The Commenter, who is in a remarkably similar position to myself with regard to her/his Mother, reassured me that my feelings of coldness and distance are sometimes a necessary protection for the Carer.
But I was particularly struck by a wonderfully apt description of how it feels to talk to our relatives with dementia:
"It's like I'm trying to talk to her through a hole in the wall and the hole is getting smaller and smaller."
I would have been delighted to come up with such a perfect simile. Somehow, for me, the more precisely I can describe an event or situation in my writing here the more tolerable I find it. I can only hope that my anonymous friend gains an equal comfort.