Power of Attorney

Travelling down to Northampton today to see my Dad. I have to sign some forms that will give he and I Power of Attorney over the affairs of my 93-year old Uncle, who is slipping inexorably into dementia.

His house, his finances and his life are all a mess, indicating that the poor guy is no longer able to cope. He’s been in hospital for 6 weeks now after a fall that left him bruised and battered but otherwise apparently intact. However, his lucid periods are growing shorter & shorter, though it has to be said that there is a comical element about some of the delusional statements he has been coming out with.

For example, he was refusing to take any medication because – according to him – all the nurses and staff on his ward were involved in an international drug-smuggling cartel. Also, he reckons that some guy has been into his house and stolen all his clothes, which he is holding for ransom. Overall, though, not much humour to be gleaned from this particular scenario.

What I do find so extraordinary about all of this though is the way in which this guy’s mind has seemingly been liberated from a lifetime of conditioning; all of his filters have gone and his imagination has been set free to wander where it will. I do wonder if people who are close to the end of their lives go through a sort of massive dump of one kind or another.

My Uncle’s mind is currently flying free for the first time since he was a kid and in the period immediately before the death of my Mother, I remember her telling me loads of stories of her childhood and early life that I had never heard before. Her death was as sudden as it was unexpected, but I found myself wondering afterwards if this sudden outpouring of stories was due to some sixth sense that her time was nearly up.

I’m a total sceptic when it comes to life after death, but it does make you wonder……


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