1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. ladynat4576

    ladynat4576 Registered User

    Jul 2, 2007
    4
    Derbyshire
    Hi

    I hope someone can give me a little bit of help and advice with regard to my mother in law? I hope I am in the correct place as this is my first post after finding this site:)

    My husband and I believe that his mother has some form of dementia:( She is 66 years old and as far as I am concerned, is rapidly going downhill fast :(

    She lives with her partner who is of sound mind (although ill in other ways) and we have just spent the weekend with them. This is the first time in many years we have spent more than a couple hours in her company and what we have seen this weekend has upset and frightened us beyond belief:(

    We have known for about a couple of years that something 'just wasn't quite right'. She seemed 'different' and sometimes seemed to forget things or get a bit confused but nothing major that made the alarm bells ring. About a year ago we realised that things were getting worse and spoke to her partner about it. He obviously knew there was something wrong, but basically fobbed us off saying she gets a bit confused since a traumatic event 3 years ago (her son committed suicide) and that se refused to see a doctor. We took that on face value and then at Christmas my husband spoke to his brother and both of them separately spoke to her and explained that they were worried and they wanted her to see her doctor. She promised faithfully but that obviously hasn't happened and after this weekend, we realise she neeeds urgent attention.

    She asks the same things repeatedly, she cannot remember where she has put anything, she is struggling with simple tasks like making a cup of tea. I caught her taking a sip out of 3 cups of tea because only I take sugar and she couldn't remember which she had put sugar in (after I found her the sugar bowl) She seems to fall asleep in the day and puts clothes on that don't match. It takes her ages in the bathroom and she cannot find her glasses, her bag, her shoes anything really. She seems to have mood swings (but not with my husband and I) and gets very frustrated. She repeatedly goes through her handbag but can't remember what she is looking for.

    We are very worried but she refuses to see a doctor? What can we do? Her partner seems reluctant to contact her doctor. We believe his intentions are honourable and he seems scared of upsetting her. Can I contact her doctor on her behalf and explain how worried we are and ask them to see her? Will they do that or will that contravene something or other these days?

    Sorry that this post has been so long :eek: :eek: but if anyone has time, I would appreciate your opinions.

    Thank you

    Ladynat
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Ladynat

    Welcome to TP! I hope you will find some help here.

    First thing to say is that only a qualified medical person can make a diagnosis, and then only after seeing her, and probably giving some tests.

    There are many potential causes for forgetfulness, of which dementia is but one.

    You mention the traumatic event a while ago - it may be, for example, that she is still in depression from that. Depression can cause forgetfulness.

    You also mention about the teas and testing for sweetness. I've done that!

    However, I'm no pooh-poohing what you suspect, just saying you need to review things in the round, and get specialist advice.

    Generally, it may work that by saying the local surgery is doing MOTs for all registered patients over 50 [and that is true in many places] that she may be encouraged to go along. Especially if her husband plays along with it.

    You can't force her to go, only use any and every other way to accomplish it. I think it unlikely that your going to the doctor would gain much. If her husband went, maybe....

    Good luck!
     
  3. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    639
    West Sussex
    Hello Ladynat

    It is difficult for you, may I suggest the two sons write a letter to her GP and tell them their worries?

    It is very hard to sit back and do nothing, I know.

    My Dad was reluctant to get Mum to the GP, then, when he was ready, we had to use the "routine over 65 check-up" ruse to get her there.

    Kathleen
     
  4. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    326
    Chelmsford
    I think in many cases the partner does not want to accept the diagnosis of what they already suspect. I am in no way a professional in any of these fields but I think if you could get her partner to get her to go / encourage her that would be a big step. Also again I do not know how "things" work but I would like the doctor to be aware of why the patient is being encouraged to see him so he his prepared. I would also guess the doctor may want to refer to someone else who is more specialized. It took me 3 years to convince our GP "we" had a problem.
    But again I can only reiterate what Brucie said
    "First thing to say is that only a qualified medical person can make a diagnosis, and then only after seeing her, and probably giving some tests."
    cris
     
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Ladynat

    Just wanted to welcome you to TP. I haven't much to add to what Bruce has said. What your MIL is suffering from does sound like the early stages of AD, but there are so many other possibilities.

    I'm afraid that unless you can get your MIL to visit her GP on some pretext or another there is little you can do. Would she be prepared to go for a BP/cholesterol test? This is common for people over 60, and if the GP was prepared in advance, he could suggest further tests.

    It's very difficult, particularly as her partner is not willing to get her attention, but I think you are right to try everything to get a diagnosis.

    (PS I too forget which cup I've put sugar in!:( )
     
  6. ladynat4576

    ladynat4576 Registered User

    Jul 2, 2007
    4
    Derbyshire
    Hi

    Thanks for your advice. The thing is he isn't her husband and my husband is next of kin? I don't know if that actually makes any difference?

    Her partner admits there is a problem but seems to be putting the responsibility onto her sons to do something about it as he says she won't go to see anyone. This is fine in the respect that if he wants us to speak to her doctor but he lives with her and we seem to be between a rock and a hard place

    I really do think this is some form of dementia. I have experience of depression and I do not believe this is the cause. But how can we get a diagnosis when we can't get her to see anyone?
     
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,419
    Hi and welcome to TP

    One thing to add to what Bruce said: you seem to indicate that she has at some point been willing to go to the GP, but it never got done. You might, if you could get her to agree to go, make the appointment for her and then take her: part of the problem with any level of memory loss is you forget to do things (obviously). Also if her partner is ill as well, that might make anything rather more hassle than it might otherwise be. I think you're going to have to enlist the help of her partner if at all possible, although depending on her GP, if there is no legal relationship between them, the GP might be willing to take action on the basis of her next of kin's request (i.e your husband).

    Best wishes

    Jennifer
     
  8. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,719
    Kent
    #8 Grannie G, Jul 2, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2007
    ladynat4576

    Welcome to TP.

    From reading your post, if she were my MIL, I`d be concerned too.

    You say she lives with her Partner. Is he her Partner or her Husband?

    If he is her Partner, your husband and any siblings he may have would be her next of kin, [I think]. And if her Partner hesitates in seeking advice, if he is concerned about her, he might be grateful if your husband were to volunteer.

    Perhaps your husband could ask his approval. But even if he didn`t give it, if you are so worried, If I were her daughter, I`d see her GP and explain the situation. It can do no harm to try.

    Please let us know how you get on.

    Take care.

    P.S. Sorry, by the time I had written this, with several interruptions from my husband, you had replied to Bruce and had posts from Jennifer, Hazel , Kathleen and cris.
     
  9. ladynat4576

    ladynat4576 Registered User

    Jul 2, 2007
    4
    Derbyshire
    Hi cris

    I believe he has tried on many occasions to get her to see a doctor and she just point blank refuses to go:( He has tried to encourage her and from what I gather, she flies into some great rages (which is again totally against the grain from the woman I have known for 13 years)

    I just can't believe that we realistically then have to sit here until it gets that bad she can't remember who we are before anything can be done:(
     
  10. ladynat4576

    ladynat4576 Registered User

    Jul 2, 2007
    4
    Derbyshire
    Hi Jennifer

    She at some point has said to both her sons that she will go and see her doctor, but I honestly believe that she didn't mean it at all:(

    Her partner has cancer (managable at the moment), diabetes and heart problems. He is a bit younger than her and stills drives etc so getting to the appointments etc, is not a major problem.

    As far as we are aware there is no legal relationship between them. He is her partner, the house is paid for and hers and the will divides everything between her 2 sons.
     
  11. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    I can't believe that either, Ladynat.

    It sounds as if the partner is willing for the two sons to arrange for her to be seen, and I think that is what they should do.

    They should write a joint letter to the GP, explaining that they are next of kin, and explaining their worries. They should ask if the GP could set up a routine appointment for a check-up for youe MIL, and they should go with her.

    As far as I can see, that is the only way you will get her to go. If the appointment comes from the GP, she can't blame her sons!
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.