1. Old Christine

    Old Christine Registered User

    Jan 12, 2016
    Hi everyone, this is my first post as my Mother has recently been diagnosed with dementia and I was hoping for some advice. At the moment she lives alone and is still very capable of looking after herself, which I realise is a good thing. She cooks for herself and cleans the house quite well, she is also able to do her own shopping and fills in her time by going into town on the local bus. The problem we have is her memory, in that she thinks her daughter (me) should be coming in from school and is upset and unable to comprehend that I left school over 40 years ago and have no wish to return! I have left notes for her to remind her of this, which is a new thing I am trying. She also finds it difficult to recognise me as her daughter, as in her mind I am still in my teens. Are there any other methods anyone could suggest to help. I would be grateful for any advice.

    Thank you.
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
  3. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    Hello and welcome,

    You have found a true community of support and advice here and I am glad you have joined us.

    In the early days with my Mum, I had a whiteboard in the kitchen that she used. It was beside the mirror where she combed her hair. I put phone numbers and messages on that. We also had a clock that gave the date and time, next to an appointment calendar. I saw Mum every night and helped her by writing down things she wanted to remember.

    You could add your photo to the whiteboard with where you are and when you will see her next. It might work. My Mum never had the problem you are facing.

    Other thing is to get power of attorney in place for welfare and finances while you can. You only use it when you need to. Your Mum keeps managing her finances while she is able.

    Hope this helps
  4. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Hi Old Christine
    and welcome :)

    Tricky, isn't it, when you're not sure who your mum (with me it's dad) thinks you are, or which time zone she is in (40 years ago or now or ...)
    I had a hint from a member here - every time you arrive call out "Hi mum, it's (your name), just got back" - or whatever greeting suits you - the 'mum' lets her key into your relationship and your name gives her exactly who you are - and your voice, heard BEFORE she sees you, is an anchor to you as our voices seem to be recognisable and familiar even when the parent has gone back in time - whereas just seeing your current, older, face (which doesn't fit with her expectation of seeing her daughter as a child) just confuses - I now do this every time I enter the room dad's in
    maybe just go along with her at times - eg "oh (your name) is having a pyjama party at her friend's, she'll be enjoying herself" or "she'll be playing hockey for the school team this evening" or "she's off on that school exchange, bet she's having a great time" ie anything to let her relax about her worry - she may then re-orientate back to the present - or you may just need to be a kind friend visiting her for a while - sometimes the comforting phrase, then you leaving the room may let her re-orientate, and she may know you when you go back in
    you may find that 'correcting' her when she's in this mode just confuses her and so makes her more anxious - a few neutral ums and ahs and some distractions eg 'let's have a cuppa and see what we can sort out after that' might get you both through more calmly

    best wishes
  5. mumsgothelp

    mumsgothelp Registered User

    Jan 8, 2016
    i am sorry to hear about your mum as my mum at 87was diagnosed last March. Does your mum have support at home as it's something you might be thinking about I know my mum was very reluctant to accept any help but it was clear very soon that I had to insist which was very difficult for me but thank goodness I managed to anticipate the need as it takes time to put in place. If she has help with carers perhaps they can remind her and keep showing her your up to date photo. It might help her to keep a diary with your photo in it and details of your current jobs and likes as little prompts for her.
    Good luck and I hope she stays well, J
  6. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    The best advice i ever had was to put in support early because later on it is so much harder.
    It is worth trying very hard to encourage your mum to go to a lunch club

    I did a brief , very brief checklist of hopefully useful info

    If you have an Admiral Nurse in your area (you will need to google it) then lots of people have said how helpful they are.

    This is probably for later on as your mum is so self sufficient at the moment. You can phone Social Services Adult Care Duty Desk and ask for an assessment if there have been no recommendations from the Unit - services like carers visiting to help with the daily routine/personal care or day care that should be an option - a day centre where they have lunch and activities. As well as our social services centre we also have Crossroads Day Centre where people can go for up to 3 days

    It is worth googling Dementia activities + your area to see what is going on. There is probably a fair bit but you need to search for it. Some care homes also do 'day care' which can be useful but I would try the day centres first. We have a day club for people with early/moderate memory loss just one day a week in our area, very useful.

    This leaflet on compassionate communication is very useful - I found it very hard to master but I stuck it on my fridge to remind me every day and it really does work

    Do have a look at it

    You can also ask for a carers assessment - this will give you a break and give you some 'free' hours of help possibly. it might seem early days to be thinking of a 'break' but a few hours here and there is a good idea from as early on as you can. This might not be appropriate for you now but may well be later on

    If you are not already getting it do apply for Attendance Allowance - the forms are a bit tricky in that you have to imagine the worst possible day and write down the help that is needed (not the help that they get at the moment but what would be ideal for what they NEED). Attendance Allowance is not means tested and you should get it, if you need some help with the forms come back and ask Age UK are really good at helping with assessing what benefits you can claim and then they also help you fill in the forms - someone will come to your house. Age UK are also very good at practical advice and help - Age UK Advice line free national advice line that is open 365 days a year. To talk to someone, just call 0800 169 2081.

    I would strongly advise you to join your local carers organisation - they usually have a carers cafe (and so do Alzheimers society in some areas) and it is worth a morning off to go and find out what help there is in your area over a cup of coffee - lots of friendship and support face to face and everyone in the same boat. So much local information

    If there are issues with incontinence all areas have a continence service - you will need to look up your Trust or google your area plus Continence Service. The continence nurses we have had have been wonderful and pads are supplied free by the NHS.

    The Dementia helpline is a useful number to have

    Alzheimer's Society National Dementia Helpline 0300 222 1122 can provide information, support, guidance and signposting to other appropriate organisations.

    The Helpline is usually open from:
    9am - 8pm Monday to Wednesday
    9am - 5pm on Thursday and Friday
    10am - 4pm on Saturday and Sunday

    There is loads of help and support on here xx

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