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I'm worried about my mum in law - what do we do?

Susiemoo

New member
Aug 6, 2020
2
Hello
I'm new to this site and reading a few posts has already helped enormously. But my partner's mum is beginning to cause us real concern. She's 78 and has become increasingly forgetful, very easily distracted, and doesn't seem to be able to process things that have been said or reason something through. She has what I would call irrational anxieties about things, no amount of reasoning or reassurance helps it's like it just doesn't go in. Conversations have no real focus and she repeats herself often, or goes off onto another subject and you have to remind her what you had asked her. She has had several falls recently too, the most recent being today when she decided to go out to her local football club to ask about her season ticket as she was worried they would sell it to someone else, despite being told by two family members that she didn't need to go there, they wouldn't do this, etc. Now she's fallen down some steps and is at a and e by herself and this wouldn't have happened if she'd not gone. The falls clinic were supposed to come and see her but some admin error meant they didn't then they discharged her, she phoned her doctor who said he'd look into it, we kept reminding her to chase it up and each time we got "oh, it's ok, the doctor is sorting that out". She's had some appointments about her kidneys but we have no idea what is wrong as she's never able to explain it. She has diabetes and I worry that she doesn't eat properly and only snacks on things that "the doctor said I can have these". I worry that she'll get told something important health related but forget or not tell us or tell it wrong. She sold her car last year because driving had become very stressful but won't get a taxi when we tell her she struggles on the bus instead. She took £6000 in cash out of the bank in error instead of £600 (she won't use cards or cash machines) and brother in law had to take her to the bank to pay it back in. She was given some information about MCI last year but she never read it! I looked at it and said oh, there's lots of tips in here on how you can maintain your memory, her response was "they'll look after me", like it's totally up to someone else. I've ranted, sorry! I think I need to ask - what do we do now? Both her sons work away during the week so if something happened to here they'd be miles away and unable to help. Should we try and get to the doctor's with her? I know if you try and talk to her she just doesn't retain it. Thanks for listening.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,375
South coast
Hi @Susiemoo and welcome to DTP.

Yes, I think its important to get her back to the memory clinic - 50% of people diagnosed with MCI go on to get a diagnosis of dementia within a year. It sounds like you will have to make it happen - it is common for people with dementia to not be able follow things through. Contact her GP and explain what is happening.

I would also advise that you go with her to any appointments. I learned quite early on that what OH told doctors and what he then told me bore no resemblance to reality.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
555
Oh I agree with @canary, somebody has to go to appointments with your partner's mum. She obviously can't manage on her own. I'd be wanting to organise some care visits as well in the meantime to make sure she's ok, to be honest,
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,675
Hi @Susiemoo, I hope your mother in law is OK after her fall. I'd third the making sure someone goes with her to appointments. My mother could sound very credible about what was said at appointments, but when I started going with her I realised she didn't really understand what was said and I'd been getting the mum version rather than the official one.
Do you have power of attorney as that will help with the financial issues and the health and welfare one should mean that doctors will talk to you as well as her. You can find out more about it here Making a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Dementia Talking Point is very friendly and supportive and you'll get lots of help and advice.
 

annielou

Registered User
Sep 27, 2019
1,627
Yorkshire
Yes go if you can get her to go back. Maybe say you'll take her in car to save her getting bus and then go in with her. You may have to let surgery know first that you're going to be with her as she doesn't remember whats said and needs assistance as at moment with covid they'll probably only want patient to go inside unless necessary. I've been with mum to DRs and hospital recently and let them know beforehand I'd have to go with mum to help her find way and remember what said/answer questions. When mum got her MC diagnosis we were asked if we wanted a written copy of it so I quickly said yes even though I was with mum at the time I thought it would be useful to have it all written down for later and also so I could show my sister. My mum looked at it a few times at first too to see what she had (alzheimers) but soon decided the Dr had told her she didn't have it.
I wonder if you could ring and speak to your MILs memory clinic and tell them you're worried things have got worse and she's had more falls. I ring mums MC and they speak to me no problem but I was at mums assessment and they did ask if mum minded them speaking to others and sharing information and mum said they could talk to us but not her neighbours. My sister has rung them a couple of times too and she wasn't at assessment but told them she was her other daughter and they spoke to her. Obviously I don't know what your mother In law said if she was asked at her assessment about them speaking to other people but she may well have just said yes if they asked if she was ok for them to speak to family about it.
You'll probably have to make any appointments and contacts for her as she probably won't ever get round to it.
 

Susiemoo

New member
Aug 6, 2020
2
thank you so much, everyone, for replying. I have got some great suggestions now to give to my OH and his brother, so that they can decide what they want to do. She ended up at A&E, like i said, and has a great big black lump on her shin where she fell up the steps, but otherwise she is ok, apart from maybe burning ears from being told off lol. I will certainly take some time to read other posts on here as i have found it reassuring. Thanks Again!