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Dementia - Frontotemporal -advice

Sunflower25

New member
May 6, 2021
4
0
Both my husband and I are caring for his mother. I'm not looking for a diagnosis but some guidance on next steps. We're quite clear that something is wrong but aren't sure how to go from sadness and frustration to a point where we can get help, particularly, as mum is unwilling to take any help, except from us.

Mum lives alone and is becoming increasingly childlike. After some research we believe that she may have FTD - behavioural variant. Her memory is great, she's very active and can drive, shop, and does all activities of daily living. The issues started several years ago when she found herself in significant debt because she become unable to manager her finances. This ultimately led to her selling her house and moving into rented accommodation. We now help with her finances and she's on an even keel. However her behaviour is becoming increasingly obsessive, she is phones the GP / Optician or other health professional at least twice a week, and this can be daily, with a new or old issue. She's had a full medical review and is very healthy for her age, however the 'illnesses' go on. We do take time to reassure her that she's well, and we do take her to appointments when she needs support. Other aspects of her behaviour are also becoming increasingly erratic, she mixes her food into a mush before eating it, her table manners are sometimes challenging. She's often rude to my husband or I, particularly, when we go out of our way to help her . She'll usually tell us that the help we've given her has failed her in some way. Yesterday, I stretched 3 pairs of shoes that she has bought which were too tight. She's left them in the boxes next to the stretchers in her home for 4 months. I offered to help by doing this for her, as she'd asked for my husband's help previously. She was very happy that I'd offered to do this task for her. However, when she put the shoes on she said, they are lovely but one is overstretched. While this is minor, its a common pattern, whatever we do to support and help it is always turned into a negative. Each negative can then escalate into a crisis. she has almost daily crises, often over very minor issues.

The responsibility is very heavy, and we want to do the right thing. We both feel we need support for mum but we're not clear on the best way forward, any advice would be appreciated.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
6,121
0
N Ireland
Hello @Sunflower25 and welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place for information and support.


The best thing to do in this situation is have a chat with your GP. Many treatable conditions, such as depression, stress, thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies etc., can cause dementia like symptoms so it's important to have a check-up. Please don't cause additional stress by jumping to the immediate conclusion that it's dementia. On the other hand, if it is dementia then a diagnosis may open up support for you.


Here is a link to a Society Fact sheet about the diagnosis issue. Just click the second line to read or print the document


Assessment and diagnosis (426)
PDF printable version

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

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,525
0
My mother in law was very much like this. She was living on her own for many years and had similar behaviours that started in adult hood . When she was widowed quite young, these difficulties accelerated. She had nothing positive to say about any help given, whether family or professional. She was eventually diagnosed with depression ,general anxiety disorder and possibly a personality disorder. This developed into mixed dementia with the pre existing mental illness co existing with the dementia behaviour giving rise to challenging behaviour. She had carers to help which worked for a while, but eventually she went into care
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,621
0
South West
Hi Sunflower25 you haven’t put mothers age probably the most important bit of information required when replying to a thread with advise I noted that Mum is very active and still driving well that Brilliant news and definitely a positive for me ;):):) not sure I can give my advise on FTD because as individuals its so different for many reasons but if this helps. I’m 78 years old I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in July 1999 and after a PET brain scan F.T.D in March 2003 in total it will be 22 years ago this July :p obviously I’m still competent & capable to answer your question and like your Mum I still drive a Car & am 1000cc motorcycle :cool:;) I also make my own decisions on everything although I do actually discuss things with my wife a children but the final decision is mine and I continued in my employment until my retirement age of 65 so great news mum is very positive ;) and long may that continue:)
 

Sunflower25

New member
May 6, 2021
4
0
My mother in law was very much like this. She was living on her own for many years and had similar behaviours that started in adult hood . When she was widowed quite young, these difficulties accelerated. She had nothing positive to say about any help given, whether family or professional. She was eventually diagnosed with depression ,general anxiety disorder and possibly a personality disorder. This developed into mixed dementia with the pre existing mental illness co existing with the dementia behaviour giving rise to challenging behaviour. She had carers to help which worked for a while, but eventually she went into care
Thank you, its reassuring at this stage to know that we’re not alone, we love mum dearly and are struggling.
 

Sunflower25

New member
May 6, 2021
4
0
My mother in law was very much like this. She was living on her own for many years and had similar behaviours that started in adult hood . When she was widowed quite young, these difficulties accelerated. She had nothing positive to say about any help given, whether family or professional. She was eventually diagnosed with depression ,general anxiety disorder and possibly a personality disorder. This developed into mixed dementia with the pre existing mental illness co existing with the dementia behaviour giving rise to challenging behaviour. She had carers to help which worked for a while, but eventually she went into care
Thank you, its reassuring at this stage to know that we’re not alone, we love mum dearly and are struggling.
Hi Sunflower25 you haven’t put mothers age probably the most important bit of information required when replying to a thread with advise I noted that Mum is very active and still driving well that Brilliant news and definitely a positive for me ;):):) not sure I can give my advise on FTD because as individuals its so different for many reasons but if this helps. I’m 78 years old I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in July 1999 and after a PET brain scan F.T.D in March 2003 in total it will be 22 years ago this July :p obviously I’m still competent & capable to answer your question and like your Mum I still drive a Car & am 1000cc motorcycle :cool:;) I also make my own decisions on everything although I do actually discuss things with my wife a children but the final decision is mine and I continued in my employment until my retirement age of 65 so great news mum is very positive ;) and long may that continue:)
Thank you so much, I’m reassured that she’ll be safe, with our support. Interestingly she’s 78 too, and has had some challenges for at least 5 years. Good luck on your journey.
 

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