Judi Love has opened up about her mother’s heartbreaking battle with dementia, and says she ‘screamed and cried’ when her mum forgot who she was.
The comedian, 39, from East London, appeared on Loose Women today, where she opened up about her mother amid a discussion with guest Judy Parfitt, 84, from Sheffield, about her late husband’s experience with the degenerative disease.
Judi explained that her mum, who she cared for until her death in 2009, couldn’t remember who she was due to the condition, which causes a deterioration in memory.
The panelist told that she was left ’emotionally drained’ by her mother’s condition, and detailed how tough it is seeing someone ‘you’ve grown with and you’ve loved’, turn into a ‘shell’ of a person.
She said: ‘The spirit of the person is gone and you’ve got the shell. As a carer, I can’t even explain the emotional [impact]. It’s so draining.’
‘I remember one time I was with my mum, she just didn’t know who I was. I went to my friends house, and I went to the kitchen and I just screamed and cried and cried and cried.
‘I can’t explain seeing someone you’ve grown with or you’ve loved and they’re gone, they’re absolutely gone.’
However, Judy told that there were glimmers of hope amid her mother’s battle, and remembered that she once realised who Judy was and told her daughter she was “so sorry” that she hadn’t recognised her.
Judi told: ‘I remember one time my mum was able to just stop for a minute and realise she’d lost her memory. ‘She just turned to me and said “I’m so sorry I don’t remember”‘.
The comic went on to insist that it’s important to speak about dementia, and urged those whose loved ones have the condition to see it from their point of view.
She said: ‘I say it is important coming on here and talking about it.
‘It’s a shock to your system, but imagine the person going through it, knowing one day and then not even remembering who you are. ‘
Elsewhere, Call the Midwife star Judy, told how her late husband, Tony Steedman, who died in 2001, turned into a ‘child’ due to the disease.
She explained that she has been working with Dementia UK’s Time for a Cuppa campaign, which is raising money to help dementia specialist nurses to support more families facing dementia.
Judy said: ‘It’s very strange. With my husband I lost my husband that I loved, but I gained a child that I loved.
‘They become your children. It’s wonderful there was someone I could talk to who understood.’
The stage and screen star went on to explain that while it was difficult to cope with the ‘horrendous’ disease, the only way to deal with it is to take each day at a time.
She said: ‘It’s very insidious, it climbs in very gently. You either get on with it, or you get in.
‘I remember once standing in the kitchen and the future just frightened me so much and I thought “No”.
‘I have to shut that in a little room in the back of my mind and just get on with it, but it’s horrendous.’