LIMA — Joe Daley lost his mother, Molly, to Lewy Body Dementia at the age of 67, on June 12. Daley and his mom were known for the YouTube and Facebook video series, “Mother and Son Journey.” His Facebook page has 350,000 followers and his video series has been viewed by more than 200,000,000 people.
Daley, a 1990 graduate of Lima Central Catholic, started the series with his mother for family and friends that had a hard time understanding what his mother was going through with dementia. His sister Maria, also a graduate of Lima Central Catholic, worked behind the scenes in the series. Both Daley and his sister live in the Columbus area.
“I realized if it was hard for me to explain it, that other people probably didn’t know much about dementia and the suffering that people go through. It’s not just a disease where you forget where the remote is at, or your car keys. It’s much, much worse than that. It’s losing a little piece of your mind every day and you literally go crazy in your own body. That’s what dementia is,” said Daley.
The series ran for approximately two years. Daley learned through his contacts on Facebook, that the series took on a whole other level of meaning for some.
“So throughout the video series, I started to realize that it became not just about dementia, but about life and love and life struggles. I think that’s why so many people started watching the video series, because they could relate to their life. Whatever life struggles they might have, I think it kind of gave them inspiration,” said Daley. “I didn’t realize that so many people would take away from that [series] to be more patient with their loved one, whoever might be sick.”
Dealing with the grief of losing his mom has been difficult for Daley.
“I was thinking about this after she passed that lessons from a mother never stop. Growing up, I became very independent at a young age. She was a single mother, she worked two jobs, and watching her go through those struggles, not even talking to her about those struggles, but seeing her go through those were lessons I didn’t realize she was teaching me until I was an adult. So, even when she was passing, I was thinking how hard it was watching her take those last breaths, but at the same time, I thought about what she went through for 10 years with dementia. What I’m going through now, she got through much worse than what I was dealing with. So those kind of things, I think, is what gave me the courage and the ability to get through that,” said Daley.
Daley still visits the nursing home that his mom was in.
“People tell me it’s probably just a comfort thing for me,” said Daley.
The series of video clips are being used by nursing homes and colleges.
“There are nursing homes that are using my videos for their staff. There are colleges that have sent me emails of neurologists that are studying the videos to learn more, the different stages, and when my mother was painting was one of the lessons that this neurologists said that they really studied. So hopefully she can help people understand more about it, which I think she will for sure,” said Daley.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.