How can it happen so quickly?!

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by drummergirl, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. drummergirl

    drummergirl Registered User

    Jul 4, 2012
    Hi everyone,

    I've been using these forums for advice for a while now and have found them a big help, but this is my first post. My mum hasn't been officially diagnosed yet, but has been showing symptoms of dementia for about 8 months now. Her mother had it so that's why we recognise her behaviour.

    My mum started off just being pretty vague and forgetting names etc, then progressed to being really confused about time and dates. This went on for a couple of months and while it was distressing for her, she could still go about her day pretty normally. Then she started having episodes which lasted a few days where she was not making a lot of sense, talking about children being in the house and being scared of the tv. But there'd still be days in between where she seemed fine.

    She's recently moved into a flat near mine, and since then she hasn't made any sense at all, keeps getting really tearful and angry and is too scared to leave the house, at least in the day time. The worst development is that she's started to leave the house in the early hours leaving the door open and forgetting to put shoes on. She did turn up at mine so that was a relief, but since then myself and my siblings have been taking it in turns to stay over at hers until we figure out what to do, just to prevent her from wandering off in the middle of the night.

    I know this is quite common for people with dementia, and the move seems to have made things much worse, but I suppose I just wasn't expecting it to happen quite this quickly. We have an appointment in 2 weeks time so I'm hoping she'll at least be diagnosed.

    I just wondered whether anybody else has had experience of someone going from seemingly fine to quite advanced symptoms in less than a year?

    Sorry it's turned out to be such a long post, and thank you - these forums have helped me a lot already x
  2. Donnadoobie

    Donnadoobie Registered User

    Oct 12, 2011
    Yes, My Mum also progressed really quickly 2 years ago she was fine, a bit forgetful but generally fine. In January 2011 she would drive to the supermarket and come and visit me, give birthday cards and remember when she was needed to take my daughters to the dentist etc and by November she was losing things on a daily basis, could not operate the microwave, left the gas on, wanted to go home, thought people were in the house, knocking on neighbours doors in the middle of the night and talking to pictures and leaving them food. In hindsight, the signs were there but the progression was rapid, between September and November I could notice a change on a daily basis!! Very scary and very hard to come to terms with when it is so quick. Mum is now in a CH, something I wouldn't have even thought about 1 year ago.
  3. Wildlife

    Wildlife Registered User

    Jun 19, 2012
    Hi - I've also been using the site to browse for a while. Your post stuck a chord with me straight away. My Mum was living independently 150 miles away from me, becoming increasingly forgetful, needing support from carers on a weekly basis, but managing to avoid any major catastrophes, thanks to watchful neighbours. We were making trips eery 2 to 3 weeks to visit her, give her a shower, clean the house & do the garden. Then two years ago she decided she would be better moving to live near me & my husband. The outcome was for us to sell both our houses and all move in to a property which has a downstairs bedroom & a wetroom. When we moved (18 months ago) both my husband & I were working part time. Within 6 months it became apparent that either her memory much worse than we had realised or the move had triggered a deterioration. not sure which.
  4. Smad

    Smad Registered User

    Jun 28, 2012
    Yes it does happen so quickly

    Same thing happened to my dad. Was officially diagnosed in Jan this year with vascular dementia. From then on it went Downhill quite fast. He started forgetting days, time, losing objects, misplacing wallet, accusing mum of stealing his money, hiding his money. Then the hallucinations started. Seeing people in the home, seeing faces of different races and cultures. Night waking and wandering and then the constant confusion and incontinence. Finally the shuffling, barely able to walk and the constant falls. Then the aggression towards mum started (for locking him in at night as he started wandering out the door at all hours of the night), the mood swings and the sexual aggression. Eventually a few months later mum could no longer cope as she started sleeping in a separate room at night for peace of mind and slightly fearful, that recently we had to admit dad to a permanent nursing home.
    It's been two mths now and he has yet to settle. Has his good days and bad. He's up and down. Loves it one minute and trying to climb the gates the next.
    He seems to be thriving health wise since beIng there but I guess thats for the 24/7 care and attentiOn he's receiving. Definately is a fast and steady decline and such a sad ride for family and friends concerned :(
  5. junerain

    junerain Registered User

    Jun 24, 2012
    It DOES happen - you have my heartfelt wishes

    Hi Drummergirl,
    My mum went from being family oracle to having hallucinations with almost total short-term memory loss in the space of 4 months. The trigger was when my dad died. They had been together for over 55 years. We thought she was grieving (but showed no sign of forgetting things), but just when she seemed to be pulling through we received a garbled phone call from her featuring everything that other forum users have already mentioned - strangers in the house, children crying and running around her kitchen, people laughing at her when she was out. Literally, it was one day she's having lunch with us - asking about grandkids, sorting her shopping list and so on; the next day she's a stranger, with rapidly diminishing periods of lucidity. We whizzed her to the hospital fearing all sorts or horrible things but not alzheimer's or dementia - it was too quick for that. However, her clinical team diagnosed dementia and accused us of neglect "it had to have been going on for years". We were stunned - at least one of the us used to meet and chat with her every single day and we never noticed anything - like I said, she had been our oracle, the source of all information regarding our big extended family right up to that day she phoned.
    I don't understand it but have stopped beating myself up over it - just. Maybe it's a good thing when it happens so quickly - they have less time to realise what is happening. All the best.
  6. Wildlife

    Wildlife Registered User

    Jun 19, 2012
    I got half way through replying & got interrupted by a visitor. As I said, after 6 months, both Hubby & I decided we had to give up work. He was of retirement age but I have taken early retirement from a stressful job. Mum (who is 88)was diagnosed a month ago as having Alzheimers, but there was no opportunity at the diagnosis appointment to ask any questions (like - what stage is she at). She has been started on Exelon patches, so I assume we are early stages, though she has some middle symptoms. (I realise there is no one set of rules for the progression)
    I feel we are partly responsible for her decline because we moved her away from the home she had lived in for 60 years, but I had no idea that this would happen. When we first moved here she would make herself a hot drink and some lunch if we were at work, but gradually she has stopped doing anything in the house (she never has liked housework!) and behaves as if she's in a hotel.
    Logically, I know we did the right thing in moving her, but that doesn't stop me feeling guilty! It's reassuring to read other guilt-ridden post on TP.
  7. JackMac

    JackMac Registered User

    Jun 26, 2010
    west midlands

    so sorry to hear about your mum.

    in answer to your question, our mum deterioted that fast too. When she was diagnosed we were positive about things and thought, well we should still have many years of her being okay. However, she literally plummeted in a matter of months. In the last 12 months she has gone into advanced stage and it has been utterly devastating. She gets worse every week.

  8. Isabella41

    Isabella41 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2012
    Northern Ireland
    Hi Drummergirl

    My mum had been ambling along in a confused state for maybe as much as 5 years but it was only since Christmas 2010 that I began to take notice. Then in 2011 she really began to detiorate and since October 2011 its as if someone pushed the fast forward button. A psychiatrist colleague said that this is not uncommon and in mum's case she has confirmed vascular dementia so the rapid decline is pretty common with this type of dementia.

    Mum went through a paranoia stage last autumn and would accuse people of talking and whispering about her.

    I think its the not knowing before you have a diagnosis is the worst thing. I think once you know what you're dealing with you can then plan better or least try to. I hope your mum is diagnosed soon.

  9. qubecks

    qubecks Registered User

    Jun 28, 2012
    this is happening to my mum

    hi , just read your post , it is happening fast with my mum also , mum is 86 next, been living with us for 2yrs , me hubby didnt notice anything either , when she forgot names , places ect , we thought it was just normal old age , then about 6 weeks ? ago mum was really bad ,( said the people on the tv were watching her , talkind about her , ect , and also the voices on the radio ( mum said they were swearing at her ) we couldnt calm her ? never been like this before ! its like it happened over night ? we called the docto out , she did some memory questions on mum , but mum didnt know any answers , next step , they sent a guy to our home about 4 weeks later , did more memory tests on mum ? she didnt do well , waiting for a cat scan ? and to see a consultant , mum is getting worse every day , dosnt know my name now ? mum wanders most of the night , so we have had to have a stair gate fitted at the top of the stairs , so she dosnt fall down them in the night , also had to put a little bolt on our bedroom door ? because mum kept wandering in , in the middle of the night , its so awfull for mum she dosnt do anything anymore , i hate watching what is happening to her , i didnt think it would be like this so fast ? hope you keep strong , but it is very hard on everyone ,
  10. drummergirl

    drummergirl Registered User

    Jul 4, 2012
    Thank you everyone for your replies. It makes it a little easier knowing there are other people who understand how horrible this disease is. I think the whole family is still pretty shocked at just how quickly mum has deteriorated so at the moment we're all just taking each day as it comes. She got up at 4.30am this morning and started putting teabags into a sock so they wouldn't get stolen. She does really like tea so I suppose in a way she had a point :)

    Thank you again for taking the time to share your experiences - I really do appreciate it x

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