1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Jaxx

    Jaxx Registered User

    Jun 2, 2015
    17
    Preston, Lancashire
    My mum has Alzheimer's but was only diagnosed in June this year so she's still in the early stages. Last night I had to tell her her best friend had passed away. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do, she broke down and was sobbing uncontrollably. She said that she was her only friend and was more like a sister to her. What I want to know is will her Alzheimer's effect how she deals with that grief? She also has the added complication in that she is Bipolar. Luckily I live next door to her so I can keep a close eye on her but she's never had such devastating news for a long time and I'm unsure whether her Alzheimer's or the drug she's on for her Alzheimer's will change how she might react. She's on Memantine. Thanks x
     
  2. Jaxx

    Jaxx Registered User

    Jun 2, 2015
    17
    Preston, Lancashire
    Oops sorry was having trouble posting my thread and now it's posted both of my attempts
     
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,337
    Female
    South coast
    It is quite likely that she will forget that her friend has died and if you tell her again she will be devastated all over again. You have told her, but its probably best not to tell her again.
    I had this problem when mum forgot that dad had died and she thought he wasnt at home because he was having an affair. I said in bewilderment "but hes died!" and she was devastated, so I never said it again. I just said things like, " no, Im sure hes not having an affair, I think hes just working late"
     
  4. Flake

    Flake Registered User

    Mar 9, 2015
    222
    I have conversations with my mum abut people and family members long since passed away. They are now all either working, out fishing, down the shops, or I havent seen them because I am at work. She mostly forgets my Dad and that she was married and thinks he is with another woman. I go along with all these stories and never say that anyone has died. She get confused as to who I am and I just go with the flow - anything to keep my Mum happy. Her memory span is so short she soon forgets anything I have said and I usually end up repeating it. And I do have the most bizarre of conversations :)
     
  5. Jaxx

    Jaxx Registered User

    Jun 2, 2015
    17
    Preston, Lancashire
    Sorry I should have clarified, I wasn't reminding mum that her friend was no longer with us. I was informing her for the first time. Her friend passed away on the 27th of December this year and I found out from her daughter over Facebook. As mum is the worst technophobe she doesn't have Internet access so I had to be the one to tell her and her reaction was quite traumatic. Ever since mum's Alzheimer's diagnosis she's taking bad news a lot harder than she used to. She's still in denial about her diagnosis whereas my sister and I have come to accept it. She says she can't believe it's happening to her. But as she already has a life changing spinal injury plus bipolar disorder, asthma, arthritis etc, I think that another big blow like her friend's death will shatter her. She was already depressed after seeing a bone specialist in December who basically said there was nothing more they can do for her and as she's in such a horrendous amount of pain on a daily basis, I think she was hoping for some relief other than drugs. I don't know how to comfort her. I'm dealing with my own depressions (it seems to run in the family) plus a job that is very physical which causes me a lot of pain in my hips and knees (bad bones also run in the family). I wasn't sure if Alzheimer's alters the brain chemistry and changes how the sufferer deals with bad news etc.
     
  6. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    178
    Sorry to hear about your troubles Jaxx.

    My Mum started getting very upset about her young sister who had been killed in a bombing raid in WW2. It had obviously been a devastating experience but she had learned to live with it over the years. The Alzheimer's seemed to revive the whole experience and bring on floods of tears. If it's any consolation this phase passed and in the end she couldn't remember who her sister was.

    My mother also became very obsessed with her health. He general health was very good and she was on no medication, however, very minor things were blown up out of all proportion. The GP was called out on many occasions and Mum even got her husband to call an ambulance once; the paramedic guessed straight away that she had Alzheimer's and said this happened frequently. In her mind the only thing that wasn't wrong with her and that she wouldn't accept was that she had Alzheimer's so would not take Memantine. She had to be given Risperidone covertly in the end because of aggressive behaviour and I am sure the disease advanced more quickly after this, though the tears and obsessive, aggressive behaviour lessened. Risperidone is only prescribed as a last resort. I have known of people taking Memantine and having good results.
     
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,337
    Female
    South coast
    Yes, I realised that - I was just saying that she would quite likely forget and not to tell her again. It is very common for people with Alzheimers to be unable to deal with the grief - they just forget that it has happened.

    Its also very common for them to be unable to understand that they have demantia. This is not denial - they are truly unable to comprehend it. Nevertheless they are often aware that there is something wrong (though they cant quite put their finger on what it is), so they focus on other things that are small, but they feel must be the reason.
     
  8. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    178

    Your last paragraph, canary, about them being "aware that there is something wrong though they can't put their finger on what it is" was very true with my Mum. Even when her memory was so bad and she had forgotten about all the little niggles that seemed to have plagued her, she would sometimes say, "You wouldn't like it if you were like me." I asked, "Like what?" She never gave an answer but knew things were not right. Very sad.
     

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