My name's Judy, and my mother, Mary, has dementia. She's now living in a high care facility, because she came into problems with her medication. She took her daily dose, then forgot and took another dose. And it's very frightening. And I feel relieved now knowing that she's in permanent care and that she has specially-trained staff who know how to look after her and tend to her needs.
I visit her most weekends, but it's a three-hour drive. But that was the closest facility that we could get her to at that time. There is one closer to home that we're waiting on, and when that's available, she'll be moved over and closer to home. But in the meantime, it's a long drive, a three-hour drive.
Sometimes when I visit, Mum can seem so vacant. And then there's other days where she can be with us, right on. And she'll tell me off for my jangly earrings.
I find it hard sometimes to try and fit it all in. I'm a very proud grandmother, and I love to see the little ones on the weekend. And the guilt of trying to fit everybody in just gets to you.
My friend told me about this carers' counselling service, and I'd never heard of it before. And I gave them a call, and they were marvellous. It was just so great to talk to somebody who knew what I was going through and could understand and even just somebody to listen. It's a great service, a fabulous service.