THE heartbreak of having a loved one with dementia is the subject of an author’s debut work. Fred Grundy, of Bicester, has used the most personal of experiences, his own mother’s demise into dementia.
So raw and painful are the memories, Mr Grundy wrote the book under the pseudonym Thomas Marshal.
But the 69-year-old former civil servant has now decided to reveal his identity on the release of his book To Care or Not to Care. It is a full and frank account about his mother’s condition, the effect on his entire family and how it nearly drove him to a breakdown.
He said: “It’s a very detailed day-by-day account of the relationship between a son and his mother, whereby the son in the end is in just as bad a nervous position as his mother.
“The doctor actually takes the mother out of the house temporarily to save the son, so the son could recover.
“I didn’t know it at the time, but I was on the verge of breaking down.”
The self-published book has taken four years to convert from a hand-written diary.
It explores looking after of an elderly, senile relative and the decisions that have to be made, including making his mother homeless or face selling the house he bought her to pay for her care. Mr Grundy added: “She didn’t know who I was.
“In periods of lucidity she wanted to die. She would say ‘this is no good, I can’t stand the pain, why don’t they let me die?’”
Of the book, he said: “It’s pretty raw. I know I don’t come out very well in the book.
“But I think the book is a release for me, probably not the final release because my name is not on the cover.”
Mr Grundy believes the book may also give some “reassurance” to other people in a similar situation.
The father-of-two added: “I still have to look at a photo of my mother as a 22-year-old woman to remember her as a young woman.
“The abiding picture is one of a lost 95-year-old haggard woman who didn’t know who I was.”
His mother was persuaded to go into a home in 2006 and died in 2008.
Mr Grundy has changed the character’s names and the location, but events that took place between 2002 and 2006 are all in there.
Copies of the book, priced £10.99 can be ordered in bookshops or online or view www.fast-print.net/bookshop/1031/to-care-or-not-to-care