Núria hugs Fina after arguing with her for an hour to get her to take the medication. Her neurodegenerative disease is very unpredictable. Temper swings are very usual. Fina can change in just a few minutes from being angry to being happy, or from knowing who you are to not even knowing your name. The isolation and lack of monitoring of her pathology have meant that after a year of pandemic, her degree of Alzheimer's has increased a lot.
Fina lifts her legs while the robot vacuum cleaner passes under her feet. She, the photographer's grandmother, is eighty-five years old and suffers from Alzheimer's. In 1997 Fina suffered an embolism from which she recovered. In November 2019, after a stroke, she was diagnosed with dementia to a reduced degree. Due to the little follow-up that the rest of the pathologies have received due to COVID-19, during the home lockdown, her dementia has increased exponentially.
Fina wrote her name on a Christmas postcard that she is going to mail to her son Sergi. Although with difficulty, sometimes she manages to write a few words. It's an important exercise to try to work her mental agility and stop her neuronal degeneration.
Fina looks at the food while Núria serves lunch. She isn't hungry as a symptom of COVID-19 and suffers from intestinal issues and vomiting.
Fina gently touches Núria’s hair, her daughter, while taking a nap with Laia, Fina's granddaughter. Núria is Fina's main caregiver. During the confinement, she received paid leave from work so that she could take care of her mother. Before COVID-19, Fina went daily to a day centre for older people, which had to close during the pandemic. Laia finished her university degree telematically at home and in her free time, she helped her mother take care of Fina.
Fina holds her head while waiting for dinner to be able to go to bed. The fatigue and discomfort that COVID-19 has generated means that around seven in the evening, Fina already needs to go to sleep. We try to extend it a little since she usually wakes up and screams during the night and interrupts the sleep of everybody sleeping at home. She thinks that it is already daylight and shouts: "Bon día!" or "Mama!", referring to her daughter.
Fina violently holds Núria's hand, who is trying to give her a pill. After one and a half hours, she couldn't get her to take it and, giving up, finally put her to sleep. Fina often thinks her medication is some kind of poison we give her to kill her and refuses to take it. I imagine it's because her brain associates medication with something bad. She takes antipsychotics and anxiolytics to be able to sleep, which leaves her even more stunned.
Núria puts her mother's pyjamas on her and then puts her to bed. After Fina's positive PCR result and while waiting for ours, the doctor recommended confining Fina into a room in the house. Doing this is impossible because of her dependence. In the first days of isolation, we used the mask at home as a precaution. Finally, after our positive results, we stopped using it.
Fina gripes the bed sheet tightly as she tries to sleep. Although she sometimes sleeps peacefully, this is not a regular occurrence. She is used to waking up and screaming during the night, interrupting the sleep of the rest of us who sleep at home. She thinks it is already daylight and shouts: "Bon dia!" or "Mama!" referring to her daughter.
Laia and Núria try to cheer Fina up by giving her kisses and saying nice things. Usually, Fina is so absent-minded that she spends the day dozing off or looking lost. Some days she is more conscious, although it is getting increasingly strange.
Fina, between the bars of the railing, sits on the landing waiting for a technician to repair the building's lift. Due to Fina's mobility difficulties, we were unable to help her to go above the first floor. The isolation and lack of follow-up of her pathology has meant that after a year of the pandemic, her degree of Alzheimer's has increased dramatically.
Fina is waiting before her entrance in the Centre Parc Residence, a nursing home for elderly dependent people. She has not yet crossed the plastic border that keeps her from the other residents because of Covid-19. The waiting list to obtain a public place in a nursing home is usually around four years or more. Fina is waiting for a public place. Regardless, due to her increasing illness and complications with the compatibility of her home care and work life. After extensive reflection by the family, they finally decided to place her in a private nursing home near home.