My mum’s worst nightmare was developing Alzheimer’s – which is probably why she chose to ignore it for so long

Dementia arrives in many forms. In Hannah’s case, it was a slow, enveloping mist. I compare it to a machine going wrong. Something that functioned beautifully for years starts to shudder and start

It was the 70th birthday of an old village friend and my Mum, Hannah, had nobody to go with.

My father had died a decade before and she had thrown herself into work and carried on perhaps a bit longer than she should have done. She had found some companionship with a delightful and interesting American of similar vintage, but now he too had died and Hannah needed a “chaperone” – so I was volunteered.

My parents had moved to our Essex village in the sixties just after my older sister was born. My Father had lived in London for his entire adult life and took some time to adapt to people saying “hello” in the street, but Mum was from the North and loved the community spirit.

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