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Family member not knowing they have dementia

Ajs45

New member
Mar 11, 2021
1
0
Hi my wife has a family member who
Has early dementia and can’t accept it
Doctors not helping at all.
We don’t live close enough to help.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
5,379
0
Nottinghamshire
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @Ajs45 . This is a common problem, I found it was best, with my dad, to not mention the dementia but deal with the problems as they arose.
Doctors aren’t always very helpful but if you’d like to tell us a little more about what’s happening perhaps someone will have some helpful suggestions.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,408
0
Hello @Ajs45

I think for many people with dementia it is definitely better not to try and persuade them to accept it at all. I'm not sure it's actually very useful in a lot of cases. My mum still has no idea that she has dementia, at 90 and in a care home. If I had dementia, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want anyone talking about it.

As @Bunpoots has said, best to deal with the everyday issues as needed.

Keep posting on how things are going. There are lots of us here to help you along, whatever problems arise.
 

nellbelles

Volunteer Host
Nov 6, 2008
9,148
0
leicester
Hello @Ajs45 welcome to DTP, early after his diagnosis my husband accepted that his memory was not good and accepted that it was probably his age, but when the CPN sat him down and told him that he had Dementia and it was a terminal illness he was devastated and it was several days before he settled..

Is it really necessary that they should know?
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,980
0
South coast
Some people with dementia are literally unable to understand that they have dementia because the bit of the brain that deals with self-awareness has been damaged by the dementia (its called anosognosia).

Could we, perhaps, help with the problems that you/your relative is having?
 

Roseleigh

Registered User
Dec 26, 2016
346
0
I am having this issue with my mum now. She has early dementia (no diagnosis as she wont go for one, insists she is fine , though her memory is poor). She also has poor sight due to AMD but refuses any help. She is just about managing with me doing all the shopping and basically organising what she eats. I really want her to have some help but she is very stubborn and as with the OP spiteful and distrusting accusing me of taking things or moving things she has misplaced. What do you do?
 

Roseleigh

Registered User
Dec 26, 2016
346
0
Is it fair to force a diagnosis on someone very elderly, who may die before dementia gets them?
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,494
0
@Roseleigh You have two choices, carry on as you are or step back and wait for a hopefully minor catastrophe. That sounds awful doesn't it but unless you can get her to accept some help I can't see any other way. My dad was the same and it was me who provided his care. I couldn't step back so I carried on but it is not good.

I know some people have just gone ahead and arranged carers for a parent in the guise of free help for the elderly or free help because the carer is learning on the job.. You would need POA for finances to do this because you would have to pay for it out of your mums money.

If she refuses to see a doctor you can speak to her doctor (who may or may not listen) and he/she may invite your mum in for a 'well woman check'

You are in a difficult spot as I know too well and it will just go on if you let it.
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
602
0
It’s hard...however I fought to get my mum diagnosed. Visited the GP until she finally agreed to a test. The memory clinic prescribed memantine which has greatly increased her enjoyment of life. Her hallucinations stopped and most of the bad things stopped.
For your mums sake I would have a go at getting her diagnosed. In my mums case she had problems sleeping (apparently) and the doctor (a new efficient young man) immediately recognised that mum had issues and quite matter of fact dealt with it!
The memory clinic was another thing! However the outcome was worthwhile and mum has a much better quality of life and I am much calmer too
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
2,877
0
Hi @Ajs45 and @Roseleigh and welcome to Dementia Talking Point.
@Roseleigh , my mother was very similar, in that her eyesight was very poor due to macular degeneration and she was blaming the neighbours for things she had no recollection of doing. I managed to piggyback another appointment she had at the GPs and slipped the GP a list of my concerns. He took it seriously, and ordered urine and blood tests, but didn't at the time think mum had dementia as her short-term memory was good. The other tests were to rule out other things such as a urine infection or vitamin deficiency and its worth going to the GP for that alone, as both can cause havoc in the cognition of elderly people. Mum refused to go to the memory clinic and any help I tried to get in. In the end she had a meltdown in the doctor's surgery, they organised a psychiatrist to visit her at home and he diagnosed vascular dementia.
Here is the Government site about Lasting Power of Attorney, that @Duggies-girl mentioned. This is needed when or you do have to do things such as manage a bank account. A diagnosis is also useful for accessing some services. I'm sure the local dementia service in mum's Borough would have been great, but they would only offer help if mum had an official diagnosis. By the time she did we were already in the middle of organising a move to a care home near me.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,282
0
Hi @Roseleigh , I think it's useless.
Lack of awareness is a godsend. My husband, who has Alzheimer's ( MMS 6.1), often says he can reason much better than me, even if he is " a bit " forgetful. God bless him, his lack of self-awareness and his arrogance.
You are so kind @margherita !
The fact you can give that answer, when we know what you go through ! You are a true star!

I would just say take into consideration that just because someone is very elderly, doesn’t mean they won’t be with us for a good long time !
Official statics are saying one in six people in the UK live to be 100.

The other reason to get a diagnosis, is attendance allowance. That money pays for my mums cleaner and gardener, both of which improve the quality of my life. You can get it without a diagnosis but that depends.
Not to mention the saving on community charges, which can be life changing.

I would say just email the doctors surgery ( there is a link on the web site) and lay out all your concerns, perhaps saying how welcome a ‘well woman ‘ or similar would be, and let them run with it.

With no POA, data protection means that you can communicate with them, but they may choose not to communicate with you, most certainly where they have concerns round personal information.
 

Roseleigh

Registered User
Dec 26, 2016
346
0
Hi @Weasell , thank you , but I'm afraid I am not so kind. I am too tired and exasperated.
Re the consequences of the lack of awareness, I had not taken into consideration the practical problems that might come up .
Hi Margherita,
I have communicated with you prevously when my only worry was my husband, who I thought seemed to be at a similar stage of dementia to yours. Mine however is now in a care home (a very good one I am pleased to say) and is almost completely lost to me, most of what he says being nonsensical, so I would say your husbands decline has been much slower.
But it seems as the care of one member of the family has passed to the professionals, so I now have another...

Hi Weasell,
You make a very good point about so many living till over a hundred these days! Just look at Prince Phillip. He has looked at deaths door for some time but he's just going on and on.

Re AA a timely reminder! I think I could get it for my mum without a diagnosis tbh, as she is registered partially sighted. Maybe selling her this idea might encourage her to accept help. I did manage to persuade her to have a gardner, who she pays for herself.

I also need to persuade her to get the health and welfare POA as currently I only have the enduring. Not an easy task as she insists she wants to make her own decisions! I have told her if she wants to stay out of a care home her best bet is to do it as otherwise if she had an accident a social worker could decide for her! She is sceptical that this could happen though and has become very disbelieving. When she loses something I am always accused of having moved it!😣
 

Roseleigh

Registered User
Dec 26, 2016
346
0
@Roseleigh You have two choices, carry on as you are or step back and wait for a hopefully minor catastrophe. That sounds awful doesn't it but unless you can get her to accept some help I can't see any other way. My dad was the same and it was me who provided his care. I couldn't step back so I carried on but it is not good.

I know some people have just gone ahead and arranged carers for a parent in the guise of free help for the elderly or free help because the carer is learning on the job.. You would need POA for finances to do this because you would have to pay for it out of your mums money.

If she refuses to see a doctor you can speak to her doctor (who may or may not listen) and he/she may invite your mum in for a 'well woman check'

You are in a difficult spot as I know too well and it will just go on if you let it.
My DD suggested the same, stepping back, but to do so during this pandemic is well nigh impossible.

I tried a bit of trickery saying local carers group were suggesting all >90s should get in a bit of help with showering, just in case they fall during the pandemic! Needless to say that didnt run! 'I don t need help with showering..'

I think my first step will be the H&W POA and try to persuade her to accept help on the pretext only by doing this she will get AA.
And then go for the well woman check.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,282
0
It may be worth enlisting the help of neighbours if you have any you are friendly with. ( perfect witnesses)

Don't forget hostess syndrome can work for you as well as against you.

If you get a ‘ grudging acceptance’ then arrange for the neighbours to call round.
Pick your time of day. Never late afternoon.

Get the ‘proposer’ to say ‘ right Joan , we are going to get this signed for you, it means that if you are unwell in hospital and social services say you need to go into a care home, they can’t do it with this in place.’

Print at least three signature sheets. Then when someone does it wrong you just whip out a new one.

If you get lucky hostess syndrome will kick in and you will get your signature.


I am over the moon with our new carer. She is pretending to be a ‘ helpful neighbour in need of some pin money’
I have told mum not to worry about money I will sort out the payment.
If mum had any idea of the cost the carer would be history !!!!
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,597
0
South West
Ok maybe this person doesn’t accept they might have dementia why is that a problem for other family members what do you actually think the doctors will do other than various test maybe a diagnoses possibly medication then what ?? this person is not alone because with various media outlets people are aware of all the discrimination and stigma from bureaucrats and originations is unbelievable remember dementia can’t be cut out or cured its got to be dealt with by the person with illness themselves and having loads of negative information wont help .

People with optimistic spouses are less at-risk for dementia because their partners encourage healthy habits and share stronger memories with them, study finds
Researchers at the University of Michigan and Harvard found people with optimistic spouses have less cognitive decline and memory loss

They think that happier partners also tend to have better habits
People are more likely to pick up their partner's habits - good or bad
They also found people could recall more detailed memories when they were shared with a partner


By NATALIE RAHHAL ACTING US HEALTH EDITOR
PUBLISHED: 21:44, 11 February 2020 | UPDATED: 00:58, 12 February 2020

People with happy and optimistic partners will live healthier lives and may even be protected against dementia, suggests a new study.

Researchers say people who spend their lives with a partner who has a sunny outlook had lower risks for Alzheimer's disease, dementia and cognitive decline as the grow old together.

They believe that an optimistic partner may help develop a healthier lifestyle by encouraging things like eating a salad or exercising together.

The study, published in the Journal of Personality, followed more than 4,000 heterosexual couples for up to eight years.

People who were married to optimists fared better cognitively as their lives went on, and the researchers from Michigan State University and Harvard University think it may be because their home environments were healthier and less stressful.
 

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