1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. Pickle1

    Pickle1 Registered User

    Apr 23, 2006
    7
    Camden, London
    This is my first time on the forum. My mum who will be 72 in Sep was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia last June (05). She has recently been in hospital as she seemed to have become even more confused. She was discharged after a week as we requested it, she was not happy being in there so we thought we were doing the right thing taking her home. She was admitted again this week after an agressive incident with my dad who is her carer. She was admitted on Sunday to a mental health centre in north london and due to her 'escaping' twice and her constant requests to go home she was detained under section 3 of the mental health act. She is being moved to a hospital nearer to us in Camden tomorrow where she was previously. I just know she is going to get annoyed when they say she can't come home. As her short term memory is very bad she doesn't understand why she is there. Before her admission to hospital this time she was constantly wandering indoors and wanting to go out half undressed. She was telling the nurses that she was going home to be looked after by her grandmother. When at home she is constantly looking for a downstairs toilet, my parents live on the 8th floor of a block of flats. Now she has mentioned about being cared for by her grandmother, I wonder if she is referring to an outside downstairs toilet she may have had as a child and is living in the past. Has anyone had any similar experiences on any of the above, any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Pickle 1,
    Just wanted to welcome you to TP. Yes mum may well be thinking of a toilet from her past. The aggression and wandering are very difficult to deal with.
    Take care,
    Love Helen
     
  3. Pickle1

    Pickle1 Registered User

    Apr 23, 2006
    7
    Camden, London
    Thank-you Helen. We shall have to see what's in store at today's visit later on today. She had no memory of me visiting her yesterday afternoon, my dad visited in the evening and said I had been up but she then got agressive with the nurse 'cos she said they had never told her I had been there yet we had sat together for an hour.
     
  4. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    Advice needed

    My Mum has recently been living in memories of the Second World War and when asked said it was "last Friday". She told us about the "blow outs" where tiles were stripped from roofs and windows blown out. She said it was OK to sit on the chair, because the men had taken out all the furniture and vacuumed it to remove the glass. The wartime was absolutely real to her and was in the present time. At one time, she was really distressed about her brother, who was missing in action for three years, before being listed as dying in a Japanese POW camp. One day she couldn't work out who I was because as far as she was concerned, she was just a young teenager, who couldn't possibly have a daughter.
    Mum did get very distressed when she was living at home on her own and the first months in the nursing home. She has now settled down and they have adjusted her medication so she is more stable. She has vascular dementia too. It is hard to cope with some one who is so disorientated, although fortunately Mum never got aggressive, but in the end you need to trust the professionals to sort out the best care plan.
    Mum wanted to go home to her Mum and Dad and was upset that her siblings weren't visiting her, although they had all died. Now that Mum has nurses around all the time, her daydreams and hallucinations don't seem to be so frightening for her and she has also made a good friend in the NH. It isn't easy, but there are drugs and strategies that can be used to improve the situation. I hope things go well for you all.
    Kayla
     
  5. Pickle1

    Pickle1 Registered User

    Apr 23, 2006
    7
    Camden, London
    Thanks Kayla, it's good to be able to communicate with someone who is going through the same experience. She didn't get to move to the hospital nearer us, she got there but no bed available, she is therefore back up in Highgate. I didn't get to see her today as you cannot take children (I have a 31/2 yr boy and 9mth girl), hopefully I will sort something out over the weekend. Dad said she was very weepy again and didn't have any recollection of her trip to the other hospital.
    Dad seems to be taking it very hard this time, I think he is probably thinking of what's ahead of us and whether he will be in a position to have her home again or whether we need to go down the route of a nh. It's such a tough decision to have to make, hopefully we will get plenty of advice from the doctors etc. She did have a nurse visting her at home once a fortnight but if she does come home I think he will need more help. I have tried to encourage him to think about going to a carers support group or counselling, however he's not good at talking about it and gets very choked up even with relatives/friends who try to talk to him. I seem to be finding some strength from somewhere at the moment to cope with it, I think it was from seeing how distressed my dad was after the events of last weekend.
    Thanks again.
     
  6. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    Advice needed

    Dear Pickle 1,
    I'm sorry that your Mum couldn't be moved nearer home today, but hopefully once a place becomes available she will be transferred. At my Mum's nursing home, which is for the elderly and EMI, people are encouraged to take their children and pets to visit, so perhaps in the new home your family won't be a problem when visiting.
    Mum has been in the NH for eight months now and has got to know the staff and some of the other patients. She has a friend, which has made a world of difference to her and is becoming much more like her old self. The elderly really don't like this exceptionally hot weather, so your Mum might be better once it cools down a bit. All you can do is to take each day as it comes and try and look on the bright side if that is possible. My Mum can't walk any more, but at least she can still hold a sensible conversation with other people.
    Take care and I hope things go well for you and your family.
    Kayla
     
  7. Pickle1

    Pickle1 Registered User

    Apr 23, 2006
    7
    Camden, London
    Hi there,
    Mum is not going to be moved nearer to us no beds and long waiting list. Where she is currently is an assessment ward, so we are meeting up again next Tuesday to discuss what happens next. The impression I got from meeting the Occupational Therapist on Thursday was they think it is risky to have her home (wandering etc), however my dad seems keen to give her another chance at home. I think we need to seriously listen to what the professionals have to say. Such a hard decision to make, how does one decide when its the right time for a nh ? I am hoping to visit today with the kids depends how she is behaving.
    Cheers, Pickle
     
  8. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Pickle,
    Yes you need to listen to the professionals, but dad also needs to feel that the right time for a NH has arrived, if not he will find it difficult to live with.
    Is mum on medication to help control the aggression? Is there a day care centre that she could attend, so dad cares for her morning and night time? Have there been any carers coming in to help dad with mum? What do you think; do you feel that it is too much for dad to care for mum now? Would either of them be in danger if mum was at home? Dad will tend to look at what is best for mum, you have to consider what is right for both of them at this time. Is there a home nearer to dad so that he could visit mum easily?
    Sorry, just given you lots of questions, but the sort of thoughts I would be having in your situation.
    Take care. Let us know how it goes on Tuesday.
    Love Helen
     
  9. cynron

    cynron Registered User

    Sep 26, 2005
    429
    east sussex
    time for N H

    My husband was in hospital for assessment for 8 weeks and they wanted him to go into a N H i decided to take him home again and he has been home now for 9 weeks and at the moment we are managing . I did want to give him another chance at home . he was sent to hospital because SS day centre pulled the plug on thier day care:eek: he was showing signs of aggression . :mad: They still will not take him back although he is now on meds to control his mood:( He does get two days at the local hospital day centre. Since i insisted on having a social worker i have now got a Crossroads lady coming in once a week.
    As other people have said you have to fight for most things with this awful disease.

    Cynron x x
     
  10. Pickle1

    Pickle1 Registered User

    Apr 23, 2006
    7
    Camden, London
    #10 Pickle1, Aug 15, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2006
    Thanks to you both for your comments and thoughts. Mum has been home on 'leave' from the assessment ward and she was actually discharged from them yesterday. Dad wanted to give her another chance at home, I don't think he is ready to let go fully just yet. She has had a couple of wandering episodes but nothing too drastic and he has managed to be hot on her tail. The assessment ward/team along with the Camden team have been very helpful, being on a section 3 seems to have got things going with regards to aftercare. They now have a daily coming in each morning to help with light housework for Dad and is also there to help mum, although she follows her around sometimes giving her the evil eye! We also have a lady coming from Crossroads once week to give Dad a break. We are also getting things in motion to try out a day centre, although mum seems reluctant I think she should give it a go. We also have a new care co-ordinator who will be visiting weekly. Anyway things all calm at present, they had a day out today which went ok so we just need to see how things progress.

    I will keep you posted and thanks again.
    Carol

    Just noticed question regarding medication, she is on Amisulpride and Mirtazapine, plus a cholesterol tablet.
    She had started on Memantine, however she came out in a rash, not sure if a side affect, however it was withdrawn. Themay re-introduce later but didn't want to start again when taking new cholesterol tablet.y
     
  11. joanie

    joanie Registered User

    Aug 15, 2006
    3
    section 3

    Hi Pickle

    Sympathies for this situation. If your Mum is on a section 3 she should automatically qualify for funded help/care. The only thing is for a trial period at home with strong care support .Once the medication stabilises and hopefully an :eek: improvement is seen. Good Luck to you all
    Joanie
     
  12. joanie

    joanie Registered User

    Aug 15, 2006
    3
    Add on

    Hi Pickle
    Sorry forgot to say my Mum is behaving in a similar way in the things she says .When asked where her home was she replied Ross Rd with my mum.Her Mum has been gone for 40 years. She is always trying to get out of the hospital and it's very hard to leave her there when we visit. She also used to wander loaded with two bags of anything .
    It seems to be a pattern of behaviour for many people suffering from types of vascular dementia. She flagged down two motorists to our knowledge and arrived on our doorstep with these fortunately kind strangers.
    I have to say that my brother and I failed to notice earlier on and recognise that she had a mental illness, we thought she was just getting old and forgetful.
    Do take care
    Joanie
     
  13. Pickle1

    Pickle1 Registered User

    Apr 23, 2006
    7
    Camden, London
    Thanks Joanie, sorry not been on for a while so didn't get a chance to reply.
    My folks have been visiting family up north this weekend, all was going well until
    they went across to visit mum's sister and had to stay in a hotel this seemed to freak her out and suddenly didn't seem to know who dad was. They managed to get back to the relatives they were staying with but things went downhill on the way home when she decided she wasn't going to wait any longer for the train and was going to walk home to London (from Carlisle). She went walkabout in Carlisle city centre, however dad contacted the police and they tracked her down very quickly. It was very distressing for dad. He managed to get her on train, things were calm until half way through the journey when she went walkabout again, however one of the train catering staff used to work with old people and sensed something wasn't quite right. Anyway, this kind lady sat with mum all the way back to London and waited with them both until I got to station. All mum kept saying was this bloke keeps following me (Dad) ! Anyway things have calmed down a bit now, awaiting the next epsiode. We have the care co-ordinator visiting tomorrow, see how things go then.
    Take care
    Carol
     
  14. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Carol,
    This must have been so distressing for your dad. I think that the changeof environment must just have been too much for mum's brain to handle - I know the same used to happen with my mum. Though she frequently did not know dad on an evening (after having been fine all day), it was worse if they went to stop anywhere else.
    But your dad handled it and they are both home safely.
    Just remembered, when mum was having one of these episodes, I could sometimes talk to her on the phone and reassure her that 'this man' was OK, and to go to bed and it would be OK - sometimes worked, sometimes didn't.
    Love Helen
     
  15. Pickle1

    Pickle1 Registered User

    Apr 23, 2006
    7
    Camden, London
    Thanks Helen. I did try that with the phone whilst she was on the train, think it may have helped, anyway like you say they got home safe and sound. We have been out together today, gives my Dad a break having lots of people around and things have been ok. We didnt get back until 8ish so I would imagine she would have gone straight to bed and not given him any probs! Roll on tomorrow to see what that has in store! A walkabout for her at some point no doubt!
    Take care Carol
     
  16. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Pickle,
    Pleased you have had a good day. A pair of strong comfortable shoes - an essential for those carers whose loved one is a 'wanderer' or 'walker'!
    Love Helen
     

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