Grandma ‘discovers’ she has grandchildren each day due to dementia

Dr Hilary lists the early symptoms of dementia

A grandmother who suffers from dementia meets her grandchildren each day for the “first time” in “bittersweet” moment.

Josie Hunt, a 65-year-old woman diagnosed with Korsakoff syndrome – a form of dementia induced by alcohol, rediscovers she is a grandmother each day. Despite her memory challenges, Josie’s reaction to meeting her grandchildren is bittersweet and filled with love.

Josie’s daughter, Jade Mead, 35, brings her children Marli, three, and Lottie, just three months old, to visit their grandmother regularly. Every time they meet, Josie expresses surprise, saying: “Jade, you didn’t tell me you had children.”

Josie is never upset by “discovering” her grandchildren, and loves cuddling both her granddaughters.

Not only does Josie forget about her grandchildren, but she also doesn’t remember that her sister Hayley Hunt, 41, has a baby.

Jade, a fitness coach hailing from Perth, Australia, said: “It’s a strange one as she has all her long-term memory still. It’s a bittersweet moment when she sees the kids.”

Josie’s dementia was triggered by alcohol consumption following a gastric sleeve operation in February 2020. Unfortunately, her health deteriorated rapidly, leading to the diagnosis of Korsakoff syndrome in October of the same year.

Jade believes her mother’s decline can be traced back to the gastric sleeve operation.

She said: “I believe it stemmed from the gastric sleeve operation. Her health started declining from there. She looked so frail. She had been drinking alcohol which we didn’t know about, and you shouldn’t do that.”

The excessive intake of alcohol is believed to have deprived Josie’s brain of vital nutrients, resulting in brain damage and memory loss. Jade explained: “She declined very quickly. She wasn’t making any sense.”

Despite the challenges Josie faces, she has been informed that her condition is not expected to worsen significantly in the near future. In each precious moment she spends with her grandchildren, Josie sees the positive side.

She said: “She’s always been very loving. My three-year-old doesn’t ask any questions but I just tell her, ‘Nanny forgets’.”

Josie now resides in a supported living home where she receives the care and assistance she needs.

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