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  1. #1
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    think my mum has dementia?

    Hi,

    Very new to this and sad to be doing this! I think my mother is showing
    signs of dementia I am getting no help from her doc who has been told
    by my mother not to discuss her with her family??

    Her signs so far withdrawn no interest in going out,shopping etc... sits watching tv all day but not really aware of whats on tv?? not washing? going off food? wobbling when walking? in her own little world? angry when confronted with doing something dangerous ie leaving front door open or denying she did it?? starting one job then not finishing and starting something else but dosnt finish anything?

    I know this can be depression but i just know this is different she just dosnt seem to be with it??

    Can you please advise am desperate!! family are useless and dont beleive me??

    Nerak
     

  2. #2
    I would go a consult with a Doctor then do what is best after that
     

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by nerak View Post
    Hi I think my mum has dementia and I am getting no help from her doc?? can anyone advise am desperate and have no support from anyone inc.family????
    That is an overwhelming situation to find yourself in. I'm sure you're feeling frantic. What sort of problems have made you believe it's dementia? Is she living with you or alone?
    I suggest you start keeping a journal of the things she is doing or saying, dates and times, to build up a picture for the GP when you visit. Sometimes just saying this has happened and that has happened makes dr feel it's a few isolated incidents. If you have a detailed journal of issues it starts to show a clearer picture of what's really happening, better than sounding a bit frantic. In the early stages, a person appears quite fine on a visit to the dr, they even seem to be good at putting on a very good show when they feel it's necessary.

    I would also contact any local Alzheimer's Society for extra advice. Get all the input you can as soon as possible.

    I am sure there will be some more help here in a while.

    Stephanie, xxx
    You've got to laugh, or else you'd cry
     

  4. #4
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    Hi thank you for replying so soon!

    My mothers symptoms seem to have started gradually last winter she burnt a wooden chair in the fire?? doc said she may be looking for attention?? she is diabetic and had a siezure last july and just isnt herself since she keeps leaving front door open and gets aggressive if I ask her why shes doing this. I am frantic and have no support from my family as they are abroad and think shes just old and lonely?? i am living here with her for the last four years but hope to leave here soon and just want to make sure shes propably diagnosed before I leave and we get her the support she needs.

    My biggest problem is getting her doc to speak to me he has refused and ive now been told by my doc to WRITE to her doc?? a disgrace that I have to do this but have no choice.

    My neighbour has been great and actually it was her who said its not depression but early dementia as her own mum died from it. My family just refuse to beleive it and want a diagnosis (my parents are divorced)

    My mother treats me very badly and abuses me but lately shes getting more and more aggressive? she is VERY well cared for and I do everything for her with no help but she tells my sister and brother the opposite?? I know I shouldnt let this get to me but it does and am angry all the time.

    I will now write to her doc as its the only way and really fed up with him and cant beleive how they treat the carers surelly they should know the stress of not knowing what is wrong with her?

    I think from google that my mum has multi-infarct dementia which is related to her diabetes as everytime she has a hypo her moods change then shes ok again.

    It really is an awful illlness but I cant even imagine what shes going through?? I think she knows shes not right and is afraid of being found out and this is why she dosnt want anything to do with doctor and is not going to her apts since last year??

    If anyone could tell me how it starts and what they noticed and how can you know if its dementia or depression?

    Thanks again im so glad I found this site. Please note that the support here in ireland online is useless and ive rang the alshiemhers assc. and they will not really discuss anything unless you have a diagnosis??
     

  5. #5
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    If the Dr isn't allowed to discuss with you, write a letter with as much detail as possible about specific things over the past year or more that have concerned you. Don't generalise, make sure you have plenty of specific examples. Because we all lose our keys and phones, we all forget appointments and anniversaries. That way he can read your concerns without breaching her privacy and can take all that into consideration whilst he consults with her. Also keep a diary and periodically keep writing to the Dr as time goes by. It may not be the fastest way to get a diagnosis, but it'll be a start.

    Perhaps stop trying to push her into a diagnosis and let her be, so she regains your trust, then you can start working on getting her to sign a power of attorney for "later down the track". Best of luck, its not a quick or easy road to get a diagnosis at the best of times.

    With the power of attorney, it doesn't matter who she chooses, as long as she has it, so someone can make decisions for her. Also, to make sure she has a will in place. My 96 year old grandmother inlaw has late stage dementia, and she doesn't have a will or a power of attorney, so we just have to cross our fingers and hope that she dies before her husband, which isn't ideal. It's somewhat of a nightmare to get to this point before anyone realises that there was no will ever made.

    My mum's diagnosis took a good year of mucking around, being told it was panic attacks / anxiety / depression before they bothered doing any brain scans. It was almost like they didn't want it to be alzheimers, so they avoided the brain scans and tried down the depression route, even though mum was pretty sure there was something serious wrong (she was a nurse and an aged care worker, she had enough experience to know it wasn't "just" depression).
    Last edited by zeeeb; 11-07-2013 at 04:57 AM.
    __________________________________________________ ______________________

    Alzheimers is a marathon, not a sprint, better get myself in shape

    I'm an Australian daughter, mum with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's at 59. Grandmother inlaw nearing a century old also with Alzheimer's, deceased grandfather had Alzheimer's.
     

  6. #6
    Hi

    I think the advice to keep a record is very good - so that you can offer examples when you try to explain to Doctors etc - as they need something to go on. This is a terrible situation for you and I totally sympathise.

    I was in a very similar position myself prior to my mum being diagnosed with Alzeimers - I'd known something was wrong for a number of years and the previous two years were a nightmare. I could speak to her GP but the tests she did were so simple that my mother passed them (e.g. where are you etc - needing advanced dementia to detect anything).

    It was horrible as by this stage we knew she wasn't ok - however it took the support of one of her friends before I really had the confidence to say directly to her GP that I thought she had dementia, following this over the next year they eventually diagnosed early Alzeimers, and this has been a huge relief, as we can now manage her without trying to prove anything (to ourselves), and knowing it is the illness makes it easier to deal with - although still not easy by any means.

    If your Dr has suggested writing to her GP then this seems a good way of beginning the process - send it recorded (signed for) - they might have to act. Keep at it - for us it was a long struggle (to get recognition of a problem), but we did get there in the end - you will too.

    I can really identify with much of what you're saying and your circumstances, and very much hope you get the support you need. You're not the only one - if this helps - for me knowing this....does a bit somehow - hope it does for you too.

    Very Best Wishes - GOOD LUCK - try not to take it all to heart too much, but let it all go and remain as far as possible at peace in yourself whilst taking whatever practical steps you need to for the future. Best AGAIN
     

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeeeb View Post

    My mum's diagnosis took a good year of mucking around, being told it was panic attacks / anxiety / depression before they bothered doing any brain scans. It was almost like they didn't want it to be alzheimers, so they avoided the brain scans and tried down the depression route, even though mum was pretty sure there was something serious wrong (she was a nurse and an aged care worker, she had enough experience to know it wasn't "just" depression).
    Same with my husband.Unfortunately he had a brain scan over three years before he was diagnosed.Even then the signs were missed.It took a crisis and admission to a MHU before a different consultant re-visited the scan and saw the signs.He was finally diagnosed a year ago on Saturday.

    We were frequently told that it was depression/anxiety etc and I admit that I feel very bitter that the signs were missed.One year on from his diagnosis he is at the severe stage and is doubly incontinent and recently placed in a care home after months of agitation/ aggression.

    I wish you well in getting help;if my husband had been diagnosed earlier maybe he could have taken the meds to help him a bit, but his first MMSE showed a score of 7/30 .Now he is 4/30 -too late for Aricept to help him.

    Take care

    Lyn T
     

  8. #8

    Ps

    My mother treats me very badly and abuses me but lately shes getting more and more aggressive? she is VERY well cared for and I do everything for her with no help but she tells my sister and brother the opposite?? I know I shouldnt let this get to me but it does and am angry all the time.

    I think she knows shes not right and is afraid of being found out and this is why she dosnt want anything to do with doctor and is not going to her apts since last year??

    If anyone could tell me how it starts and what they noticed and how can you know if its dementia or depression?


    Hi – just a further quick response – here is a bit I wrote about the onset – am in a bit of a rush but I realised I hadn’t answered your question about early symptoms (in my mum’s case anyway) – this was written a while ago when I was struggling with it all and may not be directly relevant but hope it helps - and all bits underlined you’ve written essentially describe our situation.


    The change was, at first, not apparent through overt activity or inactivity, but was more a sense that something was different. It’s hard to be precise but there were definitely indications of some unfamiliar mental disposition. Slightly abnormal pupils, a sort of brittle detachment that seemed watchful; to be evaluating their performance through your reactions, as though trying to work out whether they’d convinced you they were still normal. In addition to this there were signs of confusion, stress and even an incidents of out of character aggression e.g. towards a stranger in a shop, that now strike me as symptomatic of dementia’s grip even then. Because on the whole functioning was not severely impaired however ; nothing too outrageous or absurd, I did not dwell on these occasional impressions despite often feeling perplexed and uneasy. We rightly consider people normal until they’ve proven themselves not to be and are also rightly tolerant of considerable variety of opinion and conduct, yet we also get to know people if we are close to them and therefore come to have certain expectations, recognising departures from normal behaviour patterns. [/I]

    The earliest signs were inevitably missed or ignored until retrospect and the development of the disease enabled them to be discerned and recognised for what they most obviously were; the hijacking of a person by this most dehumanising disease.[/I]

    Since then the illness has 'progressed' significantly and the symptoms are obvious to anyone - but this was how it started. Sorry if this doesn’t help - I've had to just paste it in without editing– but this is how I struggled to formulate my thoughts on things some time ago - BEST AGAIN!!!
     

  9. #9
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    I wrote to my dads GPs surgery and explained the symptoms even though dad himself had told his GP he was worried about his memory, the GP did nothing until I wrote and said I wanted him tested for Dementia. We then received an appointment at the local dementia clinic and dad was diagnosed. I actually wrote to a different GP, not dads own one but another in the practice, this seemed to get the result I wanted.
     

  10. #10
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    It is hard getting a diagnoses. It took me well over 9 months. I had difficulty getting mil referred as the GP seemed to block things. I then got her referred and the consultant (not the memory clinic) asked her only the date of the second world war which she got wrong. The consultant said there was nothing wrong. I could have screamed

    Eventually we insisted she got referred to the memory clinic but I did 'lists' of everything she was doing that was not normal

    I know a diagnosis is not everything but for some reason it's good to know what the reason is for such bazaar behaviour
    1954 x
     

  11. #11
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    Hi,

    thank you to everyone who has replied it means alot to me and relieves the stress a bit!! I have 2 health nurses coming tommorrow and am dreading it! I havnt told my mum they are coming as I want them to see her in her everyday NORMAL state and not to be able to put on an act! the house is an absolute mess as my mum is just not orgainised anymore and there is stuff everywhere like a hoarder??

    I just want them to see how shes living as its not normal and its not how my mum was. my mum will go mad and im sure ill get nothing but abuse then she will ring my sister and moan about me but I dont care I am doing my best to get her help and will do what I have to do to get her that help. The nurse said it sounds like dementia but of course they cant make that diagnosis. I desperately need a diagnosis asap as my family refuse to beleive me and last week was too much when my mum told my sister that i had taken money from her this was just the last straw and so hurtful that my sister would beleive her. my mother has started hoarding her money and is constantly asking me where I spend it even though i explain food etc.... my doc said dont even try to reason with her which I think is the biggest stress now you cannot reason with her she is always right and gets quite nasty if you disagree which i find very frustrating I just have to walk away i cant cope with this and know it may get worse. If I had my family behind me this would be a huge relief but they want it diagnosed so to keep
    my sanity will just soldier on until I get it or she does something really dangerous? thank you again so much for your support will let you know how I get on with the nurses tom.

     

  12. #12
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    Hello,
    I can't offer any more advice than what his been given already. But I echo what everyone has said, and I think you've done exactly the right thing.
    I don't know your family, but it seems that accepting something is wrong is very difficult.
    I hope everything goes well tomorrow, and that the necessary action is taken. Take care x
     

  13. #13
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    Hi am just fed up and emotionally drained the health nurses never turned up today and not even a phone call?? will call again on monday and ask what happened? in the meantime will write letter to her doc. its not easy to put pen to paper when you are stressed but looks like ive no choice.

    today was awful and am becoming more and more convinced that this is dementia. I got up and cleaned whole house so I could relax in the lovely weather here my mum dosnt get up until 2pm?? anyway she has taken all her winter clothes down and put them in the wash(wrong button rinse prog??) so instead of relaxing i had to hang them all out on the line?? I wonder sometimes if she does things to annoy me and its like she cant bear to see me relaxing like i dont desreve it.

    I love my mum but I dont think I can handle this everything she does bugs me and is totally irrational? its hard to let her get on with it as im exhausted from constantly cleaning up from her this really is the pits! I clean up she makes a mess then gets aggressive if I get annoyed so stubborn and so difficult to understand.

    my brother called today wizzed around the garden then left she said thank you to him for doing the garden and im getting nothing but abuse am really fed up and dont know how she can be nasty to me but all smiles when hes here,he never does much and avoids her as much as possible? does anyone else experience this as its really making me angry!

     

  14. #14
    Hi Again

    It sounds awful for you, not to be appreciated and treated so badly. I think it's something to do with the disease that manifests itself in this way. It can't have always been this way can it?

    Wishing you all the best in this difficult situation
    Last edited by V1-; 14-07-2013 at 06:51 AM.
     

  15. #15
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    thanks v1! its great to vent your anger somewhere with people who understand otherwise we would all go mad!! Christ what did people do years ago?? My mum was a good mum caring nurturing BUT a very unhappy angry woman my father left and she had 5 children to bring up on her own and she never really got over this! she has always been ill and dependant on us from an early age so to now have dementia is just cruel and just not fair on us or her but we love her and want the best she deserves that.

    the more I talk to people the more I have to agree that they attack the person closest also I think that she knows I know somethings wrong so if she can cause conflict and lies about me to the other family members her secret is safe until it becomes too obvious? I am pushing to get her help and she knows it she does not want to see doctors or anyone and has shut everyone out for fear of being found out I guess?

    I am so envious of some people who say that their parents or loved ones went and got help themselves I just wish my poor old mum would talk to someone but that is rarely the case?

    I find it hard to be in the room with her as I just end up crying and feel so sorry for her and am dreading whats ahead shes dipping more and more just going into her little world I pray every day that God will take her soon and she will have peace at last awful I know but I don't think any of us could bear for her not to know us weve been through too much with her it would just be too cruel to bear.

    I think the people on this site are amazing people,strong,compassionate and angels really I just hope I find the added strength to cope with whats ahead Im a very strong person but this takes a very special person to cope with this degrading illness.

    My mum was so glamourous would not step outside without her face!! always well dressed outgoing NOW shuffling around in FLEECE pyjamas in 27 degree heat and unwashed, tears your heart out and then some!!!
     

 

 

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