Following her revelation that her mother, veteran actress Caridad Sanchez, has dementia, Cathy Babao described their current situation as "a long goodbye."
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, she explained, “She remains physically strong. There are good and bad days pero paulit-ulit siya. It’s a long goodbye. Overtime, you slowly lose the person. You just prepare for it. ”
According to the World Health Organization, dementia is "a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities."
Today I was thinking how when my dad suddenly died at age 49 from a heart attack, I didn’t get to have the chance to say goodbye. To say all the things I wanted to tell him, to tell him what a great dad he was, and how grateful I was for everything he had taught me and done for me. I’ve done that countless times through the years through my writing, in my head, and in prayer. Now, perhaps, our Father is giving me this chance at a long goodbye with my mom. To say all the things I need to say, to care for her, and to love her. That thought somehow comforted me. Because throughout this long goodbye, though the time may come when she will no longer remember me, I hope she will continue to feel the care and the love. After all, the heart always knows, and never forgets. #caringchronicles #thelonggoodbye🎈number 22 *Mommy in Tagaytay, November 2016 on our last mother-daughter overnight trip.
Caridad remarked that it is essential that we overcome the stigma over dementia.
“Why keep it a secret? Hindi naman nakakahiya if we can help others with their journey. I know there are other families going through it but who don’t speak about it," she stated.
Cathy added that acceptance of the health condition leads to being equipped with the means to properly care for those who have it.
"Kaya nga dapat may early detection, awareness and acceptance, so we can arm ourselves with the right information and access to right medicines and care. I believe my mom will be happy too knowing she was somehow able to help,” she stated.