Liz's Journal - Caernarfon 2005

Page 43

Altzheimers is a terrible disease, slowly robbing you of your loved one. The body still remains but the person you once knew and whose habits were so familiar has disappeared. I don't know how much my grandmother remembers.

During her 'good days' she will ask how I've been, how mom and dad are and how my studies are going. We can have a perfectly 'normal' conversation and I feel as if she managed to 'break through' the Altzheimers. The feeling disappears however when comments like "So how is your husband?" or "How is your little one?" come up. It's then that I realise that the entire conversation was a play, a show, she didn't have any idea who I am or what I was talking about.

After moving to a new nursing home, visiting granny now required catching a bus and a long walk up a hill. It was worth it as it was located in one of the most beautiful areas in Caernarfon.

The nursing home was a privately owned mansion before being converted to a deluxe hotel. When the owner passed away he bequeathed the building and the surrounding grounds to a trustee who converted it into a nursing home. All the original furniture, decorating and carpeting are still in place giving the home an air of grace.

Although her mental state had depleted since our last visit I am happy to say that she was still mobile and we went for lovely walks, passing meadows and crossing over streams before heading back for some tea and biscuits.

I was sad when we left, saying good-bye is always difficult but I think the parting was hardest on mom. Granny was oblivious to our tears and our final farewell, shouting after us that she would see us soon.