1. jessicalucia91

    jessicalucia91 New member

    Apr 24, 2019
    5
    Female
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Hi all

    This is my first post and I'm feeling really thankful that this online forum is available for support.

    My mum (aged 63) was diagnosed with Dementia in February and is still undergoing tests to determine the form and severity, however the doctor has said it is most likely Alzheimers. She has been suffering symptoms for approaching 3 years and scans show substantial brain shrinkage.

    As I don't have a full diagnosis, I'm struggling to find support and the family at present don't know where to start in relation to care. She is deemed unfit for work, they have removed her driving license and she has developed severe anxiety. Does anyone have any tips for how to deal with this? She is afraid of stairs, sitting down, water, being in a car, walking and has severe paranoia regarding animals being in her house/on her.

    Has anyone ever dealt with this before? If so, I would really appreciate a chat and to hear your story. I'm trying to clue myself up as much as possible. I've read lots online and currently reading 'Somebody I Used To Know' by Wendy Mitchell which I'm finding enlightening.

    I look forward to getting more involved in this chat and will of course offer my own support to anyone in need.
    Jessica
     
  2. CarlW

    CarlW Registered User

    Apr 10, 2019
    11
    Hi Jessica,
    I'm new to the forum, too, but my aunt had similar symptoms of anxiety while we were waiting for a dementia diagnosis. In fact, it was one of the main reasons (along with the memory problems) for going to the gp, as the anxiety had been going on for some time but had spiralled out of control.
    My aunt started worrying about all sorts of things. She was afraid of going out, particularly to restaurants, and would make excuses not to go. She also became obsessed with food hygiene and possible food allergies. She was afraid to sit outside in the garden in case someone came into the house, and couldn't go on a holiday that had been arranged and paid for due to her anxiety. Like your mum, she worried about herself and others being near animals. I could go on and on...
    Unfortunately my aunt got a UTI which seems to have caused her dementia to accelerate very rapidly, so we never got as far as finding a solution. If I were you I would take you mum to the gp and explain what you have said here. I would try to find out if there are anxiety medications available that are compatible with dementia, and if any are suitable for your mum.
    Sorry not to have been able to give any advice, but sometimes it helps to know that others have been in the same situation!
    I wish you and your mum well.
    Carl
     
  3. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    4,896
    N Ireland
    Hello @jessicalucia91, and welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place for information and support.

    My wife suffers from long standing depression and anxiety and is medicated for both as well as her dementia. I agree that a chat with the GP could be useful.

    Beyond that, I hope you have time to have a good look around the site. Whilst you can learn lots from threads on the forums, there is a publications list that covers all issues related to dementia and you can find that with this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list the list is useful for many things like understanding the issues and sorting out things like Power of Attorney, care needs assessments etc.

    You can also do a post code check for support services in your area by following this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you

    Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.
     
  4. Manchesterford

    Manchesterford Registered User

    Apr 24, 2019
    10
    Hi Jessica,

    Sadly I do have experience of this. We are two years into managing the anxiety and our only success was with a medication that made her much more sleepy and often confused. But she was peaceful.

    We had a referral for CBT but this involved processes that she couldn't understand and she couldn't remember to apply them.

    I think the anxiety is common. I would recommend you have the GP make medication a priority.

    There is so little we can do for our loved ones. I always ask does she feel safe and does she feels loved - that is the best I can do. So for me the medication levels anxiety and she feels safer.

    Thinking of you x
     
  5. jessicalucia91

    jessicalucia91 New member

    Apr 24, 2019
    5
    Female
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Thank you all so, so much for taking the time to reply. It is (selfishly) nice to speak to people who have experienced this and to know I'm not alone.

    I have booked her a GP appointment today to discuss purely the anxiety so that's a start. I also visited the Alzheimer's Society Centre in my local area which was incredibly useful, too.

    Thank you all again, I've only been registered for 24 hours and I already love this group!
     
  6. Rob_E

    Rob_E Registered User

    Feb 1, 2015
    162
    Male
    Liverpool
    Certainly medication for anxiety can make all the difference - mum is on Citalopram though there are many others available. Last year we noticed she was becoming more anxious and depressed about being left alone and feeling insecure, thinking people were trying to enter the house. The doctor increased the dosage slightly and its made all the difference. The only thing is that it can take sometime to start to work and then to take full effect so don't be too discouraged if you don't start to see results for several weeks.

    Another thing worth checking is that she is drinking enough water, lack of it can have a surprising effect, this was another problem identified by a nurse during a blood test, we have to actively encourage mum to drink water now, it doesn't happen otherwise.
     
  7. Cazzita

    Cazzita Registered User

    May 12, 2018
    465
    Hiya, welcome to TP- it's brilliant.
    My mum has all sorts of delusions about animals and was recently convinced a snake was in the house - she was petrified! She also sees a unicorn which frightens her and sharks and crocodiles in her garden! All bizarre and of course, unreal, so it's a pretty common thing.
    Mum is also very anxious about everything but still insists she is perfectly fine!
    Good luck on your journey and sorry to hear that your mum has this so young xx
     
  8. jessicalucia91

    jessicalucia91 New member

    Apr 24, 2019
    5
    Female
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Thank you all for your comments. We took her to see the GP this morning and he prescribed her with Pregabalin to treat the anxiety, which can be taken alongside Donepezil once her MRI results are back. We're finally making some progress and I feel so much better (just tired from all the early morning GP appointments haha). Let's hope it makes a difference! Thank you all again, I'm sorry so many people are going through this x
     
  9. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    4,896
    N Ireland
    Hello @jessicalucia91.

    I know that different people may react differently to meds, however, Pregabalin is the med taken by my wife and it certainly helped take the edge off her anxiety. My wife's dosage had to be tweaked a couple of times but all was fine in the end.

    I wish you both all the best with that.
     

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