Seasoned actress Caridad Sanchez has been fighting dementia for quite some time now – or so says her daughter, Cathy Babao.
Babao recently shared her mom’s condition in an article published on her official website.
She said it was her mother’s dream to portray the role of a “matanda na malilimutin na minsan may moment na nakaka-alala pa siya.”
According to Babao, Sanchez intimated she would do it in a heartbeat even sans fee.
She related, “At this point I don’t know whether I should be grateful that she’s now unknowingly, portraying the dream role she had hoped for many years ago. Perhaps it will help in the coping, if I reframe things this way. Should I think of it as an answered prayer?”
Her mom’s condition is hard for Babao.
“It is the most difficult challenge of my adult life, next to losing my son. Anticipatory grief. This is what this is all over again. With my son, we had two whole weeks to fight, to hope, to pray that he would get better. And when he did not, we had a few days to accept and to surrender,” she shared.
She was actually hesitant in making public her mother’s condition until a friend advised her to simply write about it saying “Your Mom’s a well-respected figure. No one will mock her for her dementia, your revelations about her going through it is sure to benefit more people.”
Not everyone thought it proper.
Sanchez’ son, Alexander Babao, has since issued a statement disputing his sister’s claim.
Taking to Instagram, he wrote, “I Alexander Joseph S. Babao , son of Caridad Sanchez Babao, was shocked by the article published by my sister which was done without permission, violating the privacy, legacy and honor of my Mother.
“My Mom has a mild cognitive handicap that goes with aging. But it is unfair for her to be disrespected like this.
“Under my care, she remains very physically fit, a source of wisdom, strength and blessing to me whenever we have our late night mother and son conversations.
“I thank the public who still continue to show their support, love and respect for my mother.
“However, I question the opportunistic timing of it’s publication by my sister.”
Her sister then issued another statement.
It read in part:
“Knowing mom, she would not want to hide her condition if she knew that sharing our story would help others who are on a similar journey much like the one we find ourselves on right now,” she wrote.
“It was never my intention to disrespect or disparage my mother’s image when I started to write about her dementia on social media. It took me a very long time to decide whether or not I would share our family’s story,” she said.
“There is nothing shameful about admitting that a loved one has dementia. It’s a condition that afflicts a huge percentage of the senior population,” she stressed. “What persons with dementia need above all is time, patience, love, understanding and respect.”
“In sharing my mother’s story, my only motivation is to help other families understand, and come to an acceptance of their loved one’s condition,” she said. “In families where there is no total acceptance, where family members are not on the same page, discord and misunderstanding are most likely to occur. Denial is only to the detriment of the person with dementia.”