Australian comedian Magda Szubanski has posted a heartfelt message on social media, describing her mother’s gradual decline into dementia.
The former Kath and Kim star wrote that her mother is here physically, but mentally she is “already half in the spirit world”.
Along with the message, she shared a photo of a landscape painting her mother did a number of years ago, something Szubanski still treasures today.
Every day, Mum recedes more and more. She is here physically but mentally she is already half in the spirit world. If such a thing even exists. This painting hangs in my bedroom and I cherish it. It is one of the few things she will leave when she goes. She had a couple of lessons in her early 70s and banged out this and a few others. Sure, it's not Vincent. And it's a copy. Still, I couldn't paint that. And for an elderly Scottish migrant who came here at the age of 41 I think she has a great feel for the Aussie light and landscape. #artfromtheheart Just to be clear and allay any concerns – her death is not imminent, as far as I know! But she is definitely fading. Thanks for your kind thoughts
“This painting hangs in my bedroom and I cherish it,” she wrote.
“It is one of the few things she will leave when she goes.
“She had a couple of lessons in her early 70s and banged out this and a few others.”
“And for an elderly Scottish migrant who came here at the age of 41 I think she has a great feel for the Aussie light and landscape [SIC].”
It’s not the first time Szubanski has spoken about the agonising journey of watching a loved one slowly slip away.
Earlier this year she shared a video of her holding her mother’s hand as they sat quietly in a garden.
Mum and I spend a lot of time like this these days. Just sitting quietly holding hands. She's fading so fast. Good days and bad days. She's often not sure if I'm her mother or her sister or her daughter. I go in nearly every day and sit with her or take her for drives if she's able. And every day I see all the other daughters doing the same thing. A secret army of #carers #motherdaughterlove As Bette Davis said, "Old age ain't no place for sissies." Just to be clear, I'm not her full time carer but I do as much as I can. And always fear it's not enough
“Mum and I spend a lot of time like this these day,” she wrote. “Just sitting quietly holding hands.”
Dementia affects more than 400,000 Australians and that number is expected rise to more than 500,000 by 2025.
The condition is degenerative with symptoms often including loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and physical functioning.
Because of the nature of the symptoms, dementia patients often require full-time care after a certain point, which can put considerable strain of family members.