Dad seems to be losing more memory

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Mumof3kids, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    82
    I've posted many times on here - I always find it supportive and comforting. So thank you for that x

    Dad, like lots of other PWD has lucid and confused days. Recently though when mum has been reminicing with him about 'the old days' which he's been able to relate (mostly) to, he now has big chunks which he can't remember. His family home for instance, was sold many years ago when his brother passed away. But now he has it in his head that houses were built on it. Mum tries to explain but obviously she can't get through. Mum was then talking about her own family home (mum and dad lived there for a short time - my brother was born in the house) - but he has no recollection of the house.

    I call up every day to see them and see to them. He forgets i've been and asks mum how am I doing. Mum will remind him that I called up earlier - his recent reply to this is 'oh that's nice of her, where does she live?' When mum explains 10 mins away he seems suprised.

    He's not had any interest in doing anything for getting on for a year now and I'm wondering whether perhaps he's entering another stage of this disease :-(
     
  2. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    5,022
    N Ireland
    Hello @Mumof3kids.

    Yes, that's the progressive nature of dementia. I have seen this in my wife. There is an old analogy about the memory issue being like books falling off a shelf one by one so the gaps get bigger.

    You mention the lack of interest and may I suggest keeping an eye on that in case it's something more than the progression of the dementia. Apathy, depression and anxiety are common bedfellows of dementia but there is help available from the GP on that.

    There is a Society Factsheet about the issue and I'll post a link in a minute
     
  3. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    5,022
    N Ireland
  4. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    82
    @karaokePete Thanks for that. I'll have a read through. I'm used to him being on a loop and asking the same question on repeat, but it really did shock me when his 'old' memories seem to be disappearing now too. But like you say, it's a progressive illness. He's seemed tob have been at the same stage for a while now, this is the first change we've seen. He does panic some mornings thinking he's got to get up for work - he retired over 18 years ago.
     
  5. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    My husband is the opposite of your dad in that up to about a year ago, he couldn't remember the first twenty-two years of his life. Just recently it went up to about thirty years. This became obvious when he said that he didn't recall the moon landing. He can talk about the assassination of John Kennedy but not much else. He has never talked about his childhood, never talks about things like schooldays or what he and his siblings used to get up to. His short term memory works reasonably well but has slipped in the last year or so.

    Perhaps your dad is entering into another stage which is sad for you as you must be feeling that you are losing a bit more of him as a person.
     
  6. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    111

    Hi there,
    My Mum, 83 with Altzheimers, is the same. Yesterday when I visited she kept asking where her mother was, why wasn't she in yet, and she's usually home when (my mum) gets home from work for to make her tea. She then asked where is my Mum. I told her you're my Mum, I'm your daughter and she refused to believe it, said I'm a neighbour, and said I'm lying. Then we went on the loop conversation of ...Where do you live? I've never been to your house. Is your Mum at work too. She's also been hiding everything, purse, keys, mail, anything that comes through the letterbox gets hidden immediately. She hasn't used the cooker for about a year, cant remember how to cook, cant use the microwave, only the kettle. She makes a pot of tea by pouring boiling water over ALL the teabags in the caddy and adding milk!
    She only recognises us now and again. she thinks were old work colleagues.
     
  7. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    5,022
    N Ireland
    I get such mornings too - the 'have to get to work' is a frequent one. A few months ago my wife leapt up in a panic and, when I asked what was wrong, she told me that she had to 'get the children to school' - her children are middle aged!

    It can get a bit surreal at times, can't it. It's all so sad.
     
  8. Rob_E

    Rob_E Registered User

    Feb 1, 2015
    171
    Male
    Liverpool
    Yet another difficult aspect of dementia that is so difficult and quite frankly, distressing and weird to deal with. Mum is also now at the stage where she can only use the kettle to make a cup of coffee and has been for a few years. She can not do anything else. She has a friend who visits her and brings flowers roughly once a week. Later she always asks who they are for and when I say that 'F' brought them down earlier, she replies with 'oh what a shame I missed him', having no recollection of the fact that he was there with her a few hours earlier. I tend to try and let things be now rather than trying to correct her but it's very difficult sometimes. Correcting her is pretty futile.
     
  9. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    111
    Hi there,

    We have that too with Mum. we can spend the whole day with her, take her out for lunch and a walk around the shops, take her home, settle her down with a hot meal. By the time I've driven home she's on the phone asking when are we coming, were very late! no recollection of the day at all. We've stopped correcting her, especially when she's getting upset about how will her mother get in if were out. We just say she's got her own key she will let herself in. Mum gets angry with the neighbours kids playing outside, she chases them away because it annoys her - oh dear !
     
  10. Create08

    Create08 New member

    May 14, 2019
    4
    I have short term and occasional long term memory loss. My wife tries to remind me of things and I use a white board in the kitchen also as a reminder.
    Our dog, Milly, recently died. She was so good in making me go out and I think that the fresh air is such a help. The obvious answer is for us to get another dog but when you are both in your late seventies, it's easy said than done.
     
  11. Ding Dong

    Ding Dong Registered User

    May 1, 2013
    18
    My step-mum had vascular dementia for 10 years. First she forgot my dad, her husband, had died. Later she forgot that she had ever been married & did not recognise his photo, or him in their wedding picture. She always remembered my name & that I was someone close to her, but was unsure what our relationship was. Oddly, although she could not remember a husband, she was always satisfied when I explained that she had married my dad when I was 11years old.
    Another odd development, she forgot that she had been a Methodist lay preacher, taking church services most Sundays for over 50 years. In later stages she seemed to have forgotten all about God, but she could remember the words and sing numerous hymns right up to her death.
     
  12. Ziggy Starshine

    Ziggy Starshine Registered User

    Jan 31, 2015
    9
    With respect does your mother live with someone else or have carers visiting or is he in care as she seems to be at the stage where she has become a bit of a danger to herself. Has she been re-assessed recently? Sorry, but I'm only asking after having been through all this with my mother-in-law and I know how quickly everything gets out of control. At 93 she is now in care and we feel re-assured that she is now safe. Regards.
     
  13. Ziggy Starshine

    Ziggy Starshine Registered User

    Jan 31, 2015
    9
    My mother-in-law at 93 is now in full-time care. She has been in care since May 2019 but over the years we went through all the stages you mention here. We learnt 'on the job' so to speak. Unlike your father she lived alone with carers visiting three times a day plus a nurse visiting daily to administer her Insulin. She fought against absolutely everything and towards the end at home she also had no interest in doing anything. Depression can play a big part in dementia and now she's in care and with our consent she's given a low dose daily of anti-depressant which seems to have improved her motivation. You mention here that your mother 'reminds' him about things but we were advised by professionals not to remind, just listen. Your father is telling you the 'truth' as he sees it. I know it must be upsetting for your mother but it is also upsetting for your father as for him you are not believing him. Tomorrow may be a totally different recollection.

    Her husband died with a brain tumour before her illness and he never regained consciousness after an operation but during her illness we have listened to many examples of how he died and who killed him but all we did was listen as the stories could and did change. We would never disagree, no matter how difficult it was to listen to them - disagreeing, reminding or trying to correct only caused her distress.

    We were told to try and not ask questions because at this stage they just cannot remember very much at all - let them do the the talking and where it is safe agree. If you know they are talking about things which just didn't happen just listen and never disagree no matter how difficult it is for you to 'bite your tongue'. Over the years I've really learnt a lot and have done a lot of research as we went through so many different stages. I'm always willing to discuss and give my limited advice - as they say 'advice is for giving not always for taking'

    Take care - I really do know how difficult it is.
     
  14. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    82
    Thanks for all your replies, it helps to hear from those who find themselves in the same position or have walked the same path. It really does.

    My dad's situation isn't helped due to his COPD. At his first visit to the rispiratory clinic he has been referred for oxygen therapy.... having read up a little on what this entails I worry that this treatment is going to add to his confusion. He can't remember that he has problems breathing and so it's a vicious circle of explaining why he needs the oxygen.


    @Ziggy Starshine yes I totally agree that we should just go with the flow and agree with what he says, I often say to my mum does it really matter that he's got things muddled up and the memory he has of something isn't right? Even though she can see his slow decline, it's still so very hard for her to accept that there's nothing left of her husband of the man she married. I think when she 'reminds' dad of something, she's hoping that it will stir his memory. Of course we know that it doesn't. Even when his reply may be 'oh yes, that's right'. It's a game that we have learnt to play along with.

    @Ding Dong for the timebeing at least, dad knows who we all are (me, my husband and 3 children) for which I am extremely thankful for. I dread the day he will no longer know us.

    @Create08 I am so sorry to hear this. It must be especially hard for you going through this and being on this forum must be especially hard to read carers' posts. Please remember that everyone's experiences of this disease can be very varied. I have tried the white board for dad, but it didn't work for us. We take our dogs around sometimes to visit which used to help and dad was especially happy to see our lab - he's been in the family for 12 years. I agree the fresh air can do you the world of good, but the commitment to another dog is a huge thing to take on and not just because you're in your seventies! I wish you well.
     
  15. Ziggy Starshine

    Ziggy Starshine Registered User

    Jan 31, 2015
    9
     
  16. Ziggy Starshine

    Ziggy Starshine Registered User

    Jan 31, 2015
    9
    Yes I agree it must be so very difficult for your mother. As a family we discussed how difficult it would have been for our father-he would have found it impossible to deal with. You want the same person with you but unfortunately you haven't got the same person, the person before your mum is a stranger and it's so distressing - this is such a cruel disease as it takes the person you love and know away from you and replaces it with a stranger. Your mum just needs to learn and it is extremely difficult, not to 'fight' against it and unfortunately understand that it will only get worse, there is no going back although there may be times when she thinks the situation is improving. I'm sure you've prepared your mum for what is to come but really nothing can prepare you - there are local get togethers for carers perhaps it would help if you could arrange for mum and perhaps yourself as support to go to one. Take care
     
  17. Ziggy Starshine

    Ziggy Starshine Registered User

    Jan 31, 2015
    9
    By the way and I forgot to say, I do hope that you and your mother are getting support and some some respite - seriously it is important - it helps to free the mind - your social worker should also help with this.
     
  18. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    82
    Unfortunately we don't receive any support as such. Dad receives home visits from the Memory Clinic nurse every 3 months and apart from me my mum doesn't receive any help. Mum has her own mobility issues and doesn't drive, so it's up to me (and my family) to look after them in every way. I do mention it might be time to get some carers in but my mum isn't too keen. Earlier in the year mum had to wear a back brace and we did get carers involved to fit it and remove it daily - the experience wasn't a great one and the turnover of staff in such a short space of time (8 weeks) only unsettled my dad. Although I do know many people who have wonderful carers. I guess like lots of people in our situation, a crisis is what will make something happen.....
     

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