Answers on a post-card.......

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Yorkshire Girl, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. Yorkshire Girl

    Yorkshire Girl Registered User

    Jul 16, 2014
    21
    What on earth do you say when your 85-year old mum with mild dementia (and who knows about her diagnosis) asks "I'm not really going daft am I?"

    Bless her, mum's asked this a couple of times now and it's caught me by surprise. I don't want to lie, but I don't want to scare her. Any ideas?
     
  2. meme

    meme Registered User

    Aug 29, 2011
    1,955
    Female
    London
    I would say "No you're not...but if you do, we'll go daft together"...in a jokey way but truth in there.
     
  3. florabunda

    florabunda Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    24
    Hi Yorkshire girl
    Your post really resonates with me. My mum is 86 with mild dementia, and she says things like "I think I'm going mad" and "if only I had a memory" and "it seems like a foreign country". She also says there is nothing wrong with her and refuses to see a doctor or take any medication. I just have to reassure her as best I can. Now she has a huge malignant lump on her breast, but there is still "nothing wrong" and she refuses treatment. I reckon it's her body and not up to me to force her to be treated against her will, but it's not easy to go along with the pretence.
     
  4. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    2,951
    I used to say to my mum "well you can still......do the crossword, do the shopping.....have a good conversation" or whatever fitted the bill at the time and try to point out the stuff she was still ok at. I think it helped but I couldn't take away her underlying fear, which if you think about it is quite justified.
     
  5. Owly

    Owly Registered User

    Jun 6, 2011
    538
    I used to talk about Mum having "some memory problems" in her early days of dementia. She seemed OK with that. I also said it to other people, in front of her, so they would know.

    Old folk really don't like the word 'dementia' because it's so close to 'demented'. A lot of dementia isn't like 'demented' at all, though it can go that way towards the end, and for some people earlier than that.

    In her younger days, Mum said "if I go doolally when I'm old, put me in a home". It's almost a delightful word.

    As it happened, the sequence was at-home, hospital and then heaven.
     
  6. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    5,990
    Cotswolds
    I agree with Owly. I rarely mention Dementia in conversations that my husband hears. Memory related problems or difficulties seems more acceptable.
     
  7. jen54

    jen54 Registered User

    May 20, 2014
    235
    #7 jen54, Feb 28, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
    my mum says this sometimes, or she will say" if I forgot that I would be going mad".. how can you confirm that?? I generally make light too, and say much the same..we will both go daft together. that is part of the saddest parts of it, mum hasn't a clue how bad she is-but has enough insight to sometimes query something that she has done, or has forgotten. she too says as long as she can get her dinner and a cuppa etc all is OK, I tell her I am remembering all the boring practical stuff that needs doing so not to worry - often she does say remind me if anything needs doing or its someone's birthday as her memory is bad.
     
  8. Yorkshire Girl

    Yorkshire Girl Registered User

    Jul 16, 2014
    21
    Thank you lovely people for all your suggestions. I definitely like the idea of telling her all the things she does manage ok (such as the 200 mile journey she did on the train to come and visit us this weekend :)) And I think she would like the thought of us going daft together.

    Bless her, I have heard her telling people (usually shop-assistants, chemists etc) that she has "this problem between my ears" which makes me smile.

    She has insight and is very good at taking all her medications and quite happily goes along to the local Dementia Cafe (though we never call it that). But we have never discussed the full implications of this wretched disease. I'm not sure if she realises: and if she doesn't then I am happy to keep it that way.

    Thank you all again, this forum is such a wonderful place.
     

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