I am using old photos that belong to Tony’s cousin Alison in my new Dina Wakley art journal. Alison has dementia and the photos mean nothing to her, and there is no one to pass them onto. By using them, I honour the memories and build a stronger (internal to me) connection with her, which will help as I take over more of the ‘pastoral care’ as her memory fades.
In December we helped her sell her home and buy a serviced apartment at Jane Winstone Retirement Village. Sadly, she is already unable to stay there due to her deteriorating capacity. Next week she will move into a room the resthome proper so she can be better cared for. Tony and I are working through the process of selling her apartment back to Jane Winstone, and then getting rid of excess furniture etc. It’s a sad process, and one that I have done before, with my own Aunt J.
I know this – tell people you love them, label your photos, write down your stories, do stuff you enjoy when you can. Life is short, and memories are fragile.