My mum’s dementia means she forgets she has grandkids – she’s overjoyed to ‘meet’ them for the first time each day
- Jade Mead’s, 35, from Perth, mother forgets that she has grandchildren
- Read More: Is your memory loss usual for your age… or is it a sign of DEMENTIA?
A mum with dementia forgets her grandchildren so finds out she’s a grandmother each day for the ‘first time’ – and her reaction is bittersweet.
Jade Mead, 35, from Perth, takes her children Marli, three, and Lottie, three months old, to see their grandmother Josie and said she always says ‘Jade, you didn’t tell me you had children’.
Josie Hunt, 65, was diagnosed with Korsakoff syndrome – an alcohol-induced form of dementia – in October 2020.
It means the Australian woman struggles with her short-term memory and forgets she has grandchildren.
Jade Mead, 35, from Perth, Australia, takes her children Marli, three, and Lottie, three months old, to see their grandmother Josie, 65, (right) but she forgets she’s a grandmother and her reaction is bittersweet
Despite the surprise, Josie is never annoyed about it and loves cuddling Marli and Lottie like it is the first she has met them.
Jade, who is a fitness coach, says Josie doesn’t remember her sister Hayley Hunt, 41, has a baby either.
Jade said: ‘It’s a strange one as she has all her long-term memory still.
‘It’s a bittersweet moment when she sees the kids.’
Josie developed her form of dementia after drinking alcohol following a gastric sleeve operation in February 2020, Jade said.
Her condition deteriorated quickly, and she was diagnosed with Korsakoff syndrome in October 2020.
Jade said: ‘I believe it stemmed from the gastric sleeve operation.
‘Her health started declining from there. She looked so frail.
Josie Hunt, 65, was diagnosed with Korsakoff syndrome – an alcohol-induced form of dementia – in October 2020
She struggles with her short-term memory and forgets she has grandchildren but is always happy to see them
Jade, (pictured) who is a fitness coach, says Josie doesn’t remember her sister Hayley Hunt, 41, has a baby either
Jade posed with her husband Ryan after their daughter Lottie was born
Baby Lottie is now three months old and Josie loves cuddling Lottie and Marli like it is the first she has met them
What is Korsakoff syndrome?
Korsakoff syndrome is a memory disorder that results from vitamin B1 deficiency and is associated with alcoholism.
Korsakoff’s syndrome damages nerve cells and supporting cells in the brain and spinal cord, as well as the part of the brain involved with memory.
Treatment involves replacement of thiamine and providing proper nutrition and hydration.
In some cases, drug therapy is also recommended.
‘She had been drinking alcohol which we didn’t know about, and you shouldn’t do that.’
It is believed the alcohol consumption prevented essential nutrients reaching the brain – causing damage and memory loss.
Jade said: ‘She declined very quickly. She wasn’t making any sense.’
Josie has been told her mum shouldn’t decline any further for a while and says she is able to see the positives in the moments she meets her children each time.
She said: ‘She’s always been very loving.
‘My three-year-old doesn’t ask any questions but I just tell her, “Nanny forgets”.’
Josie is now living in a supported living home.
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