Feeling scared and alone

daughteroflovelymum

New member
Apr 11, 2024
7
0
Hello, this is my first post. Sorry it's less than cheerful!

For the past year or so my 76 year old mum has been showing subtle signs of memory loss, repeating herself and a decline in problem solving abilities (eg cooking). But as isolated events I sort of wrote them off, and thought perhaps I was 'imagining' it or hyper-focussed on looking for things. But a couple of nights ago my dad called me specifically to tell me he'd noticed a few things over the past 6 months - 1 year or so (although divorced they still speak on the phone occasionally and sometimes see each other), and that that evening they had spoken on the phone and talked about a few things in detail, then after the call mum rang him straight back to say "oh and..." then proceeded to talk about one of the things that had already spoken about, as if it was the first time. This made it all feel very real and no longer just something I'm imagining.

My dad is not emotionally intelligent or nurturing, so his call just made me feel worse, rather than better. He provided no supportive or kind words, just facts. I have a brother, but he is estranged from the family, so I'm feeling really scared and alone. My mum lives alone and it will be just me going through this with her and her primary carer, if/when needed (I also live alone). I have good friends that will provide emotional support, but I feel i cant lean on them too much, and practically it will just be me.

I also texted one of mums good friends yesterday to ask for a chat with her saying ive been worried about my mum etc. And when we spoke on the phone she said she had sort of been expecting my call for the past 9 months or so :( This is all so terrifying and has become so real all in the space of 2 days.

My mum has always been terrified of getting dementia/Alzheimer's , and I'm so scared of bringing all this up with her. I have sort of tried a couple of times when she has forgotten key things, but she writes it off as 'she had a lot going on' or 'we talked about a lot of things' etc. I feel she doesn't have the insight or is in denial/too scared to face it. As I have been really. I know the next step is to get her to see her GP and memory clinic referral, and Id like to do this with her. But im just so frozen with bringing it up.

I'm feeling really overwhelmed and alone and want to protect my mum from fear. Just wanted to share as I cant really sleep or eat and am really anxious and low.
 
Last edited:

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
24,171
0
Southampton
Hello, this is my first post. Sorry it's less than cheerful!

For the past year or so my 75 year old mum has been showing subtle signs of memory loss, repeating herself and a decline in problem solving abilities (eg cooking). But as isolated events I sort of wrote them off, and thought perhaps I was 'imagining' it or hyper-focussed on looking for things. But a couple of nights ago my dad called me specifically to tell me he'd noticed a few things over the past 6 months - 1 year or so (although divorced they still speak on the phone occasionally and sometimes see each other), and that that evening they had spoken on the phone and talked about a few things in detail, then after the call mum rang him straight back to say "oh and..." then proceeded to talk about one of the things that had already spoken about, as if it was the first time. This made it all feel very real and no longer just something I'm imagining.

My dad is not emotionally intelligent or nurturing, so his call just made me feel worse, rather than better. He provided no supportive or kind words, just facts. I have a brother, but he is estranged from the family, so I'm feeling really scared and alone. My mum lives alone and it will be just me going through this with her and her primary carer, if/when needed (I also live alone). I have good friends that will provide emotional support, but I feel i cant lean on them too much, and practically it will just be me.

I also texted one of mums good friends yesterday to ask for a chat with her saying ive been worried about my mum etc. And when we spoke on the phone she said she had sort of been expecting my call for the past 9 months or so :( This is all so terrifying and has become so real all in the space of 2 days.

My mum has always been terrified of getting dementia/Alzheimer's , and I'm so scared of bringing all this up with her. I have sort of tried a couple of times when she has forgotten key things, but she writes it off as 'she had a lot going on' or 'we talked about a lot of things' etc. I feel she doesn't have the insight or is in denial/too scared to face it. As I have been really. I know the next step is to get her to see her GP and memory clinic referral, and Id like to do this with her. But im just so frozen with bringing it up.

I'm feeling really overwhelmed and alone and want to protect my mum from fear. Just wanted to share as I cant really sleep or eat and am really anxious and low.
hello @daughteroflovelymum is it worth sending a bullet point letter/email to your mums doctor outlining your concerns along with other concerns so he can get her in for a well woman appt and check then. this would stop you feeling like you need to ask and takes the emphasis away from you. your mum could then blame the doctor rather than you. you could then go with her as support rather than being responsible. it maybe that your mum has noticed things different with her but doesnt want to do anything about it. her doctor wont speak to you but can note your concerns. could get the others to do the same so the doctor has a bigger picture.
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
4,603
0
Newcastle
Hi @daughteroflovelymum and a warm welcome to Dementia Support Forum our friendly and helpful community of people who have experience of many aspects of dementia. I am sorry to hear about your mum. Many of us recognise what you have shared with us from our own stories. Do feel free to ask questions, raise issues, share with people who truly understand or let off steam. Feeling scared and alone is natural but I hope that the goodwill, good suggestions and support that you'll find here will help you.
 

daughteroflovelymum

New member
Apr 11, 2024
7
0
hello @daughteroflovelymum is it worth sending a bullet point letter/email to your mums doctor outlining your concerns along with other concerns so he can get her in for a well woman appt and check then. this would stop you feeling like you need to ask and takes the emphasis away from you. your mum could then blame the doctor rather than you. you could then go with her as support rather than being responsible. it maybe that your mum has noticed things different with her but doesnt want to do anything about it. her doctor wont speak to you but can note your concerns. could get the others to do the same so the doctor has a bigger picture.
Thanks for your reply. That's a good idea, thank you. Off the back of your message, I've just called her surgery and made a telephone appointment with her doctor to share my concerns etc. It's not for a few weeks, but feels like a good first step. thanks again :)
 

daughteroflovelymum

New member
Apr 11, 2024
7
0
Hi @daughteroflovelymum and a warm welcome to Dementia Support Forum our friendly and helpful community of people who have experience of many aspects of dementia. I am sorry to hear about your mum. Many of us recognise what you have shared with us from our own stories. Do feel free to ask questions, raise issues, share with people who truly understand or let off steam. Feeling scared and alone is natural but I hope that the goodwill, good suggestions and support that you'll find here will help you.
thanks for your reply :)
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
24,171
0
Southampton
Thanks for your reply. That's a good idea, thank you. Off the back of your message, I've just called her surgery and made a telephone appointment with her doctor to share my concerns etc. It's not for a few weeks, but feels like a good first step. thanks again :)
i hope it helps. at least then your mum can blame the doctor rather than you and the relationship wont be strained. and it will make you feel you are doing something.
 

LadyLouise

Registered User
Jul 14, 2022
82
0
At an early stage of dementia my mother described her symptoms as ‘brain fog’. This was less scary than dementia which my lovely grandma suffered for decades. We didn’t need to use the scary word, in order for my mother to make important decisions for herself, like giving up her highly responsible part time job (her symptoms hadn’t yet affected her work), and voluntarily giving up driving. When speaking about it with your Mum, could you keep focused on her symptoms, not the suspected cause, this will help normalise talking about what she’s going through and hopefully give her an outlet from fears that may be hard to admit to.
 

daughteroflovelymum

New member
Apr 11, 2024
7
0
At an early stage of dementia my mother described her symptoms as ‘brain fog’. This was less scary than dementia which my lovely grandma suffered for decades. We didn’t need to use the scary word, in order for my mother to make important decisions for herself, like giving up her highly responsible part time job (her symptoms hadn’t yet affected her work), and voluntarily giving up driving. When speaking about it with your Mum, could you keep focused on her symptoms, not the suspected cause, this will help normalise talking about what she’s going through and hopefully give her an outlet from fears that may be hard to admit to.
This is great advice- i like the idea of using 'brain fog' and other less scary sounding symptoms- that does help to normalise the symptoms to those we are all inclined to get, with many causes. I may even have to practice saying it to someone else.. I'm so nervous... uugh. Thank you, really appreciate your reply :)
 

SherwoodSue

Registered User
Jun 18, 2022
624
0
At an early stage of dementia my mother described her symptoms as ‘brain fog’. This was less scary than dementia which my lovely grandma suffered for decades. We didn’t need to use the scary word, in order for my mother to make important decisions for herself, like giving up her highly responsible part time job (her symptoms hadn’t yet affected her work), and voluntarily giving up driving. When speaking about it with your Mum, could you keep focused on her symptoms, not the suspected cause, this will help normalise talking about what she’s going through and hopefully give her an outlet from fears that may be hard to admit to.
I agree. Mum has ‘memory problems’. You will find yourself doing more for and with your mum as time goes by. Every time you pick up a new responsibility or job, say to yourself…
‘Can I keep this up for the next three years?’ If the answer is no then it’s a rubbish plan.
In other words build in care for you as well as your mum, that way you won’t burn out.
Get the formal diagnosis. Apply for attendance allowance and use the cash for a cleaner/ carers
Do get LPA done. Hopefully mum will be agreeable Citizens advice or Age Concern can help.
Try not to panic. Things have been moving slowly. Fingers crossed, they may continue to do so for a while. Post here often x
 

LadyLouise

Registered User
Jul 14, 2022
82
0
This is great advice- i like the idea of using 'brain fog' and other less scary sounding symptoms- that does help to normalise the symptoms to those we are all inclined to get, with many causes. I may even have to practice saying it to someone else.. I'm so nervous... uugh. Thank you, really appreciate your reply :)
Good luck, this isn’t easy ❤️
 

Countryrambler

New member
Apr 15, 2024
2
0
Hello, this is my first post. Sorry it's less than cheerful!

For the past year or so my 76 year old mum has been showing subtle signs of memory loss, repeating herself and a decline in problem solving abilities (eg cooking). But as isolated events I sort of wrote them off, and thought perhaps I was 'imagining' it or hyper-focussed on looking for things. But a couple of nights ago my dad called me specifically to tell me he'd noticed a few things over the past 6 months - 1 year or so (although divorced they still speak on the phone occasionally and sometimes see each other), and that that evening they had spoken on the phone and talked about a few things in detail, then after the call mum rang him straight back to say "oh and..." then proceeded to talk about one of the things that had already spoken about, as if it was the first time. This made it all feel very real and no longer just something I'm imagining.

My dad is not emotionally intelligent or nurturing, so his call just made me feel worse, rather than better. He provided no supportive or kind words, just facts. I have a brother, but he is estranged from the family, so I'm feeling really scared and alone. My mum lives alone and it will be just me going through this with her and her primary carer, if/when needed (I also live alone). I have good friends that will provide emotional support, but I feel i cant lean on them too much, and practically it will just be me.

I also texted one of mums good friends yesterday to ask for a chat with her saying ive been worried about my mum etc. And when we spoke on the phone she said she had sort of been expecting my call for the past 9 months or so :( This is all so terrifying and has become so real all in the space of 2 days.

My mum has always been terrified of getting dementia/Alzheimer's , and I'm so scared of bringing all this up with her. I have sort of tried a couple of times when she has forgotten key things, but she writes it off as 'she had a lot going on' or 'we talked about a lot of things' etc. I feel she doesn't have the insight or is in denial/too scared to face it. As I have been really. I know the next step is to get her to see her GP and memory clinic referral, and Id like to do this with her. But im just so frozen with bringing it up.

I'm feeling really overwhelmed and alone and want to protect my mum from fear. Just wanted to share as I cant really sleep or eat and am really anxious and low.
Hello
I have just joined the forum today as my sister has been given a mixed dementia/ alzheimers diagnosis early stage - I wonder if she is more aware of her lapses in memory than you are aware of and that by raising what you, her friend and your dad have noticed might bring some relief/ an admission of that and a desire to be helped? My sister is on meds now and they have really helped with her short term memory. As I said earlier, I’m in the very early stages with my sister but just wanted to reach out to you.
 

daughteroflovelymum

New member
Apr 11, 2024
7
0
Hello
I have just joined the forum today as my sister has been given a mixed dementia/ alzheimers diagnosis early stage - I wonder if she is more aware of her lapses in memory than you are aware of and that by raising what you, her friend and your dad have noticed might bring some relief/ an admission of that and a desire to be helped? My sister is on meds now and they have really helped with her short term memory. As I said earlier, I’m in the very early stages with my sister but just wanted to reach out to you.
Hi there, thanks so much for your response. It's really kind. Yes, I think I've just got to rip the plaster off and start the conversation with her. I'll go gently. thanks again :)
 

GlennBurch

Registered User
Apr 10, 2024
21
0
It is important to keep in touch with your loved ones and friends during this difficult period. Remember, you are not alone, and many people face similar challenges in caring for loved ones. It may be worth seeking help from a dementia specialist who can offer advice and support in this situation. The main thing is to take care of yourself and not forget about your emotional needs.
 

Auldyin

New member
Apr 16, 2024
7
0
You are certainly not alone, I think without this forum to vent and share I would really be lost, we are all together with love and support
 

daughteroflovelymum

New member
Apr 11, 2024
7
0
It is important to keep in touch with your loved ones and friends during this difficult period. Remember, you are not alone, and many people face similar challenges in caring for loved ones. It may be worth seeking help from a dementia specialist who can offer advice and support in this situation. The main thing is to take care of yourself and not forget about your emotional needs.
Thank you so much. Really appreciate. Im nudging mum slowly towards seeing her doc about a memory clinic referral. Have had the first chat with her at least. The next hopefully wont be as scary!