Singaporean TV Host and Her Brother Discuss Their Mother’s FTD Journey and Family Caregiving
Siblings living in Singapore opened up about their mother’s FTD diagnosis and feelings of “caregiver’s guilt” in a recent article for Singaporean news outlet AsiaOne.
Munah Bagharib — a known comedienne, TV host, and actress in Singapore — and her brother Ziyad Bagharib, told AsiaOne about how their family supports their mother, Azeezah Aidid, who was 61 when she was diagnosed with FTD in 2017.
“Being thrust into this caregiver role is not something you see coming, it’s not something you decide to become, but all of a sudden, you return from a doctor’s appointment and you’re a caregiver for someone with dementia,” Ziyad said in the Nov. 7 article.
Azeezah’s difficulty with correctly identifying objects alerted the family to seek medical attention for answers. When she underwent cognitive testing and displayed difficulty with naming as many animals as she could in a minute, Ziyad said he was “pretty shaken up” about his mother’s status.
“I think [Azeezah] was probably shaken up by that too, as it was the first time she confronted the reality that she’s undergoing some changes,” Ziyad shared.
Munah discussed her feelings of caregiver’s guilt in not always feeling positive in the wake of her mother’s diagnosis, saying that “sometimes I don’t have it in me, or I don’t have the energy to be [a positive presence], and I wish I could be that all the time.”
She continued: “You need to know that how you feel is absolutely valid…Sometimes you just need to recharge and then come back because you do need to be that source of positivity.”
The siblings also shared how they spend more time focusing on the quality of their mother’s life instead of being consumed with the realities of her diagnosis.
“There are things about the condition that make her day-to-day life quite frustrating, but there’s many other things in her day besides that,” the pair said in the article.
Munah reflected on maintaining a close relationship with Azeezah, saying that “she still wants to be very much involved in my life, so I still talk to her about dating; that was the big thing I used to talk to her about.”
Read the full AsiaOne article here.