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Is it just old age?

Pat Archer

Registered User
Oct 6, 2005
My mum is 68 and my dad is 66. We have never been "close" but I love them both so very much.

Dad had a heart attack 2 years ago and now cares for mum the best he can.

The house is filthy and dad's cooking skills run to microwave meals and take aways. He has finally admitted to me that mum is "not well". She cannot wash up, make a cup of tea and I don't think she remembers how to read. Yet dad insists this is just old age and is very politely telling me to "butt out". My mum's brother has finally called me and said I need to do something.

So I am. Cleaning the house is the easy part - addressing the rest of it is harder than it should be.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hello Pat

Welcome to Talking Point.

Generally speaking [and I am not an expert, or medically trained!], in old age we are likely to forget names, perhaps remember the past better than the present [often because we did a lot of major things in the past and as we grow older, we kind of do the same thing every day, things that just seem to merge together and not be 'memorable'].

Usually we don't forget how to read, or how to make a cup of tea, or - as in my wife's case [at 60] how to write her name. Those things are a sign that it is more than just aging, in my opinion.

I guess you will know whether your mum can see enough to read? Does she have an up to date prescription for her glasses, if she wears them? Has she tried large print books?

It is worth checking out everything, but above all, try and involve her GP.

Your Dad will, under any circumstances, try to protect your Mum, both for her benefit, but also for his own. He will be petrified of losing her. He will cover for her.

It is a difficult one to resolve, but the GP is the first port of call. Just how you manage to arrange that....... :confused:

Pat Archer

Registered User
Oct 6, 2005
Hello Brucie,

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

Prescription all up to date - reading and writing just seem to have vanished.

One thing has come out of this - mum has an affinity with my little ones that she and I never shared. Altho this is due to her "child like" state at times it does give me some comfort.

The GP is my first appointment.



Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
Bruce ios quite right GP first call,how you get Mum to see him/her?
By any means that you can think of?
Flu injections maybe?
Try to also get in touch with Social Services


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Dear Pat, have to agree that it sounds more than 'old age'. Agree with Bruce and Norman that first port of call has to be G.P. Like Norman's suggestion that maybe use the ruse of 'flue jab'. After all it is that time of year.
Please let us know how you get on. Warmest regards, Connie


Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
It took me two years to get my folks to come around and get a diagnosis. It can be frustrating when you know there is something wrong but they are in denial, or scared, or stuborn......or all the above! Sooner or later it just can't be hidden and I finally convinced them that with a dianosis could come medication that will help. And it did help alot!
Good luck with your GP , oh just a note, they can be very good at faking being ok infront of the doctor!



Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
West Sussex
This bit at the beginning, trying to get help for them when they are in denial is so hard. Good luck, hope all goes well. Love She. XX


Registered User
Mar 12, 2005
West Sussex
Hello Pat
Good luck with getting help for your Mum.
A word of caution with regard to your little ones, please make sure they are not left alone with your Mum, as lovely as that relationship is.
Once with my Mum and my daughter, Mum suddenly turned on her and said awful things that were not true and my little one who was only 4 at the time, broke her heart because her Nanna "looked different" and said she was a "horrid little girl."
We adults know it is the AD speaking, children don't, they can get scared and upset.
Best Wishes