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Concerned for my mum

FionaL

New member
Oct 23, 2020
2
Hi All,

I am hoping for some advice about my mum. She has some of the common dementia symptoms, forgetting things, no appetite - but there are other things that I haven't come across much.
  • She has 'memory blocks', for example we were talking about the anniversary of a death of a family member and she had zero recollection of who the person was.
  • She refuses to eat - unless it's biscuits or cakes etc
  • She gets fixated on a person and hates them and becomes really nasty
  • Her personality has changed, she is really bitter and angry all the time
  • She is refusing to take medication or see the doctor
  • She seeing and hearing things - for example, she told me about seeing puffins in her garden and that her neighbours have parties all the time - they don't
  • She is convinced people are phoning her all the time - I have checked her phone and there are no calls when she says there is
She is still managing most day to day things - remembers to lock her door, turn off hob/oven, shower. I don't know what to do as she refuses to let me or siblings help. Told me to F off today and stay out of her life!

Many thanks,

Fiona
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,442
Yorkshire
hello @FionaL
a warm welcome to DTP

members here will recognise all in your list ... there are, though, other conditions that have dementia-like symptoms eg stress, depression, vitamin deficiency

as you are clearly concerned, why not email her GP with this info so that they have it on record ... some GPs then invite their patient in for a well-woman check-up, or link another visit eg for a flu jab with a check-up so you might ask her GP if this could be done
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,952
Nottinghamshire
Welcome from me too @FionaL

As Shedrech says all these are common behaviours. Definitely get your mum to the GP if you can. In the meantime I wonder if this will help while dealing with your mum.

 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
2,035
Hi @FionaL and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. This is a very friendly place and you'll get lot of support and advice here.
My mother had some symptoms similar to your mum. She became convinced that the neighbours were committing hate crimes against her for instance, not to mention getting into her flat. She also thought she saw me with them, when of course I'd been at home fifteen miles away all day. She also had gaps in her memory. At first it was the last twenty years that were a bit patchy so she didn't remember my brother's wedding and even though she knew my sister in law really well she once asked me if she knew her, while we were waiting for her to turn up. Like your mum she was managing at home without help as she could manage personal care, and just about sort out something to eat. However when she started going down the pub to drink with random men and brought at least one of them home to her flat was when I moved her to a care home.
Does your mum have a diagnosis.? If not I'd let her GP know your concerns and get an appointment with him for a referral to the memory clinic. The GP can also check it isn't something else rather than dementia. I got the ball rolling by piggybacking another appointment, but it took a while to get the diagnosis as mum didn't present in a typical way as her short-term memory was still OK, and then she refused to go to the memory clinic anyway. If you haven't already done so getting Lasting Power of Attorney sorted if you can is important. It will help you manage things as the dementia progresses.
I'm sure others will be along with their experiences and suggestions shortly, but don't beat yourself up if she keeps on refusing help.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
881
Hello @FionaL . I see you have already had good advice. It's so difficult to help someone who refuses to let you but the link below may have some useful tips.


You mentioned medication. Has your mum been diagnosed with dementia? If symptoms have become suddenly worse, it's always worth checking for urine infections, which play absolute havoc.

Lots of us on the forum will recognize the various behaviours. My mum has vascular dementia and sometimes seems to be made out of fireworks. Your mum probably feels that things aren't quite right and is feeling a bit scared, which might make her lash out a bit. Wanting to eat mainly sweet things is very common. There was a post just last week about someone's mum eating only biscuits on buttered bread. My mum was once convinced there were babies in her tea. I'm sorry, this is a difficult time for you but you can see that you are not alone. There is lots of support and advice for you here.
 

FionaL

New member
Oct 23, 2020
2
Thanks everyone - when I mentioned medication, she hasn't had a diagnosis yet. She is meant to be taking meds for thyroid, blood pressure and cholesterol, but hasn't been taking them her months. I never thought of emailing her GP 🙄. I'll contact him on Monday and ask for a referral to a memory clinic.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
760
I wish you well.
one problem I hope you don’t encounter is that a thyroid problem is something that can create dementia like symptoms, normally it is something they rule out before progressing to look for dementia.
The list of symptoms you did is superb, make sure the GP sees it.
Do you have the power of attorney @Sarasa mentioned ? It really can be important!
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
1,273
Southampton
thyroid can confuse as well. my mum had borderline underactive thyroid. ive just googled underactive thyroid in the elderly and it says it could cause memory problems and depression. im not good with computors but if you put in underactive thyroid symptoms you can go on NHS website and its all there.