1. jjuk

    jjuk Registered User

    Aug 21, 2005
    3
    Hi all, just thought it would be polite to introduce myself and tell you what brought me here.

    I am Josh and I have worked for many years as a carer in various settings, and frequently have cared for people with a range of dementias. However that is not what leads me here today...

    What does bring me is increasing concerns for my mum. Mum is 55 and has never had a great memory - but then some people are just that way! However now there are more little incidents revealing themselves that make me wonder if she could be in the early stages of dementia.

    I will give some examples so you can understand where I am coming from. Recently she has had conversations with my sister and knows she had important conversations but cannot remember what the subject or content of them were when trying to recall them later.

    I have also noticed she is getting confused sometimes with things such as a tv remote. Trying to change channel she was pressing all buttons apart from the ones required and couldnt understand why it would not work. I have also had telephone calls from here saying her computer will not work - it wont do a thing but in the same breath she is saying how lovely the pictures I emailed her were...

    Today she was telling me that recently she was sitting talking to a friend of my sisters but just could not remember her name - in her own words the name just vanished. She asked my sister the name of her friend and admitted she didn't know it (my mum has known this woman for 5 years plus so its wasnt someone new to her)

    She has said she is concerned about her memory and I have said she should visit the doctor - trouble is she will either forget, say she forgot (but just not told the doctor for fear of what it could be) or only tell the doctor a small part of things. My dad is going to go along with her but he speaks few words at the best of times!

    Anyway, thats my story so far. From my experience caring for people this looks like a possible dementia. Hopefully the doc will be able to pinpoint it and manage to minimise the speed at which it progresses. Oh and maybe I should speak to the doc myself before mum sees him to make him aware.

    Thanks for listening

    Josh
     
  2. KarenC

    KarenC Registered User

    Jun 2, 2005
    122
    Los Angeles, USA
    I think that's a good idea to talk to the doctor yourself if possible before your mother's visit. Maybe FAX him essentially what you wrote here -- some specific things that have happened to give you concern about her memory that sound like more than just normal middle-age muddle. In a short office visit, even if prompted to check your mother's memory, nothing might come out. She might do fine on the simple tasks of the mini-mental exam, and come across quite normal in a short conversation, while she is starting to struggle in real life.

    If this has been a fairly sudden change, there could be some other illness besides dementia per se.

    Good luck!

    Karen
     
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi Josh, welcome to TP. So sorry to hear about your Mum. I think you are right, you do need to speak to the GP. As you will be aware, there are many things that could be causing this. Even B12 deficiency can cuase confusion. It is important to get things checked out. Without tests etc. to find out what is wrong, all any of you will do is worry. Once there is a diagnoses, treatment can be discussed and, if necessary, plans made for the future. This must be an awful time for you, do hope you can get your Mum along to her GP soon to get things sorted. Please let us know how things go. Thinking of you. Love She. XX
     
  4. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi Josh,

    Welcome to Talking Point.

    I think you're right that the GP should have the best possible overview of the changes in your mother's memory. At this stage you just want him/her to have a full enough picture to decide what type of further investigations are indicated - such as a referral to a memory clinic.

    How to convey that information depends so much on your mother's and your father's approach to the appointment. One approach could be for you as a family try and make a short list of recent incidents which have happened. It could be done in a low-key way so that your mother didn't feel like the victim of the Spanish Inquisition, but still felt like she was taking responsibility for giving the information to the doctor. Your father would then also have the information on the list and be able to act as back-up if your mother felt uncomfortable at the time of the appointment.

    But depending on your mother's personality, that approach may not be productive at all. In that case, sending a letter directly to the GP could be a good alternative. My husband accompanied his mother and father to their GP appointment (my F-I-L had suspected AD) but prefaced that appointment with a letter to the GP.

    There are many useful fact-sheets on the Society web site, but one might be particularly relevant at the moment is the one on Mild Cognitive Imapairment (MCI), a term that describes the early stages of memory loss which might, or might not, lead to dementia. You can find it here:

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Facts_about_dementia/What_is_dementia/info_MCI.htm

    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  5. jjuk

    jjuk Registered User

    Aug 21, 2005
    3
    Hi

    thanks for your replies. I would have posted a thanks sooner but you know how time can be so limited!

    I havent had chance to speak to mums doctor as yet as he has been on holiday. However the receptionist said that it would be no problem to call and speak to him next week.

    I have managed to speak to my sister and found she has noticed things with mum, more so than me as she sees her most days. Knowing this helped me to feel less like I was making mountains out of molehills.

    As for mum, well she continues as normal. I was told today that recently she didnt recognise dad. He took her a morning cup of tea and she said that she looked at him and wondered who he was and where dad was - and why he sent someone else to bring her a cup of tea - which is of course worrying.

    Anyway, I will be sure to keep you updated as the story unfolds.

    Josh
     

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