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Concerns over my mum's behaviour and memory


Registered User
Jan 17, 2015
Now my mum started showing these signs back in 2007. Since my mum was in her late 40s we put it down to the menopause- which she is seeking treatment for.

She had always been quite a mild tempered, quiet lady...quite shy. She has now become quite spiteful and forgetful over little things... My dad is threatening to get her 'sectioned' as he has reached his limit over what he can take- which sounds harsh but I do empathise as she does have quite bad days. I will list a few common occurrences for you to get a better idea of what I'm talking about.
Her mum had dementia also, I will add.
- She sends letters without addresses on- she sent almost all of her Christmas cards with just 'Dave & Jan' on for example- put a stamp on them and posted them. I didn't realise Mum had done this until she was trying to be helpful by posting my Thank You cards from my girls (again I hadn't written on the envelopes) by stamping them and posting them...after this had happened Dad told me about the Christmas card incident.

- Whilst at work, my mum had come to my house to do my ironing (again, with good intentions) I didn't know she'd even been around until I was trying to find some clothes without burn holes in. I spoke to my mum but she tried blaming my partner.

- Her driving has become very erratic- which I have told my mum about- but she says that it's just me making her nervous.

- She talks to herself. When she came t my house the other day, she was having a full-blown conversation with someone in the bathroom, even waiting for replies...She has always occasionally talked to herself since I can remember in moments of stress or emotional upset, but this was a conversation!

- She has put dirty dishes etc back in the cupboards- forgetting to wash them- and when I try to discreetly take them out to wash them she gets very irritated.

- My grandma has been staying with my parents for 7 years now. My mum cares for her, preparing her food, bed, etc. But my mum has very little patience for my grandma. Any tiny comment (even if my grandma hasn't said anything wrong) my mum will start being really rude and inappropriate to her. My grandma isn't a saint, she has said some cutting things before that has upset my mum, but 9/10 my grandma is OK. My grandma's 90, and if she doesn't hear us my mum shouts at her sarcastically. 7 years ago my grandma lost her husband and daughter, and understandably entered a state of depression. Mum has absolutely no time for Grandma when she talks about the 'good old days', instead my mum will tell her off saying she needs to live in the 'now'. All out of character for my mum, who has always been so caring.

- She cannot concentrate on the telephone. You can talk to her and within 30secs she's on auto, repeating "yeah,...hmmm.....oh no....." This is to everyone she talks to on the phone. Then you ask her a question and she gets defensive, answering: "Well, you never told me!"

- My dad has warned her about something (example: wet paint, wet floor, hot pan) and my mum will answer "yes, I know" then touch the object my dad has warned her about, then moan at my dad for not warning her this is all within 1 minute of my dad telling her in the first place.

- She seems to break quite a few things in my home and denies it/ lies about it. We have a shelving unit in my daughters room. You cans see it's quite flimsy just from looking at it, I come home once and the lowest shelves had been completely ripped out and snapped. Questioning my mum, she said she 'fell' on it...but I noticed the curtain rail has also been pulled off, and her injuries her to her lower leg (too low to be caused by the shelves - if fallen on to) I realised she must've tried standing on it to fix the curtain. But anyone would realise how flimsy it is. We don't even put books on it in case the shelf breaks! I am not a scary person- however, she felt she needed to lie about it...also she has broken glasses, bowls, etc but rather than just admit to it (I broken my fair share of stuff growing up, don't get me wrong) she will hide it in the back of a cupboard or something, so she thinks I won't find it....in my own house.

I don't know what to do to help her? Does it sound like the onset of dementia?
I just want to help her,

Chrissy x

Well, this is some of the things that occur more commonly.


Registered User
Jan 30, 2009
It sounds as if things are very difficult for you all. I would not want to say that it sounds like dementia even though any of what you describe might be similar to the dementia symptoms, but rather you seriously need to get your mum to the GP. There is obviously something wrong but it could be other mental health issues, not necessarily dementia. I don't want to alarm you but my friend recently thought her mum had dementia because of odd symptoms which could have been dementia like, and what she actually had was a brain tumour which was operated on.
Can you persuade her to go to the GP, perhaps go with her?


Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
I agree with sistermillicent. What your Mum needs is medical help whatever the cause of her problems and that has to start with a diagnosis. Could you suggest a check up related to her age? It would probably be helpful if you could send the GP the description of her behaviours that you have listed here before she was seen.
Hope you manage to get things moving.

Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point mobile app

Emily M

Registered User
Jan 20, 2015
There is obviously a problem and for all the family's sake, especially your father's, the GP needs to be informed. You don't say how old your mother is, but I guess she may only be in her 60s or younger. Unfortunately, the onset of dementia/Alzheimer's can be early, but as other contributors have said, it could be many other things.

It may be difficult to get you mother to an appointment, however, in my experience GPs will discuss things with family members if mental health is suspected. I telephoned my mother's surgery and told them of the family's concerns and was able to speak to the GP. I then accompanied her to an appointment in the guise it was about something else which set the ball rolling and a diagnosis of Alzheimer's was reached.

Best of luck.
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Registered User
Feb 3, 2015
All I would say is keep pushing to get a brain scan and a psychiatric assessment done.
It may be stress but it could also be a number of things.
Gps sometimes can miss important signs of a number of illnesses so keep badgering them and get an accurate diagnosis.


Registered User
Nov 2, 2014
So sorry to hear that you all are going through such a terribly worrying time. It sounds to me as your mum needs to be assessed for depression as the caring for your grandmother started 7 years ago and is obviously taking its toll, as caring does with somebody with dementia.
My mothers own dementia first showed signs of dementia 6 years ago with depression type symptoms, 6 years on and she has mixed vascular and Alzhiemers disease. First point of call, GP to get the ball rolling as getting in early maybe to start drugs may slow the disease down.