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Could my mum have been diagnosed earlier?

kaz40

Registered User
Dec 30, 2013
3
0
My mum has just been diagnosed with dementia. She is still undergoing tests to find out what type of dementia it is and to determine the correct type of treatment. She is 75 years old and my dad who is 71 and my sister will be caring for her.

She has been confused and somewhat absent minded for years and even when we were children she was a little bit like that. I was wondering if anyone knows if it is something that she could have been suffering with for a long time?
 

BeckyJan

Registered User
Nov 28, 2005
18,972
0
Derbyshire
Hello and welcome to Talking Point.
I am sorry to hear about your Mother. Symptoms of dementia can lay undetected for some time, usually allowing for some memory reduction or a slowing down in reactions generally. Generally I guess it can be several years but I doubt more than 5/8 years before someone would notice a clear difference in abilities. (That is just my thinking!).

I know there are some exceptional cases but I doubt whether a clear diagnosis is likely in the very early years, but again much would depend on the type of dementia.

If your Father and sister are likely to be the carers it may be worth them, or you, ringing up the local branch of the Alzheimer's Society to see what local support is available. The local branch can be found here.

Keep in touch and let us know how things are going.
 

kaz40

Registered User
Dec 30, 2013
3
0
Thank you for this. It's very much appreciated. I have not been able to go to her appointments to ask any questions and my sister has many of her own to ask.

They live in Germany, which is why I will not be able to help with her care.

I will have to check if there is an equivalent to this site in Germany.
 

Delphie

Registered User
Dec 14, 2011
1,269
0
My mum has just been diagnosed with dementia. She is still undergoing tests to find out what type of dementia it is and to determine the correct type of treatment. She is 75 years old and my dad who is 71 and my sister will be caring for her.

She has been confused and somewhat absent minded for years and even when we were children she was a little bit like that. I was wondering if anyone knows if it is something that she could have been suffering with for a long time?

It's hard to say for sure because getting a diagnosis in the very early stages can be tricky as lots if things can impact on memory etc. So it's possible that earlier in life your mum was 'absent minded' for some reason other than dementia.

Having said that I first had real concerns about my mum's memory and paranoia about 20 years ago, maybe even further back, when she was in her early 50s. I even went to see her (and my at the time as it happened) GP about it all that time ago. The doctor said that it might be early onset dementia but my mum would've had to have gone in herself to explore that further and that wasn't going to happen so I left it. My relationship with her was definitely affected and my husband and I had to learn to manage her behaviours to enable her to have a relationship with our boys. Throughout all that time she did however manage to run her business and travelled a lot so whatever was up with her wasn't an out and out problem, more of a background thing.

Years later, after an Alzheimer's diagnosis, I asked her consultant about it and her opinion was that my mum probably suffered from a delusional disorder throughout her life, with episodes managed by the family as 'one of those things', with the Alzheimer's coming along later. I'm still not completely convinced, though, because the memory holes way back then we're just like the dementia ones that became really apparent when she got older. They were just less frequent then... I suppose they could've been caused by the stress of the delusions, on the other hand if some other specialist said that it had always been dementia, early onset and very slow progressing, I would've said yes, that makes sense.

Not an answer to your question but I thought I'd share my experience.
 

kaz40

Registered User
Dec 30, 2013
3
0
Thank you. This may sound strange but I empathize a lot with your experience. My mum has never bonded with her 5 grand kids (although she was a great and attentive mum to us) and we used to put it down to her having raised hers and now wanting to be left alone.
In retrospect there have been many symptoms and occasions that should have made me suspicious if I had known about them. Over the past 10 years I became more aware as we live apart and I listened to the same stories over and over as well as being asked the same questions again and again. When I asked her to get checked out she pushed it aside and blamed it on many other factors. (Medication for thyroid issues, bad hearing and lack of diversity in her life). What scares me is that she won't remember or recognize me soon anymore as I only get to go and visit once a year. I also feel guilty towards my sister for having to take on this journey with little help.
Both my granddaddy have had Alzheimer's and my mum has seen first hand what it does to the people around you and she is scared and upset about what this will do to her and us.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity here to sound off.