Accepting of memory loss but...

NellieP

Registered User
Feb 26, 2018
12
Hi,

I have read a lot of comments about family members being unwilling to accept memory loss or even a diagnosis. I have almost the opposite problem, in that my mum has been saying she can't or won't remember anything you tell her. It's almost as if she has talked herself into having it. My grandmother had dementia (although not sure what type) and she has accepted her 'fate' without question.

She constantly repeats that she has memory problems and can't remember the day or date etc or appointments but wasn't great at those sort of things anyway. How common is it for people to be very aware of their memory loss?

She has had a discussion with a GP who asked a few questions and said she has memory problems but offered nothing else other than she could go to a 'local memory cafe.' She has absolutely no interest in doing anything like this. She lives with her partner of 30 years who is worried about her memory but won't go back to the GP, or seek any other sort of help such as a helpline etc and keeps telling me about the problems instead? We seem to be going around in circles.

Best wishes,
Nell
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,089
N Ireland
Welcome to posting @NellieP.

My wife is very accepting of her memory loss and, apart from a short period after diagnosis, has never really been in denial about her dementia.

Of course, there is more to dementia than memory loss so if you are worried about other things like reasoning, cognition, language skills etc., I would persist with the GP for a referral as more help may be available if something like Alzheimer’s is involved.
 

NellieP

Registered User
Feb 26, 2018
12
Welcome to posting @NellieP.

My wife is very accepting of her memory loss and, apart from a short period after diagnosis, has never really been in denial about her dementia.

Of course, there is more to dementia than memory loss so if you are worried about other things like reasoning, cognition, language skills etc., I would persist with the GP for a referral as more help may be available if something like Alzheimer’s is involved.
Many thanks @karaokePete for your reply, I will check out fact sheets and will contact the GP to see if they will offer another appointment. Thanks again
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,057
The GP can refer her to the memory clinic for further testing if they think there is a need for it, but it may be that they do not yet think this is necessary. The memory clinic just gives a diagnosis (and refers for an MRI if necessary). I'm not sure what help she needs at this stage, maybe you just have to let events unfold, which unfortunately means waiting for her to deteriorate.

My mother was the same as yours in terms of apparently 'welcoming her fate'. Her own mother had dementia, which only became noticeable a year or so before she died at 93. Shortly after gran died, my mother (then in her late 70s) decided she had dementia too, it was almost as if she wished it upon herself. At that stage she too talked about it a lot, but it was all fairly routine stuff - as you say, forgetting appointments or the names of friends' children - and she'd always done that anyway so it didn't seem particularly momentous. The GP referred her to the memory clinic who said she just had age-related memory problems and sent her on her way. A year later it became apparent she had deteriorated, and she returned to the memory clinic who diagnosed moderate dementia, and soon after that she began to need help at home.

While it may be frustrating, maybe you just have to wait to see how things go.
 
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BeardyD

Registered User
Jan 19, 2016
89
My wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 6 years ago. Her sister has a long history of depression and has now convinced herself that she has dementia as well. Both are in their mid-60s. Their mother also claimed to have dementia for 20 years with no noticeable decline. It's noticeable that her sister's "dementia" is very much like the public perception of dementia (lost keys, can't remember the date) and when I tried her with the MMSE test she scored full marks.

Don't underestimate the effect of depression, fear or the need to conform. What you can do about it is another matter.