How to approach Mum for first time?

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by Ally1508, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Ally1508

    Ally1508 Registered User

    Mar 22, 2017
    My Mum is 84 and keeps fairly good health. She lives by herself in a sheltered house and manages quite well. She has a cleaner going in once a week and she gets meals delivered which just go in the microwave. She can still get out and about. My sister and I don't live too far away from her and we visit quite regularly.
    Her memory is getting really bad and she gets very confused and frustrated. This seems to be deteriorating very quickly and I think it's time we bring up the subject with her and ask if she would be willing to be assessed.
    I assume her Doctor is the first port of call, but would be grateful if anyone could tell me what the procedure is so that I can maybe talk her through it so she can be a bit prepared. I don't want her getting stressed or anxious about this and think it would be helpful to have a bit of information to give her.
    Thanks for your help.
  2. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    Hello Ally, welcome to TP.

    Well, it rather depends on what approach you think best for your Mum really.

    If she were many years younger it would be maybe more definite that you would involve her fully in what was happening - accepting that she was able to understand it all - but at 84 you may feel that too much 'involvement' will just cause her worry and stress and that will obviously be something you are keen to avoid.

    You could invent a 'friend' whose mother is having issues and see what Mum says about - does she relate that to herself at all, is she keen to talk about it in any way or very reluctant on the subject altogether, that might help you to gauge how she will accept dealing with her own issues.

    There are some tips on here - that take you through a way to broach the subject of memory loss with with a LO in a sensitive but factual way.

    Alternatively you could adopt the 'love lies' route that some people find better and, rather than telling Mum that the GP needs to check her memory you could say it is a routine check up for the 85's and over - tell her she got in a bit early, isn't that good.. :eek: and then go from there, taking your cue from Mum as to how much detail you go into as to what the diagnosis is.

    You have obviously realised that it can be a minefield and that it can make a bad situation worse if handled wrongly (no pressure eh!) but the fact that you have realised that and want to approach it all the best way possible for your Mum means, I'm sure, that you will get it right, you know your Mum best, and you'll be able to 'read' how she is handling things and how to proceed in the best way for her.

    Best wishes.
  3. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    FIrst you need to establish whether she herself is aware there may be a problem. If she does, then indeed, first step would be to go to the GP with her, and take a list of symptoms. The GP will usually carry out a 'quick' memory test to establish her memory problems.
    They then often refer the person to a memory clinic for further investigation. Either the GP or the memory clinic, or in some cases a consultant, will decide on any medication needed.
    Its is important to see the doctor as dementia can sometimes be slowed down (but not stopped) with medication. Also, without alarming your mother too much, memory problems should be checked anyway in case there is another cause for them.

    The previous poster has mentioned strategies if your mother is unable to admit there is a problem. Either way, she does need to go to the GP. Some are better than others at dealing with dementia, I have found.

    Then come back here and get as much info as you need for yourself and also look into back up services for dementia in your area, both for your mother but also for yourself. In my area there was a wonderful person called an Admiral nurse who dealt with the relatives of people with dementia, also often AgeUK have dementia advisors. I wish you the best of luck in getting her diagnosed.
  4. Ally1508

    Ally1508 Registered User

    Mar 22, 2017
    Thanks very much for your replies. They are very helpful. My Mum is aware that she's forgetful and I don't think she'll be difficult with us. She's quite an easy going person. We'll speak to her and make a Doctor's appointment asap then take it from there.
  5. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    You might want to mention they now have medication for "forgetfulness", as that might encourage her to go to the doctor.

    We were never able to tell my mother she had Alzheimer's but she accepted that "her memory wasn't what it used to be".

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