3 years ago Mum was diagnosed with vascular dementia & alzheimers (mixed)

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by Dearmum, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. Dearmum

    Dearmum Registered User

    Oct 20, 2015
    5
    Mums diagnosis came about 2 years after my Dads death. Mum lives alone and is about a 2 hour drive from where my Husband and I live. To be honest in the first couple of years, the problems were mostly related to Mums forgetfulness and inability to recall recent events. However, in the last 6-12 months, Mums condition has worsened, in as much as she now believes my Sister (who lives abroad & rarely returns) has been stealing from her. This has now escalated in as much as Mum feels she was excluded from the aftermath of Dads death, ie admin and the like. She's getting very angry with my sister and I, to the point she will not now contact my sister and refuses any contact whatsoever. I phone Mum at LEAST once a week, and do whatever I can to support her from here. Recently set up online shopping for her, applying for attendance allowance, emergency call button etc. We visit whenever possible, but probably in Mums eyes, not frequently enough. Mum is becoming quite verbally aggressive, and every phone call is dominated with what my sister has stolen and the list expands each time. It is difficult to have any normal conversation now.
    My reason for being on this forum now, is that I'm ashamed to say I am feeling at quite a loss as to what to to next. I no longer know my Mum, her personality has completely changed and I honestly can't cope with her. I know that sounds pathetic, but sadly it's true.
    Has anyone else out there had a similar experience? I would welcome any comments. Yours desperate daughter.
     
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,678
    Female
    Scotland
    Your feelings are understandable but I wonder if there are any outside agencies keeping an eye on her eg does she take medication and have visits from a CPN? Do the social services know about her and have they done an assessment to assess her care needs?

    Can she look after her own basic needs is washing, feeding, getting out and about?

    It may be time for day care to give her some company or to have some other daily assistance.
     
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,673
    Female
    South coast
    Hello dearmum and welcome to Talking Point.
    Your mum has reached the suspicious stage of dementia. Im sorry to say that it is a normal development of the disease. Mum wrote terrible accusatory letters when in this stage. She was also convinced that people were coming in and stealing things - whereas in reality, she was hiding the things herself (so that the thieves wouldnt find them) and forgetting.
    This may be a symptom of depression and anti-depressants may help, or if she becomes very aggressive there are meds which may help. Either way I think it would be wise to let her GP know what is going on. I must say, though that in mums case it was a symptom of her growing anxiety at trying to cope "independently" in her own home and did not go away until she was settled in her care home. Now that this phase has passed she has become a pleasure to visit again, but it is hard while you are in the midst of it all.
     
  4. balloo

    balloo Registered User

    Sep 21, 2013
    227
    northamptonshire
    my mil was diagnosed with vascular dementia 3 years ago just after she came to visit us for xmas as she always did ( we fetched her) she did not go home and is still with us we found she cannot even make a hot drink safely ,certainly not a hot meal . I would say she needs to be closer to you . my MIL had a similar thing with her granddaughter as you saying ,how she has not given up on her gran I never know but she is good with her. MIl has now become incontinent both ways . my mil is not the woman I knew she was strong and a great cook, now a shadow of herself , I bath wash and clean her after the toilet. you mum needs to be either close to you or in a home . I would say better living with you than in a home , I work from home but have gone from 50 hrs a week to 15 just to cope . not everyone one can do this but we have paid off out morgue and husband has a good job
     
  5. Dearmum

    Dearmum Registered User

    Oct 20, 2015
    5
    Thank you for your reply. Yes Mum is on medication and delivered to her by the the local chemist in blister packs. She is coping well with this arrangement at the moment.

    I'm not quite sure what CPN is, but Mum does have regular visits from her Dementia Nurse, with whom I also keep in regular contact.

    Social Services, as far as I am aware, have any knowledge re Mum, and I will follow this up.

    Mum is coping with washing and feeding, but doesn't go very far from home, she is 86 and has been very active previously, but due to her age and minor medical problems, doesn't get out and about much. She has never had a huge social network, and is no longer happy in social situations.
     
  6. Dearmum

    Dearmum Registered User

    Oct 20, 2015
    5
    Thank you so much for your reply and I sympathise with your siutuation, even worse being your mil than your own Mother. Yes, I agree, Mum would be better being closer to us, but I don't pretend i could be the Angel that you obviously are. A broken bone I can deal with, but not this dreadful disease.

    There's a brand new, purpose built Dementia care home within walking distance from us, which would be perfect, I just don't think Mum is ready for that, but I don't really know how you know when that is. She is still totally in denial about her condition.
     
  7. Dearmum

    Dearmum Registered User

    Oct 20, 2015
    5
    Thank you for your reply, and I am so pleased that things are more settled for you and your Mum. Your words mirror exactly what seems to be going on with my Mum at the moment, I have been fairly sure for quite a while that Mum has been "putting things away" and you seem to be confirming that is a normal stage of this horrible disease.

    I am in contact with Mums GP & Dementia Nurse (both of whom are really lovely & most approachable) and we have discussed the possibility of meds as Mum does seem depressed. This is something the GP is happy to attempt to introduce when he next sees her (next week)

    Mum is also a very independent lady and is fighting the fact that she is no longer "independent" I just don't know how to broach this subject without lighting the blue touch paper?!
     
  8. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,673
    Female
    South coast
    It is very difficult to know how to approach this and I am probably not the best person to advise you as every time I tried to suggest that she should have carers in, or go to day care (or even suggest that I have POA) I just got this "do you think that I cant look after myself" tirade and she wouldnt have as much as a cleaner in her home, I did try, but the cleaner was accused of stealing too and mum sent her packing.
    :(
     
  9. Dearmum

    Dearmum Registered User

    Oct 20, 2015
    5
    I get the same thing!! Totally in denial. Luckily we managed to get the POA sorted with the Solicitor when Mum rewrote her will and dealt with the probate after our Dear Dads death. At least that's one problem we don't have!! Thinking back, when we had carers in for Dad during his last days, Mum alleged that one of them had stolen from her (a very low cost cosmetic item). That detail was lost in all that soon followed with Dad. Guess things had begun earlier than we perhaps thought. :confused:
     
  10. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,673
    Female
    South coast
    Its not actually denial - its that they are unable to understand that they have a problem (its called anosognoia if you want to be scientific :cool:), but it causes no end of problems.
    Mum reached the stage that she was no longer washing, or changing her clothes, or shopping, or doing laundry, or even eating but told Social Servises that she fine, was doing all of these things and didnt need any help at all.
     
  11. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    Sometimes people get verbally aggressive when they realise that they are losing control and become very frightened. From what you have said I agree with others that she needs more support - a lunch club, a day centre a few times a week and some carers popping in even once a day but this is difficult when someone finds social situations scary. Has she got someone who she trusts who would go with her to memory café (where carer and cared for go together or singing for the brain sessions - sometimes you can get someone to go by persuading them that they are going to keep the other person company and give support to others)

    From what you have said she has done really well since diagnosis and now it is stepping up she is finding it scary. I do wonder if online shopping may be difficult to cope with and it does cut off contact with people. It is difficult to tell exactly from what you say but people around her are going to be key in these stages. Does she have people she can trust popping in and out? I agree that she probably needs to be close to a family member as appointments and low level intervention are going to increase and need to be kept a close eye on.

    Does she receive attendance allowance (non means tested) because with the level of support she needs (but does not necessarily receive) she should qualify. Do get someone to help with the forms though

    It was true of my mum, she was very active (right to the end) and she was a strong independent lady (always difficult to help and I'm going to be the same I suspect) who was in denial right to the end (she thought she was surrounded by idiots who kept taking her things and had no memory at all (that's us!) but she lived 3 minutes jog away from us and I couldn't have managed to support her independence from a distance because everything had to be changed slowly and with a great deal of thought!! I do feel for you x
     

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