Tuesday, 10 March 2015

My Lovely Nanny Joyce

For those of you that read the blog who are friends and family you will all know who my Nanny Joyce is. You may remember her meeting me from school three times of week to give me a bag of sweets and pocket money (even when I was 16). You may have noticed how fab she looks at 93 sat at various Christenings, baby showers and weddings. She is also is the inspiration for my girls middle name. You can't beat an old lady name for a small child. Fact.

What you might not know is that in the past few years she has been diagnosed as having Dementia. When chatting to her at my son's birthday party you will think how amazing she looks for her age, but a few hours later she sadly won't remember she was even there. I can go and visit and she can give me an in depth knowledge of Kerry Katona's children but will also offer my husband a drink 10, 20, 30 times. In the space of an hour.


I know that my Mum sees a side of my Nan that we, her grandchildren, don't see and has worked tirelessly to ensure Nan is happy living in her own home and that her Dementia doesn't rule her life. She has a giant clock in her living room showing the time and the day (because she wouldn't want to miss Strictly would she?!). Most days she goes to visit friends or has people to pop into see her. At 93 it is hard to see someone you love and admire so very much become forgetful. Names escape her and she still tries to shove a tenner in your hand even if she did it ten minutes before.

To learn more about the illness I recently became a Dementia Friend. If you visit their website you can watch a short video on Dementia and anyone can sign up to become a 'Friend' and receive a book offering you a better insight. For example I wasn't aware that you didn't have to be old to have Dementia. The case study filmed features a lady in her early 60's. It also talks about making small differences to make the sufferers life a bit easier, similar to my Nan's massive comedy clock. A person can live with the disease for many years so tiny things can really make a big difference.


We have had to talk my daughter about her Nanny Joyce. She's 4 and has the tact of a brick. When Nan asks her when she starts school for the 67th time or forgets her name. She looks at us and raises an eyebrow but understands that Nanny is forgetful and answers her politely. It is really important that it is something we talk about in schools and there are resources here if you want to chat to a young person about Dementia.

Dementia is heartbreaking but when I am with Nan and she is there and in the moment, laughing at something my little boy has done or randomly remembering some fact about a celebrity or trying to give me pocket money at the age of 37, everything is OK. She is still my Nanny Joyce, and a lady I love so much I named my very own little lady after her.

I'm working with BritMums and Public Health England alongside the #BritMumsDementiaFriends campaign. 
I have been compensated for my time. All editorial and opinions are my own. 
Visit the Dementia Friends site http://bit.ly/1wglQD4 for more information 
and resources about coping with dementia among family and friends.

21 comments:

  1. This is such a gorgeous post and this photos are beautiful. Your Nanny Joyce looks about 15 years younger than she is! Thanks for sharing your story, it can't be an easy thing to write about xxx

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    1. Ah she is lovely. It is sad but when I am with her she still makes me smile! x

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  2. Aww! She sounds like such a lovely woman! Gorgeous photos! She looks so young for her age! Such a lovely post x

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    1. I know she looks fab! I hope I take after her! x

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  3. What a beautiful tribute to a special lady. The love shines out and I am pleased that learning more about dementia helps. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part.

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    1. Thanks Kate. It was good to get the word out about it x

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  4. I am working on this campaign too and your post made me smile.

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    1. Ah! I went over and read your post too. Forgot to comment. Will pop back now x

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  5. Aww she sounds like a lovely lovely lady, what a beautiful post! The photos are so lovely, I love the birthday cake one.

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    1. She is such a lovely lady and such an inspiration to all the family x

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  6. What a lovely post. She sounds like an amazing lady and you sound like an amazing granddaughter! It's fantastic to be raising awareness like this.

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  7. Oh bless, she looks and sounds just lovely. My Nan also has dementia and its so tough for the family. Really sad thing to go through. Great awareness raising xx Jess x

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    1. It is really hard but she is doing well at the moment. My Mum works really hard to keep her happy x

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  8. She sounds like a wonderful lady- such a lovely post all about her. xx

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  9. Oh your Nanny Joyce sounds amazing. Dementia is such a cruel illness but it seems like Nanny Joyce is happy with it, which is all you can ask for really x

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    1. Most of the time she is happy but the bits she isn't she hides it away from us x

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  10. What a lovely post, both my grandparents & my auntie have dementia and as a family we try to see the funny side of it but it's heartbreaking. I signed up to be a dementia friend, wish I'd done it years ago, it was so quick & easy & not what I thought you had to do. X

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    1. Ah brill! Glad you joined up too! We also have a giggle about it as that's a very British thing to do isn't it? x

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  11. I welled up at this. You've written with so much love and humour. I hope the rest of your nan's life is happy!

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