Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Avoiding the elephant.

Does Okaasan KNOW she has dementia?
Does she think about it herself?

Being a typical Japanese family here we don't talk about the elephant in the room - the dementia itself. Of course Okaasan makes comments about: "ahh, must be going senile!" when she is confused or forgetful, but most people do that.

Right is a cutting from the Hokkaido Newspaper of August 4, the Velo Taxi NPO's workshop about dementia etc and a nice pic of Yujiro driving an 85 year old lady and her carer around Sapporo.
One of my students gave it to me yesterday.
 We don't have the newspaper at home, so we'd heard about it - but not seen it.

I made a slightly bigger copy of it, came home and gave it to Okaasan.

Is this bad of me?

I really, really don't think so. You can't avoid elephants sitting on the sofa surrounded by underpants.

It's entirely natural to come home with a pic of him in the local newspaper and show it to his mum. She always enjoys stories about his work. And any mum is pleased to see their kid in the newspaper (well, not for murder I guess...).

So. Entirely natural.

But I did wonder. What did she make of it? The topic: dementia and how talking about long ago memories and visiting old places may stave off the inevitable etc.
I exclaimed a bit about the picture with her - how my student recognised him etc, what a big grin he has as always etc...but didn't say anything about the dementia topic. 

Should I have said something?

Okaasan took the cutting into her room and I saw her looking at it several times in the evening.
We had family dinner and the newspaper cutting picture didn't come up in chat...and so..

The elephant settles back on the sofa and puts his feet back up.

1 comment:

  1. that's a good question... often wonder it too...but then when "confronted" with it... they often don't recognize the dementia part... "that's not me" type thing. but i guess if they recognized they had it, they wouldnt be sick??? interesting issue that...
    nice newspaper pic btw!