday I helped her to choose which clothes to pack. Rummaging through her wardrobe was something of an eye-opener when I realised that each hanger had at least 7 things stuffed in, on and around each other and the bottom of the wardrobe had more things bundled up and shoved in higgledy piggledy. Virtually everything was stained, dirty or in need of repair and it does explain why she appears to wear the same few things over and over. Without any fuss I just started hanging things properly, sifting and sorting, making washing piles and interestingly she let me do it.

After they'd left this morning I had a look in the chest of drawers. It is clear that there hasn't been much laundry done in a very long while - I'd say at least 12 months if not more. So more sorting, sifting and a fair amount of slinging has been going on. I can honestly say that I've never seen so many clothes! And just how many black sparkly tops does one woman need?? It has occurred to me that Ma probably doesn't even know that charity shops take unwanted clothes and even if she did she is a product of the war and therefore if she's never knowingly thrown away a tablespoon of gravy she would never throw any clothes out. Thrillingly I have three more double wardrobes, another chest of drawers, a couple of hundred pairs of shoes and all the matching handbags still to go...

I hope no one thinks that I am doing this for the wrong reasons. What she chooses to wear with what isn't terribly important in the grand scheme of things but I will do my utmost to ensure that it is clean, not damaged and doesn't make her an easy target for mockery. 

Hopefully by the time Ma gets back I will have dealt with the monster pile of ironing I seem to be creating for myself and everything will be stain-free, fragrant, folded neatly and easy to find. Yeah right.


  1. You are a wonder.....and when you've finished, fancy having a rootle in my wardrobe?!

  2. Ha! I am still struggling with the concept of a 'wardrobe' and 'choice'. I knew Dad bought her whatever she wanted but blimey. Simon asked me how she managed to choose what to take on holiday... Silly boy! She got new stuff.

  3. My mom was a clothes hound and had enormous walk in closets full of clothes. She always had matching jewelry and shoes and purses. Now shes in a home with a pint size closet and they think she has too many clothes since she packs them, unpacks them, packs them several times a day. They had us take all but 10 sets home. She thinks someone stole her clothes. I have boxes and boxes and boxes and closets and garage hanging clothes everywhere. As you said, in the grand theme of things maybe less is better as long as presentable; and at a nursing home no matter if you mark it or not, things get lost.