1. Jo-number2

    Jo-number2 Registered User

    Jun 17, 2008
    3
    Hemel Hempstead
    Hi everyone!

    Wow my first ever thread, on my first ever internet chat site! I seemed to let the era of internet talking, dating, and whatever else goes on somehow pass me by, but now I find myself about to dive right in and reveal all the secrets of my little broken family. Be gentle with me all of you out there!

    So my life so far.... My Mum was diagnosed with vascular dementia 3 years ago, a year later my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. Mum's deterioration has been steady, not helped by the constant changes in my Dad's condition or the volume of new information that inevitably comes from such a horrible disease. To cut a long story short, my Dad died at the end of May 08 and in amongst the grief of death is the grief of also watching my Mum slowly leave this world too. In some respects, myself and my two sisters have it easy - Mum has company from my younger sister (early 20's) who moved back home a few months ago, and care and support from myself and my older sister (also in our 20's). She still walks the dog (although has lost him twice!), attemps some shopping (only buys cookies and an occassional pint of milk), and still remembers who I am (most of the time). On the downside she doesn't take her tablets and gets aggressive with any one who tries to give them to her, talks to my younger sister like a piece of dirt, has thrown things at her and generally makes up horrendous stories about the three of us which she tells to most of her friends.

    So my point?? Well, I'm a bit stuck in what to do. Obviously this is an emotional time of the highest degree and losing your husband of 38 years would devestate even the most mentally sound person. Do you think I should start to step in now and get help from our memory clinic who my Mum is a patient of as really, this is as good as it is going to get? I've read acouple of other threads and it seems there may be some help out there in the community - maybe help with meals for her etc (my sister has to go back to work at the beginning of July).

    I suppose in general this is a good place to come just to speak to others, release some steam and hopefully get some advice. I think I know the answer to my question of is this as good as it will get - maybe we can just hope for a good day, or hour ??

    Thanks for listening
    Jo
     
  2. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    3,388
    Buckinghamshire
    Dear Jo,
    Welcome to Talking Point.
    Sorry to read of your Dad's passing and of your Mother illness.
    Have you tried contacting the Local Alzheimer's Society for help and advice?
    In my personal view, perhaps your Mother needs to see a Doctor.
    More people will come on line and offer help.
    Best wishes
    Christine
     
  3. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Hi Jo, and a warm welcome to TP.

    You have had it bad with losing dad and now trying to care for mum.

    My advice would be to start asking now. Memory Clinic, SW, local GP, just to find out what help is available.

    It varies from area to area and takes time to get anything put in place. Meals services, day services, Crossroads sitters......there is help out there, but you do have to ask.

    Specific questions, well someone on TP will always point you in the right direction.

    Incidently, well done:

    Not so scary, was it?
     
  4. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    Hello Jo,

    Welcome to TP..this also was my first..and only ..internet chat site..I'm so glad I found it!:)

    Christine and Connie have said it all..try to get professional help as soon as possible..or at least set the ball rolling.

    If you have specific concerns then post..start a thread..and we'll do our best to help.

    Love gigi xx
     
  5. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Hello Jo

    The doctor is your first port of call. Write him or her a letter to tell him of your concerns and suggest he makes an appointment for mum on the pretext that he likes to do so for all patients over a certain age who are recently bereaved (or some other story).

    Go with mum to the doctor's appointment (or one of your sisters), and ask about care in the community for her (put it in your letter too). She might resist it at the moment, but you will at least have made the enquiries as to what is available.

    I hope your mum is getting Attendance Allowance, claim now if not and backdate it for as long as possible. I hope also that you have a power of attorney for mum, get that sorted too if not.

    Yes, contact the local Alzheimers Society, they can offer a wealth of advice especially in your area.

    Hope you get some support in place.

    Much love

    Margaret
     
  6. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Jo, welcome!

    This is my first forum too, but I've been here for two years, so you can guess I like it!

    I'm sorry to hear about your dad, your family has been having a tough time.

    I think you're right, that it's not going to get much better for your mum, though a change of medication may control the mood swings to a certain extent, so yes, consult your memory clinic.

    But perhaps at this stage you should be looking at more support in the home? Has your sister had a carers' assessment? She should have one as soon as possible, especially as she is going back to work.

    Talk to your local branch of Alzheimer's Society, and Princess Royal Trust for Carers. Both of them will be helpful, and can work with you to determine what sort of support you need. They will then contact social services for you, and hopefully get the help in place.

    You are entitled to all this, so get as much help as you can.

    Good luck,
     
  7. Jo-number2

    Jo-number2 Registered User

    Jun 17, 2008
    3
    Hemel Hempstead
    Thank you all so much for your kind words and support. Our family GP is aware of Mum's condition, unfortunatley he doesn't seem to be much help at the best of times infact brushes her condition under the carpet when we go to see him (I attend her appointments with her).
    I've contacted our solicitor to set up lasting power of attourney and will get straight on to the other points that you all suggest. Again, thank you - what a brilliant site and a great bunch of people. I have a feeling my internet chatting days are about to really take off!!
     
  8. helen.tomlinson

    helen.tomlinson Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    541
    Dear Jo No.2

    Welcome to Talking Point and I am glad that you are already finding it helpful. My advice is that you also think about using this mode of communication to source other interests of your own. It is important that you look after yourself too and you should try to also find a site where you can forget for a while and have some fun.

    Love Helen
     
  9. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    Hello Jo,

    Your family have certainly had more than your share recently. I'm so very glad that you three sisters are working together as such emotional times can cause splits to appear, especially as mum displays some agressive behaviour.

    I too found the local GP service useless in getting any help. I contacted Social Services, incontinence teams, physiotherapists, my husband's consultant, etc., etc., without any help from the GP who also tried to brush things under the carpet.

    It is good to hear that mum can still do little things for herself such as visiting the local shop. Sadly the 'bad mouthing' you tell us about seems to be quite common. Perhaps mum needs a little extra medication at certain times of the day. Ask her consultant about this.

    Keep phoning and contacting the agencies. You will get help.

    xxTinaT
     
  10. ChrisH

    ChrisH Registered User

    Apr 16, 2008
    281
    Devon, England
    Hi Jo
    Welcome to TP. So sorry to hear about your dad and your mum.

    I was lucky with mum's GP. He did a mini memory test and although she only dropped a couple of points he referred her to a consultant. Before she'd even seen him an Occupational Therapist and social worker had been in to see mum without any prompting from me. Guess it's just luck of the draw with GPs, but it amazes me that so many seem to want to ignore the problems presented to them. Mum's consultant sent her for a scan even though he said he didn't usually do so but he felt her symptoms were not typical. The result was a diagnosis of 'mixed dementia' (alzheimers and vascular dementia).

    As for forums, they do get addictive. I used to spend ages in a genealogy forum till my husband did something to the computer (on the grounds that the site was the sort easily targeted by malicious computer viruses) and I can't get onto it anymore:(:( Probably just as well as I'd have little time to do anything else if I was on both sites:D Sadly mum can't help me much with the family history anymore as there's no point asking her who people are in old photos as she can recognise the faces but can't put names to them. Also annoying is that she'd written where photos were taken on the folders but hadn't put any dates!!Just as well I sat my nan down many years ago with some photos of her family and wrote on the back who they all were.

    Oops! I'm rambling on again - bit of a habit as you'll see if you read any more of my posts.

    Chris
     

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