I think my grandma has dementia but my Dad and uncle wont listen to me

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by lovatofan23, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. lovatofan23

    lovatofan23 Registered User

    Feb 12, 2015
    My grandma has been forgetting things for a while now, it was only little things so we didn't think anything was wrong but she had an accident and was in hospital for a while, it was then we noticed her memory was getting worse because she couldn't remember what the inside of her house looked like. They did a dementia test at the hospital but they were all long term memory questions rather than her short term memory which is what she struggles with.

    Since returning from hospital her memory has declined. She thought my Mum (my dads ex) was my uncle's ex the other day and can't remember simple things such as who has been to visit and things like that.

    My Dad and Uncle have been downplaying it and blaming it on her age but I'm learning about dementia as part of my Health and Social care course and some of the signs sound like my grandma. My Dad and Uncle don't know im doing this and my Dad said he would take her to the doctor but he has to run it past my uncle first.

    My grandma doesn't even realise she is losing her memory. She repeatedly asks the same things over and over and I've noticed that she can be quite snappy especially with me which is not in her nature. She also gets very impatient and she always seems to be fed up.

    Since her accident she hasn't been out alone she is too scared to go anywhere further than the shop across the road. I'm only a teenager and the youngest in my family so no one takes me seriously. I am worried though because she turned off her heating once and turned her freezer off too.

    My Dad and Uncle have very little time for her as they both work. My Dad would say he makes time for her because he takes her shopping but he barely sees her anymore because she 'annoys' him and my uncle is not a very patient man. I phone her every night and I always hear the same thing. Which is that she is fed up and no one has been to see her in ages. When actually we try to see her every Tuesday.

    The main thing I guess I'm worried about is that no one is listening to me and I feel powerless. If they know I've come on something like this because they 'can handle it' but I just want some advice because I am more worried about her than anything else.
  2. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    If I was in your position I would keep a diary of the things which she says and which happen to cause you concern. At least if things did get worse you would have something to take to a doctor or memory clinic which was an account of what gran is suffering.

    It is very hard to intervene within a family and as you say especially as you are the youngest. What do you think you might achieve to make things better for gran by continuing to bring this up with her and the family? Would this make them act or thin k differently?

    There is one thing you can rely on. If she has dementia as you suspect, it will get worse and the family will no longer be able to ignore the fact that she progressively cannot be left to her own devices.

  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    It is difficult when you are worried about something and no-one is listening to you. I also think that you keeping a diary of things that your gran does that worry you is a good idea.
    Another thing you could do is write a letter to your grans GP saying what you have told us, so that he/she is aware that someone in the family is concerned.
    Tina is right, if it is dementia then eventually no-one will be able to ignore it.
  4. dede5177

    dede5177 Registered User

    Feb 5, 2015
    Hi the advice given so far is good I concur with the diary but I would try in the holidays from your college course to get the GP to visit gran in her home or take gran to the gp with your concerns if possible. Also as your social care course includes dementia talk to the tutor or welfare officer. My niece is 19 and hopeless with her gran who is a dementia sufferer but some of her friends who are carers have been a godsend in advice and background info as I think you will be. Take care and let us know how you get on.
  5. lovatofan23

    lovatofan23 Registered User

    Feb 12, 2015
    #5 lovatofan23, Feb 12, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
    Thankyou for the advice I rang her and she admits that she is forgetting things like where her sisters grave is but she says her memory loss is a natural part of getting old so I am going to take your advice she seems to remember most things on phone but I guess over the phone it is easier to cover up if you are confused than it is face to face

    I guess what i want is for anything that is wrong to be out in the open so my dad and uncle can understand more and it may help with their frustration, it may also help grandma get the support she needs if she was to be diagnosed I just want the best for her, since my granddad died (I was extremely close to him) my bond with my grandma has become ever so strong she has been there through all of my health issues and its really sad to see her decline when she always used to be the glue that held us all together and kept us all strong

    I just want the best for her she is my world
  6. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    I think this is a big clue as to why her sons don't want to accept that she may have a dementia problem.
    I have seen denial first hand with some of my family members, and the irritation with the person 'not trying hard enough' to remain normal, or 'just doing it to get attention' because they're getting self-centred in their old age. :(

    I don't envy your situation, especially as you are so young. They may even think you are just imagining problems because of what you are learning at college. I say trust your instincts. Remain calm and dignified with your grumpy menfolk. They don't like change, or hassle, or women nagging and making a fuss (I am making a guess that you are a young woman). They may not be as emotionally grown-up as you are.

    We are listening to you. You are not powerless. You are certainly not 'only a teenager'. It may take time to get support for your dear grandma but she's really fortunate to have you as her champion. :)
  7. lovatofan23

    lovatofan23 Registered User

    Feb 12, 2015
    Thankyou i phoned my Dad today and he said he would phone the doctors on Tuesday and as I am with him all day I think he will, plus she is limping anyway and having back problems so either way he will need to phone the doctors because my grandma is the type of person who will put up with all the pain in the world and complain to us about it but not phone the doctors so hopefully we can kill two birds with one stone because dad would have to take her to the doctors and because of her memory loss i doubt he would let her go in alone incase she forgets to tell them something.

    I think my dad is finally starting to listen to me so fingers crossed we get somewhere and hopefully if they have to go there about grandmas back dad will mention that he is worried about her memory too and anyway if the doctor asks her questions she'll probably say I've been asleep since then' which is her way of saying I can't remember so hopefully he'll pick it up but I'm sure my dad will say something because my mum and I have noticed her getting more and more confused so we always mention it to him
  8. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010

    I would make a list of things you have noticed eg

    Turns of freezer
    Can't remember relatives
    Constantly repeats herself
    Forgets when family have visited

    Also mention in letter that she covers her confusion by say she is tired or must have been asleep because she will try that with the Dr. Mum still uses that 5 years later.

    Hand it to him with confidential, not to be discussed with Mrs X.

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