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Help: My mum might have dementia

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by jocp, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. jocp

    jocp Registered User

    Sep 17, 2015
    2
    Hello im very anxious 20 year old whose mum has started to show signs of forgetfulness. Albeit quite small but recently she couldnt remember her bank pin which got me really worried since she has used it for years. My grandmother has dementia, and my family takes care of her. I feel like I cannot talk to my mum about this since the first time I tried consoling her she got angry and frustrated. I'm really scared. My mom is only 49 years old. I've done some research on the internet which of course fueled my anxiety and now I am really stressed.

    Other instances are: She also forgot her bike to the supermarket and walked home (we live quite near the shop, sometimes she walks, sometimes she goes by bike). Yesterday (yes, only yesterday I started to pay attention) she didn't remember switch on the stove while boiling pasta. She also forgot to put on the washing machine. She does my grandmother's laundry everyday since my grandmother has trouble with her bladder and stuff.

    She does remember events and people very well, no problems in that area, at least not that I know of...

    I've been thinking that it might be due to stress, since she lost a dear friend to cancer earlier this year, but now I'm starting to worry. She has had minor depression, which I'm not sure if she has any medication on anymore.

    My mom does smoke everyday and uses alcohol from time to time which makes me even more worried and scared for her health.

    Please, any help would be appreciated. I don't want her to go through this alone and without any help since she has been anxious as well, and trying to hide it for my and my siblings sake. I would very much like to go to the doctor to diagnose this. I've had a hard time accepting this. I heard that the earlier you start treating the better the expectancies are.
     
  2. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,026
    Yorkshire
    Welcome to TP jocp
    I hope reading through the posts will help you to understand the pressures your mum is under and may well reassure you.
    You obviously care deeply for her and your grandmother and I'm sure your support is very much appreciated.
    I can't even begin to 'diagnose' your mother and neither should you - the forgetting could have so many 'causes' and to be honest I've done very similar things myself, especially on days I've been running on empty trying to make sure all is well for my dad.
    There's a thread here which links to a video which shows the difference between forgetfulness which we all can have and what forgetting is like for someone with dementia - I hope someone else will be able to signpost you to it.
    If you can, help your mum practically - maybe take some of the chores from her - give her a chance to just sit and relax for a while. See if that helps.
    Maybe gently drop in that she is eligible for a carer's assessment - she may already have done this, though.

    Apologies if I sound patronising - but don't jump to conclusions - let your mum know you are there for her and are happy to help - but allow your mum to choose how you help - she is YOUR mum and she's looking out for you - I know we worry about our mothers (that's what she is doing too) so give her more of your time.
     
  3. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,534
    North East England
    Anxiety can be a horrible thing to suffer from and may be the cause of your mum's slight forgetfulness recently. I was poorly with severe anxiety over the summer which resulted in me coming out in hives all over my body and arms and legs, plus my face and lips swelling up. It's weird the things that can happen to us as a result of anxiety.

    I am 50 and just yesterday I loaded the washing machine and forgot to switch it on. I've also quite often put a pan on the hob and forgotten to turn it on, or have turned on the wrong ring. I regularly mix up my bank pin with my house alarm number. If your mum sometimes goes to the shops on her bike and other times on foot, then I feel it's understandable that she forgot her bike that time.

    Please don't panic. Looking after your grandma will probably be extremely stressful for your mum. Does she have any help with this, either from outside agencies, social services, or family? Perhaps she needs more help than she's getting, in order to take the load off a little bit.

    Having said all this, it wouldn't hurt for your mum to make a trip to the doctor - perhaps you could ask her to go because you've seen how anxious she's getting, rather than because you suspect she may have dementia. Maybe you could go with her? There's lots that can be done for anxiety. I'd rule out other less frightening things first.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on - oh, and welcome to the forum, too!
     
  4. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,026
    Yorkshire
  5. jocp

    jocp Registered User

    Sep 17, 2015
    2
    Thank you for answering, I didn't expect such a quick responses!
    I've had some time to think about this and reflect. It is very true that I might be overly-attached to my mum and it is a thing we both recognize.

    No offence taken Shedrech, I totally understand where you are coming from. I think I just needed to hear it from an outside source. Also thank you for the video link! I'm a quite academic person myself, so over-analyzing and my need-to-know-everything attitude sometimes causes me problems... I'm watching the video right now.

    So sorry to hear that CollegeGirl! Sounds quite painful. My anxiety caused some psychosomatic symptoms which have lessened over time which I think worsen my worry for my mum. Me and my sister have been helping her occasionally but she rather do the caring for herself. My grandma needs lifting sometimes, which is hard considering my small stature, so we've concerted to my mum going there every night and sometimes my sister and I go by in the mornings. I've tried talking to my mum about hiring someone to help her with it, but it is difficult in my country to get help or a diagnosis of mental conditions. Thank you for your advice.

    Even if this is nothing at the moment, this kind of revelation scared me but it also made me more prepared for the future, since dementia is quite hereditary.
    I've done some research on local care and help centres. If things progress, meaning is she starts forgetting bigger things, I'll speak to her about going to the doctor...

    I think I'll update this thread if anything happens.
     

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