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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Apr 2013
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    Mother in Laws memory

    After just over three years cannot believe I'm back on the boards!!!

    My mum passed away January 14 after suffering with dementia for many years, it was such a relief when she went.

    Now we have hubbys mum suffering memory problems. She has gone through a patch of depression and anxiety, the anxiety of which she is stil suffering. Her memory is bad and driving hubby absolutely crazy with her constant repetitive conversations.

    She has had three negative dementia tests, docs are putting it down to the anxiety.

    I'm wondering if this is just an excuse to keep the dementia label off her??

    Stuff she says is so like my mum and can sympathise with hubby, but I can only advise him. We are both only children, so no siblings to talk to. Hes pretty much fallen out with his extended family as they are putting their heads in the sand over this and are blaming him, as they think he should be doing more.

    Has anyone else come across the problem with these tests, am I being cynical over the tests?? Am I wrong in thinking she actually has it??

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    371
    No, you are not wrong. Depends on the type of dementia. Mother got a score of 29/30 in her last memory test (2016). However, her memory is only seconds long unless there is major emotion involved e.g. getting the note about Mental Impairment Disregard for Council tax, being told by DVLA she can no longer drive. But her memory is not good. She has found organising her clothes difficult @9 months, has to be persuaded to change underclothes every 2 days - big arguments. Has not prepared anything to eat or drink in years. Her power supply to her cooker and hob had to be disconnected as she was leaving them on. (2015).

    Mother has FTD so her higher reasoning skills are good - but beginning to fail. She is forgetting members of her own generation family and not only current events but events in the past. So slate being wiped clean.

    DOes that help at all?

  3. #3
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    Apr 2013
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    Stockport
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    looking for advice

    Howdy, it's the husband responding now as it's easier than me just dictating to the missus.
    I am an only child however my mum is one of 6, one of whom died in 2006 of non related things, I have asked the remaining brothers/sisters/in laws for a little sympathy, not begging for help, just an ear to bend, but they all close down to it. In fact at a family 'do' last year when it was quite clear there was a problem I was accused of being the cause, as I am an 'uncaring son'.
    Mum lives in an independent living complex (a Johnny Johnnson flat/apartment building) and on every one of my days off unless I can get out of it through telling her I have to be elsewhere I have to visit and take her out for lunch and food shopping. Every time without fail she will introduce me to the manager, will tell me that her neighbour is the daughter of my old GP, and lots of other stuff too much to go into on here. We sit in Morrisons/Sainsburys/Tesco/Costa and she will declare that this is the first time she's ever been here, she gets my wifes name wrong 50% of the time, but not our daughters name. Last year after a weekend away I took her home and when we got to the flats she asked me if I had any children and went on to tell me that she has a son and a granddaughter who she never sees, this in particular broke my heart.
    She is receptive to the possibility of dementia and has had three tests that have all been given a clear result, in fact the last time she was told that her memory is just full up and it's normal to forget things.
    I love my mum and feel wretched when I think to myself 'Oh no, I've got to take her out again'. She was there for me in some of my worst times when I myself questioned why I was around when friends weren't, when I had my heart broken by girlfriends, when I was in pieces, literally, after a nasty motorbike accident, I want to be there for her but am finding it so hard. The frustrating part, as my wife has said, is the non diagnosis ergo the non existent help from the NHS.

  4. #4
    Volunteer Host
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    Oct 2009
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    Hi, and welcome to the forum.
    I can well understand your frustration.

    In your situation, I think what I would be inclined to do is to write out a log of your mum's memory issues. The repetitive conversations, detailing them, as you have done here. The not remembering shops/coffee shops she has been to multiple times. The repetitive introductions to the Manager of her apartment complex, not realising she has introduced you before, etc. etc. All of it. put it down in bullet points. Then take it to the doctor, and ask them "So, if we are not looking at dementia, what are we looking at?" It could be a number of things, thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies, it could indeed be the depression/anxiety. It could be something more.

    My own mum is 80 and has numerous health problems, but not dementia. However, she also tends to repeat conversations, and is a bit forgetful. One of the reasons for this is that she lives alone, and simply forgets who she has already told something, and forgets who told her some news, so she tells us news that we told her the previous day! That kind of forgetfullness is "normal" for her age and state of health.

    It is frustrating, and I know how hard it is to keep knocking on doctors' doors. I was very fortunate when my husband was alive, in having a doctor who said "You are with him 24/7. You are the expert on your husband's condition. If you say he is ill, I'll look for the cause, but I will assume you are right!" Sadly, doctors like that are rare!

  5. #5
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    Thankyou LadyA

    That has made me (Jaceli) feel better. So if its only age related memory problems, its still difficult to deal with but at least nothing more!
    She has been tested for thyroid and is ok, I'm wondering if she is vitamin deficient as she has been a vegetarian all her 80 odd years and living alone, there is a high chance she doesn't get all her proper vitamins.

  6. #6
    Volunteer Host
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ireland
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    10,747
    B12 deficiency can cause memory impairment symptoms. You could try mega supplements, or get her checked, and if she's deficient, she could get injections.

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