Woman has not gone out in seven years in order to take care of her father who suffers from dementia
A woman has dedicated 13 years of her life to her parents and barely leaves the house, especially since her father suffers from. dementia. TVM met with Betty Barbara who takes care of her father, Ġużi who does not even recognise his own daughter any more. A few days ago, Betty was awarded the prize of informal carer during a national awards ceremony in the sector of dementia, by the Parliamentary Secretary For Disability and Active Ageing, Anthony Agius Decelis.
Betty Barbara lives with her parents, Salvina and Ġużi. We found her explaining gently to her father that he needs to drink and that no one was going to take the bread he has on the table. Ġużi believes he is still living in war times and is afraid he is going to go hungry.
Betty retired from work 13 years ago to take care of her parents, her father is 87 and her mother is 89. She told us that seven years ago, her father was stricken by dementia and has ended up living in isolation. He no longer recognises his daughter, his wife nor his other daughter and her children. Betty said that it is a heartbreaking that her father doesn’t recognise her and dreams that maybe one day he will call out her name.
“If one day he realises that I am his daughter, I would burst our crying,” she said.
Betty is completely dedicated to taking care of her parents and rarely goes out expect to go shopping for their daily needs, or when she sneaks out to go hear Mass. Despite the fact that she is always inside, and barely sleeps because her father wakes up a lot, Betty feels at peace and is content.
“I have given up going out with friends, and my only free time is in the morning; I see the neighbours when I go shopping and when I go to hear Mass every day.”
Betty’s mother, Salvina, has taken it very badly that her husband no longer recognises her or their children.
Salvina said, “he tells me I don’t have any children, and that breaks my heart when I remember how much he loved them.”
Although she has made so many sacrifices for her parents, it is heartwarming to see Betty tenderly hugging her father to put his mind at race that she will never leave him.