BBC Breakfast’s Nina Warhurst has been very open about the toll that dementia is taking on her family since her father, Chris, was diagnosed with the condition last year.
Today, the 42-year-old revealed that his condition is worsening in a heartbreaking post to her over 20,0000 Instagram followers.
Posting a black and white picture of her father sitting at a table with an almost empty plate in front of him, as he finished eating what appeared to be a cake, she explained the significance.
“Here’s what we Warhursts love more than anything,” she said. “1/ eating 2/ talking about eating
3/ laughing at ourselves for how much we love talking about eating.”(sic)
She continued: “Dementia is tightening its grip quite quickly now. Dad is losing some basic skills and is increasingly reluctant to go out.
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“But we can still make each other laugh out loud in a cafe by raising an eyebrow and delivering deadpan reviews of cinnamon swirls vs tiffin cake, and discussing whether it’s *ever* appropriate to heat coronation chicken.”
She thanked all of the premises they frequent, tagging them in her post and pointed out how attitudes in eateries make a huge difference to families impacted by dementia.
“A tiny bit of patience and empathy from staff goes a long way in giving families living with dementia the confidence to keep venturing out (and trying new cake/ toastie combos if I must).”
Ending on a joke she said: “BTW it’s tuna melt & rocky road 4EVA for me. Cheese toastie & cinnamon swirl for him. But our research will continue …..”
Nina, who is expecting her third child, recently made a short documentary for BBC Breakfast about the realities of life as her dad’s condition deteriorates.
Speaking about it on the show she admitted: “We were surprised at how hard it was, his parents had dementia, he was prepared for it, and he expected it.
“His house was in order, his paperwork was in order, and we thought that transition would be as smooth as it could possibly be.
“But first of all the diagnosis, so from the early signs that something was wrong, it’s a protracted process because they are monitoring someone’s deterioration over a certain period of time.
“If they drop considerably in that time it is stressful for the family and it becomes quite dangerous so that was really hard.
“But on top of that you are taking over another adult’s life. You are taking over their phone,” she professed.
The star continued to explain: “Their car insurance, their dental appointments, their audiology, so all of that life admin falls on your plate and some organisations were supportive and helpful and empathic.
“And some it was like banging your head against a brick wall. The collective mass of stress was huge, the grief of losing the person you love, you haven’t got time for that.”
“We have been fortunate that my dad has never gotten angry.
“I know that can happen with different forms of dementia, but he didn’t understand it was happening.
“Having to tell little fibs all the time just broke your heart but it was in his best interest. There were times when ‘if I don’t fib to him to get us over this hump, we are not going to get there’.”