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    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

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Confusion, getting older or something more serious

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by Birdfrom, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Birdfrom

    Birdfrom New member

    Aug 6, 2019
    3
    mum is 77, she is in brilliant physical health and walks several miles each day. Recently she has been on holiday and the travel company called me as she had got up during the night twice and also during the first couple of days, really confused how she had got there, what she was doing there etc. She is away again with my Aunty, at her house, and my Aunty says for the first two days she got up during the night, didn't know where she was etc, the nights have settled now, buy my Aunty has noticed how restless she is, keeps looking out of the window and going for walks ( she has got lost once). When at home she seems to be managing the house and her are clean and tidy, she does seem to find it hard to follow instructions for anything new, like the tv remote and she has she writes a lot of things down on the calendar and keeps referring to it during the day, she also writes down the night before what the next day is and if she has anything planned. She was diagnosed a couple of months ago with some blood vessel changes at the base of skull and put on the only medication she takes, a blood thinner clopidogerel. The doctor said if you scanned everyone her age you find these blood vessel changes in about 70%. We went to the doctor after the last holiday and he asked her a lot of questions and said to come back in October as he didn't think she needed to see the memory team yet. I have gone into complete catostrophy mode and I'm so worried and anxious about what it means that I can't eat or sleep, sorry to babble on, any support would be greatly received, thank you
     
  2. nellbelles

    nellbelles Volunteer Host

    Nov 6, 2008
    8,334
    leicester
  3. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    387
    Female
    High Peak
    I'd suggest that you start to keep records of all the 'odd' behaviours you and others notice. Write it all down then send it to your mum's GP before you see him again in October. That way he will have good information before the appointment and will also mean you don't have to say anything embarrassing in front of your mother that might upset/annoy her.

    You know something is wrong. If you read around the forum you will come across many others with similar issues. It may not be dementia (other health problems can cause similar symptoms) but I notice the GP said he wasn't going to refer her to the memory clinic yet... That sounds very much like he already has suspicions and is taking the 'time will tell' route at this point.

    For what it's worth, your description is exactly how my mum started. :(
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,125
    Kent
    It does sound worrying @Birdfrom.

    At least your mother is currently being treated and tested by her doctor. You could always have a word. You will be listened to even if the doctor is unable to discuss.
     
  5. Birdfrom

    Birdfrom New member

    Aug 6, 2019
    3
    Thank you everyone for your replies, I think I know I'm going to have to find some strength to deal with this, it is selfish of me to hope things will go away ☹️
     
  6. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    155
    Male
    South Northwest
    Don't beat yourself up over any aspect of this. We all feel that way when faced with what looks like the most unwelcome human journey of all. The day I realised my mother no longer had any grip on time or date I cried all the way to the railway station; I felt I was abandoning a vulnerable person, not saying goodbye to my mother until the next time I had some holiday from work. And I wasn't just crying for my mother, I was crying because I knew my life was never going to be the same again either.

    But draw your strength from knowing that there is nobody else better suited in the entire universe to helping your mother through what lies ahead. Our parents looked after us (well, most of us anyway, not all are so lucky) and eventually we get to help make sure they're safe. It can be a miserable process, but it can also be incredibly rewarding, whether we do much caring ourselves, or 'simply' make sure the right professionals are involved.

    I hope your concerns prove unfounded, but the symptoms are familiar. As Jaded said, note down all your concerns over a period and write to your Mum's doctor. They will, sadly, be all too used to getting this kind of feedback from families, and although it can feel disloyal and undermining to go behind you mother's back (that's certainly how I felt... and so did she when she found out!) doing the right thing is rarely easy in life.

    The very best of luck on the road ahead for your family. Oh, and one final bit of advice... don't turn to chocolate Hobnobs to try and help you through the stress. I've researched this extensively and it doesn't help at all.

    Jaffa Cakes, on the other hand... no, not Jaffa Cakes either. Especially if you nibble one side off and dunk them in neat vodka. Terrible idea.

    Hanging around here is a much better idea. It can be a bit depressing sometimes, seeing the kind of issues which crop up and the struggle to deal with them. But bravery is easier when we donate it to each other a tiny bit at a time.
     
  7. Birdfrom

    Birdfrom New member

    Aug 6, 2019
    3
    Thank you, really thank you
     
  8. Jennybelly

    Jennybelly New member

    Aug 15, 2019
    1
    Hello he
    hello there. I'm so sorry about the problems your mum is having. My mum is also 77 and is relatively fit as well but her personality has changed over the last couple of years and this last year her memory has become extremely bad. She has become angry and defensive whenever Ive mentioned that I think she may have a problem and blatantly refused to see her GP. I've just eventually got her to see her doctor yesterday. I was so shocked that she could not say what date it was or even tell the doctor what she watches on TV. She has referred her to the memory clinic. She doesn't seem to realise what this means. She continually just says she's okay. I'm totally distraught about her. I'm an only child and have no other living family members. My mum lives with me and we have always been close and have travelled the world together. She is my best friend. I feel so lonely now as I can't hold a proper conversation with her. I take her for days out now as she couldn't possible manage being away for even a week. It's so horrible and I so feel for you too. It feels like a bereavement. I know just how you feel. I can't stop crying at night. I've starting telling friends about her but I feel sick about the future and what it holds. I'm so sorry if Ive made you feel even worse. This isn't my attention.
     
  9. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    I do think following this up will be helpful, perhaps it is something like dementia but maybe it isn't. I find it interesting that she understands how to organise herself and prepare for what is coming on the following day and that she is staying on top of looking after herself. That is quite impressive.

    Technology? That can defeat many older people who find it hard to keep with all the new stuff that appears regularly to convince the younger generation that they should spend more money on the latest gimmicky thing.

    Don't panic yet. Even if it turned out to be a form of dementia, she sounds as if she is coping well and that is what you will do too.
     
  10. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,066
    Merseyside
    Welcome to DTP @Jennybelly
    Please keep posting as you’ll get lots of support here.
     
  11. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,237
    Female
    Dundee
    Hi @Jennybelly and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to read about your situation but I'm glad you've found Dementia Talking Point. Once you've had a good look round you might want to start your own thread. I know you'll get lots if help and support here.
     
  12. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,881
    Female
    South coast
    Hello @Jennybelly
    Things like that can come as a shock and its easy to either go into denial or catastrophising mode.
    Take it one stage at a time.
    I agree with previous posters to keep a diary of the odd things that she does and then send in a letter to the GP before her appointment. It may not be dementia, but I read your post and it all seemed very familiar.



    I think I need to investigate this.
    Purely for scientific research you understand ..............
     

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