early intervention and other advice

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by keane, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. keane

    keane Registered User

    Sep 9, 2005
    40
    Hi everyone

    I'm new to the board and have read all the posts so far and this seems such a great support network.

    I am in need of advice. My mum is 63 and has not been diagnosed formally with Alzheimer's although she has been displaying symptoms for about 6 years. The problem that my family are having is getting my mum to the doctor's. Everytime my dad mentions it, my mum flies off the handle and says that we are trying to get rid of her. The upshot is my dad has decided not to do anything about it as he doesn't want to upset my mum. He has decided that there is not enough evidence to show that early intervention has any bearing on the progress of the disease. However, i think that this may just be an excuse as so not to cause my mum any distress. In your opinion how important is this early intervention?

    My mum is in early to mid stages (I think) of the disease. Like the previous thread - conversation has got difficult and she has been getting increasingly paranoid. This has been particularly hard for me as she keeps thinking that I am deliberatley leaving her out of conversations and that I'm only interested in my dad. I went to stay with them recently and it got to the point where my mum just stopped speaking to me and if I said anything to my dad she would fly into a rage throwing things round the house saying that I hated her. I really do try and make a fuss of her when I see her and do include her but I also need to support dad. i understand that she can't help it but is it worth trying to rationalise the situation with her? My brother explained that her behaviour was upsetting me and she then get really upset saying that she wouldn't hurt me for the world. i felt awful as I know she can't help it but I did feel that she made more of an effort that afternoon although since then if I go and visit she can still get cross at me.

    PS this summer has been so hard - have just realised that I am loosing my mum and like mandyp was saying in the previous thread she was the happiest, bubbly, warm person and the best mum anyone could have.
     
  2. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Keane
    early intervention can be advantages,there may be medication available to help Mum,the first contact is the GP.
    Could you get the GP to call and give Mum a check up?Would the GP co-perate if they knew the situation?
    At times like this we sometimes have to use devious methods for the good.
    Have a read at the help sheets at
    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Facts_about_dementia/factsheets.htm and then
    think about speaking to the Doctor
    Best wishes
    Norman
     
  3. keane

    keane Registered User

    Sep 9, 2005
    40
    Thanks for that Norman and Nada. I have read your information sheets and they are really useful. We did manage to get mum to see a consultant physician about three years ago - we told her it was just s general MOT type check up. This included a brain scan and other tests which all came back normal. She was not referred by her GP for this as my dad has a medical background. She managed to convince the doctor that she was stressed out about having my brother living at home, and he put her memory problems down to that. However, since then she has deterioated and displays a range of symptoms such as the following. She no longer has a sense of smell, she never drives anywhere, she doesn't like being on her own, gets restless and agitated, forgets words, puts dishclothes in the bathroom instead of face clothes, is prone to outbursts, gets paranoid and thinks we are leaving her out of things (which we are not), never phones me anymore, fears social occasions - she and my dad are going on holiday with a group of friends (something she would have previously thrived upon) and I can tell she doesn't want to go etc. Her personality has changed so much - she use to be so bubbly and chatty. My dad is convinced it's Alzheimer's as am I but he would rather not upset her by trying to get her to the docotor's. What I need is some evidence that I can use to convince dad that this is what we need to do. He will have read all your fact sheets and around the subject so he is informed. I will have a chat with him again. Thanks once again x
     
  4. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    700
    Oklahoma,USA
    Hi Keane,
    I got my nose bloodied ( figuratively not really) many times trying to get my Mom some help. My Dad finally took her in when she forgot who he was! I even called her GP for help and he did more harm than good, telling them I had called and was interfering! I can't help but think if they had gotten help two years earlier she might not be so progressed now. But at least she did finally get a AD diagnosis and on medication which has helped tremendously. I wish you all the luck in the world !
    Debbie
     
  5. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi Keane,

    I have every sympathy with your family's current situation. My father-in-law refused to see the family GP (he has always tried to avoid doctors/hospitals), even though all of his family (including his wife) urged him to get an opinion. Finally, my husband accompanied his parents to his mum's routine appointment and slipped the receptionist a note to pass to the GP outlining the family's concerns.

    The GP very skillfully suggested that my father-in-law be seen in the local memory clinic (nice, non-challenging name) and once on the medical conveyor belt, my father-in-law put up no real resistence. Unfortunately, by the time he was diagnosed with mixed dementia (Alzheimer's and vascular dementia) it was felt that he would not benefit from drug therapy - also his other health problems made the choice of medicines rather tricky.

    If your father needs some more evidence about the efficacy of drugs such as Aricept in the eraly stages of AD, you might want to show him this report of a study from the Archives of Neurology:

    http://www.pslgroup.com/dg/248502.htm

    It sounds as if your mother has been very good at covering-up the changes in her mental landscape, but that process is probably getting more and more difficult. Changes to routine, such as a holiday, will make that process even harder.

    Your father's instinct to protect her from the potential upset that a dianosis could cause (and your family might have some input into how such a diagnosis was given, if at all) is a natural one. However, I would guess that she is already under substantial pressure to keep covering up her mental lapses. If medication (for AD and/or anxiety and/or depression) can help to ease that situation then it is perhaps worth the risk.

    On a side note, your mother's changing sense of smell may or may not be significant, but recent research has shown a link between loss of sense of small and dementia:

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Research/Research_in_the_news/041213smell.htm

    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  6. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Keane
    now that Dad has read the fact sheets,plus the fact that he has a medical backgroune he will know the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
    I am sure if you continue to talk to him he will realise the benifit of seeking help.
    Keep talking and let us know how you get on.
    Best wishes
    Norman
     
  7. keane

    keane Registered User

    Sep 9, 2005
    40
    Thanks again Sandy, Debbie, Norman and Nada for taking the time to post a reply. It really means a lot to be able to get advice from all of you who must all have your own worries to deal with - it's greatly appreciated. As you can probably tell this is the first support that I have had! I have posted the link on aricept to my dad and also had a chat with him tonight so I'm hoping that he will take all this on board. xx
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.