My Demented Mom

5 million Americans suffer from Dementia. My mom is one of them. A site for young adult caregivers struggling and coping with "the long goodbye."

Family Caregiver Award Winner – Kathy Ritchie (Primary Caregiver for her mother, a resident of Beatitudes Campus, Phoenix, AZ)The Exceptional Friend or Family Caregiver Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding compassion and abilities in one-on-one caregiving for a friend or family member living with dementia. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the event in […]

Kathy Ritchie’s mother is living, yet she is mourned for her loss of self. She suffers from dementia. Ritchie, founder of the blog My Demented Mom, visited HuffPost Live to discuss the disease affecting five million Americans and her personal struggles with her own mom’s diagnosis. “It is painful, it is a trauma,” she told host Nancy Redd of the crippling […]

I got the call while I was on assignment in Tucson with a colleague. “I need to talk to you about your mom. She’s not fitting in.” Of course she’s not. She has Frontotemporal dementia. She yells. You knew this. You accepted her knowing she would yell. I hate you. I returned to our table. […]

Life with my demented mom was proceeding rather smoothly in recent days………………. by smoothly, I mean mostly bumpy, lots of twists and turns, blind spots and a few “watch for falling rocks” signs dotting the road………….. And then she drank dish soap. The trauma of vomiting and ingesting something that should never ever be ingested […]

I’ve been thinking a lot about Amanda Knox (yes, the Foxy Knoxy)…. the American student who was imprisoned for some four years in Italy…. I’ve been thinking about her because much has been written about her ordeal, what she went through day in and day out, her routines, her rituals, the things she did each and […]

I started this blog to chronicle and share my experience with my mom and her disease… but the more I wrote, the more it forced me to examine my own relationship with my mom (and myself)—before she became my demented mom. It’s easy to lose sight of the “before” when the present is always is […]

It’s been a while since my last post. Sorry about that. New job and all… these blog posts are sometimes tough to write… not because it’s especially difficult to express myself, but rather because I feel like we’re in a bit of a lull. Nothing is really happening with my mother. She’s mostly the same. […]

Watching my mom become agitated and anxious when she’s in my own home is stressful. We have our routine together and it doesn’t usually involve trekking over to my house, just a 15 minute drive away. However, when we do mix things up a bit and end up at my place, I can’t help but wonder […]

I’ve been on this road since I was 28 or so. I think. I’m 34 now. I can’t really imagine my life without this disease. Even though my mother is the one who’s sick, her dementia affects me too. Although I’m at a point now where I don’t miss what could have been (rather, it doesn’t […]

My mom turns 74 today. She has no idea that today’s her birthday. She doesn’t even know I’m coming over to ring in her big 7-4. I bought her hot pink nail polish, a pair of earrings and Almond Joy. Happy Birthday mommy.

My mom pooped her pants. Actually, it was a tiny accident. She can control her bowels (and her bladder too)…………….. you just have to get her to a bathroom when she has to go—cause let’s face it: When you gots to go, you gots to go. I tried. There was a line. I rushed her […]


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