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Then, when my mother’s Alzheimer’s became so acute that she could no longer cope alone, I moved in with her in May 2018, I moved from Shoreditch, east London, to Kingfisher Cottage on the southern side of the Isle of Wight to take care of my 89-year-old mother, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. She had reached a stage where she couldn’t live alone any more nor could she rely solely on the kindness and support of neighbours. Up until then, my brother had taken care of Mum from a distance, but the time had come for someone to move in and take care of her, and my brother and I decided that I was going to do it. While the decision came from deep within and felt right, I was dreading moving from hip and trendy east London to the Isle of Wight and dealing with my mother. We hadn’t always had the easiest of relationships. There was a residue of tension between us since my parents’ divorce when I was 14. And I didn’t know anything about caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. I didn’t think I could handle living in a small coastal village. At the same time, I was going through my own mini crisis – I had chronic lower-back pain, I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my life, where I wanted to live, what I was interested in, who I wanted to be. My own mind was confused. In a weird way, my mother and I were going through a similar thing, we were both stuck in our heads. I had no idea that through the course of the summer we were going to help and heal each other.

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Article by Damien Whitmore, Published by The Guardian.


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