thumbs down

My mother holds three Masters degrees (Education, Philosophy, and Psychology).  Being highly educated has been, to her, a very important part of her personality. She considered anyone uneducated as less intelligent and just…less of a person.

When she saw someone use a thumbprint instead of sign a document/ cheque, she would wrinkle her nose. Being an अंगूठा छाप (one who needs a thumbprint for a signature), was, to her, the ultimate insult.

Things have changed now. She cannot sign any more, not even hold a pen correctly. She does not remember her name, or remember what writing is.Today, with great hesitation, we needed her thumbprint on a life certificate that the authorities require. I was dreading her reaction  —  but she did not seem to register what was happening as the doctor (with an expertise that shows this problem is common enough) pressed her thumb on an ink-pad and took its impression.

I don’t know whether to feel relieved that she did not mind, or to feel that her not minding is yet another tragedy of her situation…

My blog entries of my experiences of looking after my bedridden mother(she is in late-stage dementia) are available here: Late stage care (Caring for mother).

Resources to understand late stage care are available here: Late-stage dementia care page of Dementia Care Notes


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About Swapna Kishore
I'm a writer, blogger, and resource person for dementia/ caregiving in India. I have also been a dementia caregiver for well over a decade, and am deeply concerned about dementia care in India; on this blog I share my personal caregiving journey, my experiences as a resource person for dementia care, and musings on life, aging, dementia in India, and such sundries. More about me and the work I do for dementia care. For structured information on dementia, for discussions, tools and tips on caregiving issues, for resources in India, and for caregiver interviews, please check my website http://dementiacarenotes.in (or its Hindi version, http://dementiahindi.com). For videos on dementia caregiving (English and Hindi), check the youtube channel here.

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