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. IrisheaglesOne

    IrisheaglesOne Registered User

    May 20, 2015
    1
    #1 IrisheaglesOne, May 20, 2015
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
    Hi Everyone!

    I am Angela and my 74 year old mother has Alzheimer’s disease. I live in Oklahoma and she is in Georgia where my brother lives 2 miles from her care home. Let me give you some background.

    My mother was perfectly healthy three years ago. She was so healthy that she was taking care of elderly patients as a sitter. One day, she went to help one of her patients up and snapped a vertebra in her back. She had surgery, got well and went back to work only to do it again within a few months. She then had another surgery and got through that good. Two weeks later, she had a tear in her bowel that required repair, colon ostomy while the bowel healed and then 6 months later, a reversal for that. She finally got all healed up from that! She then started having incredible pain in her sides, went to the hospital and found out that she had multiple broken ribs. We all thought maybe her home health care may have been rough with her but she insisted that they were not. Come to find out, even while in the hospital, she had several bones break. Her bones are so brittle that she breaks them constantly and is in great pain despite major pain medications. They cannot find out what is causing this…cancer ruled out and all the other things ruled out.

    Fast forward a little to last month. On April 10th, she went into the hospital for pneumonia and spent 6 days there. The doctor said for her not to be left alone so she, my brother and I chose a hospice home. The doctor did not want to do that but she insisted. Anyway, I spoke to her on the 15th and the 17th and she was fine. A little forgetful but fine. Three days later, BOOM. Dementia hit her like a ton of bricks. She is scared all the time and calls everyone she can call yelling “Help me” over and over, she hardly sleeps despite being given meds. She knows my name (most of the time) and my brother, calls no less than 30 times a day talking pretty much nonsense but when she is lucid, she talks about the care home people, my brother, my cousin, etc plotting against her. She even thought that her phone caused the lady to speak over the loud speaker (in the home)

    I do not know what to do to bring her comfort. She is not the person that she was at all yet she seems to be stuck between lucid enough to know that things are wrong but not lucid enough to be able to do anything about it. I feel so bad for her and my poor brother. He has always been her baby so while he is working, she is calling 30+ times a day with her “help me” over and over and it just has worn him down. I am worried about him as well. He has two kids, a wife, two jobs and one weekend job and she insists that he come there several times a week or she starts treating him horribly. I am, at least, able to just not answer the phone sometimes. I work from home and go to school online, so as long as I am not meeting a client, I can talk but I get to where I do not want to talk because it is exhausting and heartbreaking!

    I feel like a horrible daughter and when she first got this way, I was a mess. I could not imagine her not being in my life but now…I would miss her but she needs peace! She is just a crying mess most days…seeing bugs crawling on the wall, thinking that people are poisoning her or out to get her. People should not have to live that way.

    I know that you all understand this well, I just wonder how you cope? I cannot imagine those of you who have your family living with you. I offered for her to come here but she will not do that. Perhaps that is best.
    I also want to ask….my mother has this and so does her sister, my aunt who has it bad as well. I am terrified that I will also inherit this. I wake up nights sometimes scared to death that one day I will wake up this way. Do any of you ever feel that way? What do you do about it?

    Thank you for “listening” and I am sorry that it is so long!

    Angela
     
  2. 100 miles

    100 miles Registered User

    Apr 16, 2015
    109
    Hi Angela,

    Sorry to hear your mum is having such a tough time and that she has been frail for so long. She has certainly been battling many heath problems. Of course you and your brother must be very worried.

    As you can see from reading the posts, dementia affects everyone in different ways and over different timescales. But the confusion has come on so quickly I am wondering if her recent problems may be exaggerated by a water works infection. Has she been checked out by a Dr recently? It may be worth having a sample tested.

    I know you are trying to do your best for your mum and are keeping her safe. It is all we can do.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful. I hope she settles soon,
     
  3. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,490
    Female
    London
    It might be a UTI or the anaesthetics she must have had in previous hospital visits have deepened her confusion. What meds is she on? Make sure she isn't just put on antipsychotics as a matter of course, they can cause her to have more falls which would mean more breaks, plus they should only be given as a last resort anyway.
     
  4. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    566
    Hi Angela, I'm sorry your Mum is so poorly and so distressed. I would agree with Beate that this level of confusion could well be down to a UTI - has she been tested for an infection - of any sort? It would also seem it is very early days in terms of her being diagnosed with dementia so could her Doctor review her medication - tweaking her meds could help her be more settled and less distressed. How are the care home handling things, do they try distraction, interaction, activity, music, singing, toys etc. to calm Mum? Have they flagged it up as an issue with you or are they just seeing it as the way she is?


    With regards to your concerns about your own health, well that's fully understandable and I suppose there are two approaches as there would be for any 'family tendency' health issue - you can just do your best to put it out of your mind on the basis that worrying about anything doesn't help or you can go to your Doctor and ask their advice - early detect tests, indicators, scans and so on - I have no idea how early something like dementia does show up on tests so your Doctor might just say 'no go' at the moment, or just run some general health checks but you do have to consider how you would react if something was found to be amiss although I'm the doctor would discuss this aspect with you.
     
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,665
    Salford
    Hi Angela, welcome to TP
    Don't worry about it, the worry will only cause you harm and achieve nothing, the stress it causes is more likely to get to you before the AZ might.
    Below is a link to the AZ Society fact sheet on inheritance, the increased risk is minor, it's more likely that you'll die of any number of other thing before AZ. There are diseases where if someone in the family has them then you're at a significantly elevated risk, AZ isn't one of them. You've enough on your plate at the moment without stressing about this.
    Take care
    K

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=917
     

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