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Gran getting worse...where to go from here?


Registered User
May 22, 2012
Hi Everyone,

Looking for a bit of advice please.

My Gran has had memory problems for the last 10 years, which have progressively got worse. My Grandad died 10 years ago and she misses him terribly and it has all went downhill from there.

About a year ago, she finally agreed to go to the doctors for a memory test, which miraculously she passed with flying colours. That was that and the doctor did no more, and Gran's attitude was sort of, "there - told you so". We were all very surprised but continued on as normal.

She still lives on her own, still drives (although we wonder about that...), still manages the day to day running of her home but not sure how much longer she is going to be able to do that.

In the last few weeks, her behaviour has gotten much much worse.

Some examples of her recent behaviour are:

1. My OH had a birthday recently. She gave his present to my Mum who dropped it off at our house. On his birthday she called me up (he was working) to say she was so so sorry that she had forgotten his birthday. I assured her she hadn't and we had the present and thanks very much etc. Then next time she saw us, she apologised to my OH for forgetting his birthday, which he had already thanked her for earlier that day.

2. This morning she called me at my work in a panic to say that she wasn't going to be going to work today as she wasn't feeling well (she is nearly 80 and hasn't worked for about 20 years) but she couldn't find the office number anywhere and could I look it up for her. When I told her it was OK she didn't work there any more she was asking where she does work. I just said it's OK, you are retired, just go and lie down on the couch and get yourself better.

3. My Dad had a phone call from her neighbour this afternoon just to let him know that my Gran had fallen in the burn that runs down by her house and that she was OK but shaken. They had taken her into their house and given her cups of tea etc to try to warm her up and she had tried to make them promise not to tell any of us about what had happened. Our question - why was she wondering about out near the burn??!!

4. At Christmas time, she met my OH's Dad and Brother as they had Dinner with us. The next day she said, oh it was lovely to meet your two uncles yesterday. We said, oh no that was his Dad and his Brother. 2 mins later....oh it was lovely to meet your Uncle and your Dad yesterday. We say again, no no that was his Dad and his Brother. 2 mins later....so who was that yesterday? Your Dad and your Uncle??
You get the point......

These are just some examples. Everytime you have a conversation with her she just repeats herself and forgets what you say to her. We are becoming concerned for her safety now. What if nobody saw her fall in the burn today. It is freezing cold and she would have been left there lying in the water.....dont want to think what could have happened!

So where do we go from here? Do we try to convince her to go back to the doctor? Do we go to the doctor ourselves with our concerns? What if she refuses to go to the doctor then what?

She is slowly pushing everybody away from her. She constantly has in her head that her and my Mum have fallen out and creates stories as to how they have fallen out. She is also pushing all her friends away and hardly goes out anymore. She has no interest in seeing them. Some of them have been friends all their lives and she just isn't interested any more. They usually spend new year together and bring in the bells but this year she told them she wouldn't be doing it.
She is constantly saying she is lonely but refuses to listen to any suggestions we give her about how to tackle this.

Does this sound like Alzhemiers/Dementia to anyone? Does it sound as bad as we think it is?

Any help/advice appreciated.



Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
Um, in a word - yes, it does sound like dementia, but I cant diagnose it - it needs a doctor because other things could be causing these symptoms. Lots of people with dementia pass the memory test to begin with, but then other problems start to creep in.

Try and persuade her to go back to the GP, or, if you think she wont then go and see him/her yourself and explain your concerns. The GP wont be able to discuss this with you, but will be able to make a note of it on her records and may be willing to invite your gran for a "check up" ;)


Registered User
Apr 12, 2014
Hi MsMain,

So very sorry to hear about your Gran! Oh my goodness, you absolutely have my sympathies and understanding.

Before I share my story, I want to tell you to make sure EVERYONE and ANYONE knows about your Gran. Write down what happened to your Gran regarding the burn, what the neighbours said, and all the other points you have mentioned. Write the time and date and what happened.

If you cannot get Gran to go to the GP, then the only other way to get help is to be heard. And, to be heard, you must make noise. Next time something goes wrong-like she falls down, call the ambulance. If you hear she is driving, contact the DVLA-you can do so anonymously. Call Social Services and let them know, even if they won't help you immediately-and keep record.

I am sure others will be along with their input and ideas. I am afraid my story is very sad and hard for people to hear. But, I suspect my story is not rare.

Hang in there and I do hope you can get help for your dear Gran.

Below is our story:

This is the road my OH and I first stepped upon about a year and a half ago. Step-Mum-In-Law was showing absolute signs of Vascular Dementia, she had suffered a stroke 2 years previous. She lost her way to visit us, she lost her house keys, she was found outside weeping in the front garden, forgot her keys again and didn't know what to do.

She kept asking when Dad was coming home, he is not-he had to go to a care home, because she couldn't remember to feed him or give him his tablets.

We went to her GP, via return signature letter. We were told he could not tell us anything at all. We went to DVLA, as there was NO way she was safe driving. We called Ambulance when she fell again, figuring at least the crew would see the state of her house (unbelievable!) and hopefully contact social services.

Hospital returned here HOME-with no brain scan-etc. OH called social services and they actually told him (I am serious) "We cannot go checking on everyone simply because they are forgetful, we are all forgetful sometimes". :eek::eek:

She passed away on Monday December 29th. They found her upstairs on the bathroom floor. Massive brain bleed. We received a call from Social Services last week. They decided they "might" go and see if she will speak with them. We told them don't bother. :mad: She's gone.

The coroner is currently performing an inquest, at which time I HOPE all the services we BEGGED to help us will be held to account.

If you don't get heard, make noise and keep a record.



Registered User
May 22, 2012
Hi Benrese,

Thank you for getting back to me and I am so sorry to hear your story - very sad.

It is awful isn't it - you feel so alone and just do not know where to turn.

When the professionals don't think there is any cause for concern then where do you go next?

Thanks for the suggestion about writing stuff down, I think we all need to start keeping a wee diary of things that happen.



Registered User
May 22, 2012
Hi Canary,

Thank you very much for your advice. I guess we need to brave up and broach the subject with her again and try to convince her to go back to GP.

Thanks x


Registered User
Oct 18, 2010
North East England
If you cant go/she won't let you go with her, write all these things down and hand the letter in to her GP before her appointment. It's vital that these oddities are documented.