So I went to visit my Aunt

on the other side of town.
Mum's youngest sister, now in an aged care facility,
And she asked me why I had come
And what was my name and phone number
Had I met her mother?
She was watching a Hitler documentary
and wished to continue thus,
So rather than disturb the others
I left having written my name and number.
I thought perhaps of those very few minutes
that is my last sight of the older family.
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I thought perhaps of those very few minutes
that is my last sight of the older family.

My brother does genealogy and reports all the older generation are gone...
She had been clear if a little off-beat until just very recently. Such awaits many of us I guess. But I was rather taken aback that she simply did not know me and didn't want to interrupt the TV program to speak with me. I wonder how to convey this to her daughter, in America, but coming back here shortly.
I wonder if the documentary had an effect. My (German) mum went to a memorial service in the grounds of Winchester Cathederal, commemorating the 60th anniversary of VE day. When some original planes flew over, she couldn't work out if they were 'friendly', or not.

My mum wasn't experiencing dementia and it was more likely a PTSD thing, but memory can transport us. A feature of dementia is better recall of earlier memories than more recent, so maybe the documentary about Hitler, about her earlier memories, affected her perception, recall and attention in the moment.

It's natural to draw inference from your aunt not recognising you, but another time she may. Lucidity may come and go, including with changes in medication.

It might be worth visiting again, having a chat with your aunt's carers and/or just allowing yourself some time before speaking with your cousin. Telling your cousin that your aunt didn't recognise you on this occasion and was more interested in watching a documentary is not the same as telling her about how you interpreted that without knowing the whole picture.
"A feature of dementia is better recall of earlier memories than more recent"

We usually assume it to be the inability to recall, however there are other reasons which play a part and may give rise to the phenomenon of lucid moments, or selective recall.
@jac perhaps, but there is too the pain involved in confronting her with her fading memory and whether it is just better to let it pass. I don't know yet. I'll talk to my cousin when she returns.
Confronting whom?
Letting my aunt see that she has forgotten - I don't think I need to insist. We knew each other for so many years, well let it fade. Actually what to do is indeed an issue for me. I do not know.
I still don't understand what your dilema is.

Is it about what information you relay to your cousin before she visits from America, whether your mere presence is distressing and confrontational for your aunt, or whether it's too distressing and confrontational for you to see your aunt?

Or perhaps a mixture of all three that is hard to separate?
Not a criticism but if you start visiting on a regular basis she would get better care and it might help her to remember you. You might look different to her then she remembered.
I agree, and suggest bringing some old photos of yourself that she would have seen before. Maybe some of her too.
Partly the reason we can't remember is because we don't make memories to begin with. Our system gets 'lazy' as we age so we have to consciously do it.
This sounds like a very good idea. thumbs up
I have been in several nursing homes, and seen an assortment of dementia patients. When considering if there is an afterlife; I always wonder (in these cases), what exactly is left to "go anywhere"?..having said that, there is probably no such thing, actually...the Buddhist School of Atheism, would probably be the best bet; IF there is actually anything afterwards; (but even about this; I have my doubts). I think Stephen Hawking had it right; when he said: "there is no heaven, (or afterlife), for broken down old computers" (us), when life becomes biologically extinct...
@lcbr it has nothing to do with theism or the contrary, but rather humanity and a fading human. I will not be missed by someone who no longer knows me, but I'll consult with her daughter, my cousin when she returns to OZ.

It was just me, speculating, on the unlikelyhood, of an "afterlife", (nothing more). I guess the Royal Commission into Aged Care, really shook the Industry up? Of course that's a good thing. Such people are (generally) treated with more compassion, now; in THIS life;- (since there probably isn't one after)...
@lcbr gods are not gods, and afterlife there is none, but humans approaching that denouement should surely be farewelled with grace. Mine is a small family, stemming in part from the first Chinese Australian, and my aunt is the last of this branch to carry his name.
@lcbr gods are not gods, and afterlife there is none, but humans approaching that denouement should surely be farewelled with grace.

Yes, I think that you are right there. Our biological processes are basically the same as the other animals (mammals); and we certainly don't invoke an afterlife for dogs (say) - only for us humans (funnily enough); so, yeah, I would say, that that is a pretty valid observation....
And to anyone, who might consider the above (statements) preposterous, consider this:

In England, a dog has been officially measured (by Oxford University) to have an IQ of 102 (making it smarter than 55% of people), so what makes us think that we are so special???


(The relevant link, sorry, above link not active)...
Nice that you hijack a thread about an old woman to have a conversation with yourself handshake
My next visit would only be in company with my cousin, her daughter. I have no discomfort seeing her, and had hoped to take her for a walk. She seemed to think in previous phone conversations that she was still living in her Blue Mountains home, and that her mother dead well over 30 years was still living. My father too mistook me at one time for his older brother, I remember seeing the surprise then in my mother's eyes.
I had a grandmother like that , she lived with me and called me doctor laugh
Just pointing out a biological fact, you dullard....

Think you're smarter than that dog, there, do you? In your case, I would say probably not!

Besides, which, I don't see "blogmaster Fargo" arguing about said reality, (in fact, I would say, that he rather agrees with me!)

lcbr relevance! deletion looms.
@ Ray (baby)
I say:
"blog master Fargo"
(Whose blog this actually is)

@Ray (baby)
If you can't stand the heat; stay out of the kitchen.

And quit launching (unprovoked) ad hominem attacks, upon innocent Atheists (such as myself!)

As I was saying the Royal Commission into Aged Care, has really shaken up, what was (at times), a pretty rotten industry. Now, there are Government Inspectors; who may visit any nursing home, at any time of the day 24/7. This (unsurprisingly), has forced many substandard homes, to suddenly "lift their game"

thumbs up
this facility as it happens is Uniting Church, although I am sure my aunt like me has never embraced any church. Basic facilities, but years hence who know what awaits me.
Churches are (probably) useful, in their capacity to organise things like this. Jesus probably didn't exist, although by following his "example" (for a fee, of course), great things may be attained? Or at least "nasty" acts may not be necessarily perpetrated (hopefully). I would not like to go in a home, but everyone says that, don't they. But the time I'm "ready" (probably not); I would wish for a secular nursing home, with plenty of chrome cast YouTube vids on tap!
* Small typo:... but everybody says that, don't they?
@ ray,

I say again. Do you think that you are smarter, than that dog? Don't kid yourself, buddy

@ Fargo

Sorry about that (but I was provoked!)
@ Fargo

At any rate; I hope the last days, of your aunt's existence, are peaceful.....

sad flower
Realization does have its sad moments sigh
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sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Retired but teaching and studying every day, travelling whenever I can and at home wherever I happen to be. From a small family but wishing I were part of a larger one. My students are scattered all over the world, as is my family. Language is a part [read more]