1. RachelJane

    RachelJane New member

    Sep 6, 2019
    My mother in law, currently undiagnosed because we are still waiting for her health card (it should arrive in two weeks) as she moved to France to live next door to us in March - the move caused some upset but the excitement of moving into her own apartment seemed to keep her going - I won't say it was easy but it was what it was and had to be as she could not stay in the UK living on her own. She was booked in for a memory test but she ended up moving to France before that date due to the timing of various things - our work schedule.

    On Tuesday we received some sad news that her cousin had died, they were like sisters, this has caused great upset and she seems to have taken a massive downward spiral. We keep saying we realise it is a shock - it wasn't really as the cousin had been ill for years but she can't remember that.

    Last night she had a very honest conversation about her memory with us and she can't even remember her daughter coming at the weekend even though she knows she did because she keeps a diary. She thinks it has just happened, but her memory has been failing her quite some time. She plays spider solitaire for hours on end, writes in her diary although the entries are slightly crazy or very short ie 'it was sunny today' and she can still manage facebook although the posts are random code like words which only those close to her would understand.

    We tried reassuring her last night that she didn't need to remember things and she should calm down and stop putting herself under so much pressure to remember because of the shock of the cousin. She asked her if there was a name for it - we said she needs to visit a doctor and be assessed. Is there anything we can do to help her get through this stage without it getting worse?

    Also if anyone else has experience of getting an assessment in France we would welcome your advice.

  2. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    Welcome to the forum. I can't help with details of assessments in France but you might find this link about 'compassionate communication' helpful: https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/thr...n-with-the-memory-impaired.30801/#post-413710

    The death of her cousin will naturally be distressing but sometimes people can get stuck in a 'loop' and distraction can help. Chocolate or cake always works for my Mum but you know your Mum best so will have a better idea of what might work for her.

    Your thread is titled 'delirium' but you don't refer to this in your message - has your Mum had a diagnosis of this? If so hopefully the GP will have ruled out any obvious possible causes such as an infection.

    Getting a diagnosis of dementia can be a lengthy process with various tests/scans involved so best to book an appointment with a GP as soon as you can to 'get the ball rolling'.
  3. RachelJane

    RachelJane New member

    Sep 6, 2019
    I will have a read of the article. Funnily enough, I gave her a KitKat and a cup of tea, then homemade soup with a glass of wine at lunchtime (she isn't a bit drinker) and it did help calm her a bit. Just a natural thing to do I guess.

    I titled it delirium and should have explained but I read that shock can cause this and wondered how other people have got on.

    I realise the process of getting a diagnosis is lengthy and rather annoyed that her doctor in the UK just told her to move to France to live with her son as she wasn't going to get any better (whatever that meant!) but looking at her medical records I reckon they had a party on her departure date as she was calling them every 2 to 3 days, calling out a paramedic or doctor! I need her french health card first (I have a temporary number but this is really for hospital emergencies), her card should arrive in two weeks - it has taken a long time despite just been a simple transfer of health rights. Anyway, I need to find an appropriate doctor to make this assessment.
  4. Pete1

    Pete1 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2019
    Hi @RachelJane, sorry to hear about your MIL's difficulties. Bereavement and the subsequent grieving process can cause increased memory issues, however from what you are saying potentially the memory issues have been going on for a while - but this event may have exacerbated the situation. It does sound as though MIL has some self reflection on the memory struggles which is helpful. The only thing I can suggest is that perhaps you keep your own log which will help you to monitor any decline and also assist you when you do finally get an assessment. All the best.
  5. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    I think that just moving from a familiar environment can often throw a cruel spotlight onto dementia problems. When people are at home they can often successfully "hide" the symptoms from outsiders for a long time. My mum lived on her own and it seemed as though she suddenly developed symptoms of dementia and by the time she was diagnosed she was well into the moderate stage (if not bordering on the severe stage), but when I cleared out her home after she moved into her care home I found very clear evidence from the paperwork there that her dementia had been there for a long time and it was only once she could no longer hide it that I realised that there were problems.

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