1. Thursday

    Thursday New member

    Jun 20, 2019
    5
    Almost every time someone asks how Mum is, they then tilt their head to one side and say, “How old is she?”
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,898
    Kent
    That makes everything all right then does it? :rolleyes:

    Welcome to Talking Point @Thursday. No one will ask that question here.
     
  3. nellbelles

    nellbelles Volunteer Host

    Nov 6, 2008
    8,248
    leicester
    Hello @Thursday a warm welcome from me as well
    Some people are rude aren’t they!
     
  4. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,652
    Female
    Scotland
    People are afraid of dementia. If they ask and the person is in their eighties or nineties they breathe a sigh of relief but when younger people are affected then the doubts begin. I can't blame them. I never gave dementia a thought until I had to face up to the fact that all was not well with my husband. He was diagnosed in his late seventies but occasional odd behaviour began at least a decade before that.

    The average time to survive after a diagnosis is apparently eight years but lots of people live much longer than that. I think questioners are doing a bit of maths in their head trying to foresee how long you will have to be a carer before the inevitable happens.
     
  5. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    294
    Female
    High Peak
    Totally agree. Someone asked the 'how old' question about my mum and I replied, 'she's 87.' This was followed by, 'well, she's had a good innings then!'

    For heaven's sake - she may have dementia but she's not flippin' dead! The implication seemed to be her situation was much the same as being dead :(
     
  6. Thursday

    Thursday New member

    Jun 20, 2019
    5
    Yep - get a lot of that too. I once replied 86 re. my mum and got a “She’s doing well then.” response. I instinctively said, “No she’s not; she’s got dementia.” Regarding the implication that life is over, I can’t believe how few visitors Mum has, in a town where she was previously involved in so many community groups. I know people are scared/awkward but I’m disappointed how few make the effort.

     
  7. Thursday

    Thursday New member

    Jun 20, 2019
    5
    I do understand the reasoning and fear behind their question but it negates the concern of the preceding how is she? Also, they could easily hazard a guess at her age from mine. I think the occasional odd behaviour often starts earlier than people think. With my mother, and a few other sufferers I know, you notice even more of that in hindsight. But with Mum I knew something was wrong when the rest of the family were in denial.

     
  8. Thursday

    Thursday New member

    Jun 20, 2019
    5
    Thanks Nellbelles,

    They certainly are. I used to reply, “…old enough to be my mother.” But I thought I should be less facetious ;)

     
  9. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    294
    Female
    High Peak
    I do think people generally mean well when they ask these inane things. It's a bit like asking the widow at her husband's funeral how she is feeling... ('It's the worst day of my life, how do you think I am feeling?!')

    I'm also tempted to give a smart-Alec reply (and have done a few times) but it only upsets the person you're talking to. So when someone asks me now, 'How's your mum?' I tend to just say, 'Much the same.' She's not, she's worse - much worse, but they don't want to hear that.
     
  10. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    618
    Male
    Kent
    My wife is the same age as me (68) and prior to getting dementia (5+ years ago), she was always very proud of her appearance and always immaculate.

    The dementia affected her self awareness, speech, posture, self motivation very early on. I still make sure that she is well dressed (as much as practicable) but I admit that I am not up to doing her make up, which is not really an issue as even if she looks in a mirror, she thinks it is someone else and just laughs.

    Recently, her mobility is affected more and more and she tends to stoop and shuffle, really needing to hold on to me. On a couple of occasions, people (who don't know her) have asked "is this your mother?":eek:. I feel more sad than anything, but I guess I've built up a bit of a thick skin. So I usually reply "no, she's my wife and it's a good job she doesn't understand otherwise she'd clobber you!" Usually gets a sheepish look.
     
  11. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    650
    Male
    Newcastle
    My wife is quite a bit older than me but that has always been totally irrelevant. If anyone asked me about her age I would tell them that it is none of their business. If they asked her they might be surprised by her answer as she sometimes thinks that she is a child again. There is a reply attributed to Jonathan Swift "as old as my tongue and a little bit older than my teeth" but that might lead to other impolite remarks about still having one's own teeth!

    Being charitable, it may be a clumsy attempt at an ice breaker, a bit like the people who ask about the age of our dog. Or it could just be unthinking rudeness. Just try to ignore it and move on @Thursday. Dementia is devastating at any age.
     
  12. lis66

    lis66 Registered User

    Aug 7, 2015
    222
    I hate being asked how's your mum does she still know you !!
     
  13. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    351
    People are idiots. It really trys my patience when they make stupid or ill thought out remarks like this. As if we didn't have enough to deal with already......
     
  14. Jale

    Jale Registered User

    Jul 9, 2018
    224
    Female
    So I usually reply "no, she's my wife and it's a good job she doesn't understand otherwise she'd clobber you!" Usually gets a sheepish look.[/QUOTE]

    Sorry, but I have just dropped my cup of tea all down me through laughing at your last comment. I think people who have never had to live with dementia really don't have a clue, I know I didn't until mum was diagnosed 5 years ago and then it was a steep learning curve.
     
  15. Rob_E

    Rob_E Registered User

    Feb 1, 2015
    156
    Male
    Liverpool
    It's usually been a reaction of surprise/shock when people realise mum has dementia. "Oh but she still looks so young!". She's nearly 72 now and seems to have aged considerably over the last couple of years both physically and mentally, but was diagnosed with MCI in her early 60s. Sadly there had been signs long before that. It's been a very long journey that is unlikely to come to any sort of conclusion any time soon.
     

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