‘It takes a lot of patience’: Daughters use TikTok to document mother’s journey with dementia


A 78-year-old mom from Las Piñas recently went viral on TikTok after her daughters decided to document and share her daily life as a dementia patient.

Daughters Oya and Ina Arriola said that creating content on the social media platform was unexpected.

“The TikTok page is actually a way for us to intentionally record her progress. Initially, the suggestion of the doctor was for her to write on a day-to-day basis. At some point, it became difficult for her to write and she would forget what was a journal. So we thought, why don’t we do a video journal na lang that she can also watch back.  At the same time, document her progress and inform friends and families how she’s doing,” Ina told The Philippine STAR.

“I think people can relate to how we talk to her, it’s kind of an experience of love because we don’t talk down to her, we don’t babytalk her, we don’t patronize her, we talk to her as we would in an ordinary basis. Kahit papaano, ma-inspire din sila how to deal with somebody who’s dealing with dementia,” Ina added.

In November 2022, the eldest daughter of Mommy Fe started uploading videos on TikTok.

“There’s hardly any planning I just point the camera at her face to ask her how her day is. That’s the journal part of it eh, ‘di ba? Kung ano lang ‘yung lumabas,” Oya noted.

A few months after, they were surprised by the sudden influx of followers and viewers on Mommy Fe’s TikTok account.

“It was very, very fast. We were very surprised that so many people could relate to the story. That was part of the reason why it motivated us to continue with the project,” Ina said.

“‘Yung mga simpleng day in the life sort of videos lang siya pero like in a month, parang 10,000 ata,” Oya added.

Mommy Fe was diagnosed with dementia seven years ago.

“The diagnosis, in a way may change din kasi alam mong it’s there so meron kang progression na binabantayan. We just deal with it on a regular basis. It is really just that. We accept the diagnosis, we accept the illness, and we just deal with it at the end of the day,” Ina said.

Mommy Fe wrote different books in her early years, but the disease forced her to stop writing.

“Marami naman na siyang naisulat. We focused on her other interests na kaya niya pang gawin rather than thinking about the activities we’ve lost. She likes to crochet. She likes gardening, she likes planting, so go!” Oya shared.

The siblings also shared how family support is very important in dealing with the said disease.

“We had to practice patience. Talagang sometimes it’s really hard, it’s frustrating. Paulit-ulit talaga ang mga tanong, talagang minsan maiinis ka na. You have to learn it so that every time she asks, it’s like the first time she asks it,” Oya stressed.

“It was very heartwarming also for us to know we were not alone, that other people were dealing with the same things we were dealing with. It helps her also. Sometimes, she’s surprised that she has a lot of followers.  She watches the video sometimes she laughs at what she says or what she’s doing. So it’s really good for her,” she added.

Janelle Lorzano
Janelle Lorzano
Janelle Lorzano likes long walks on the seaside and listening to people about their lives. When she isn't writing, she travels and discover new places.