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Is this dementia?

Evie5831

Registered User
Nov 7, 2015
150
0
Hi All,
I am new to the early dementia forum having been in the middle and end stage forums four years ago with my dad.
So, my Mum has some very worrying memory issues. They aren’t present all of the time but when she is tired, or in pain, distracted or just unfocused they are very prevalent. I have spoken to the GP who asked the community matron to do dementia tests with her. She asked Mum to count backwards from 20 and name the seasons which she did, with mild hesitations. This test was done in the morning with facts she has known from childhood, which she remembers perfectly. The matron cleared her of dementia in literally 5 minutes.
Has anyone else had this type of experience in the early stages of dementia or do you think the matron is right and that I am seeing something being brought on by some other undefined issue. Doctor has now dismissed dementia totally
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
2,526
0
Hi @Evie5831, My mother could do most of those memory type tests easily, while at the same time being convinced that the neighbours were sneaking into her house to take her belongings and then bringing them back. What I did was keep a diary of my concerns and then send a bullet pointed list into the GP ahead of an appointment (I piggybacked one for something else). The first time the GP didn't think there was much awry, but the second time when we got my mother to talk about all the things the neighbours had done the GP could see why we were concerned.
It took a while but in the end mum was diagnosed with vascular dementia.
You might need to keep on being persistent. I'd certainly try and get your mum to the GP again, for blood and urine tests in case there is something else going on that is causing the dementia like symptoms.
 

Evie5831

Registered User
Nov 7, 2015
150
0
Hi @Evie5831, My mother could do most of those memory type tests easily, while at the same time being convinced that the neighbours were sneaking into her house to take her belongings and then bringing them back. What I did was keep a diary of my concerns and then send a bullet pointed list into the GP ahead of an appointment (I piggybacked one for something else). The first time the GP didn't think there was much awry, but the second time when we got my mother to talk about all the things the neighbours had done the GP could see why we were concerned.
It took a while but in the end mum was diagnosed with vascular dementia.
You might need to keep on being persistent. I'd certainly try and get your mum to the GP again, for blood and urine tests in case there is something else going on that is causing the dementia like symptoms.
Thank you, Mum has plenty of health issues now so I could piggy back an appointment. It’s trickier now with telephone appointments only and Mum blaming her hearing on her inability to use the phone properly. Definitely am going to use the diary from here forward, sounds brilliant!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,643
0
South coast
Hmm...... The answer to your question "is this dementia?" is - maybe.

When you live with someone full time you are often aware of things that are "not quite right" well before the medial establishment agrees with you. I knew there were problems with OH 8 years ago, but as he can still ace the memory tests it is only recently that people have started agreeing with me.

On the other hand, esrly signs of dementia look very much like symptoms caused by other things. My memory is shocking and sometimes I do things with absolutely no recollection of having done them, so I regularly fret that I too am developing dementia. I am, however, mostly reassured that it is just stress that is causing the bad memory.

If it is dementia, it will get worse and eventually (like my OH) it will become apparent to everyone else too. I agree with sarasa - get her checked for anything else that might be causing this and keep a diary of all the odd things that happen.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,344
0
Hi @Evie5831 my mum hinted at dementia in dad before she died in 2011 It took me a couple of years to confirm it to myself but by the time we took him on holiday in 2014 I knew he had it. Dad was diagnosed in 2017 with alzheimers but he still presented himself well.

Right up to when he died early this year he was always able to have a very sensible conversation with visitors, I know one of his friends doubted me when I told him that dad had dementia because he used to ask me if I was sure but he always saw dad for about an hour and they chatted about the old days, they lived in the same street and went to school together and dad could remember all of this like it was yesterday. He remembered all the war time stories and the names of everyone who lived in his street. He would also talk for hours about his seafaring days but he couldn't remember 5 minutes ago.

The visitors didn't know that dad hadn't had a shower for months or that I had to swap his clothes for clean one's everyday or that he couldn't use the TV remote anymore.

I think it is quite rare for people to take themselves off for a memory test, usually they just convince themselves that there is nothing wrong and just muddle along until someone (usually a family member) steps in for the sake of safety. I only got dad to the doctors because he had mislaid his car in town and his excuse was that he had felt dizzy. His car was a mess anyway with dents everywhere so I just grabbed the opportunity and we went on from there. Dad instantly forgot his diagnosis and we never mentioned it again.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,061
0
My main priority would be to get both the power of attorneys in place.

’ What is the name of the reigning monarch’ ????
Seriously? My option of dementia testing is not printable!

Remember that if she has vascular dementia there is no treatment, so the benefits of early diagnosis are debatable.
There are medication options for alzheimers.

Keeping the diary is excellent advice.

They attempted to fob me off. ( Not recommended)
It seems the professionals have never heard of hostess syndrome?

If you really become frustrated then you can get a scan for under £500 privately. But also be aware that It is possible to scan too early and not see anything.

If you can spare the time to read random posts on this site you gradually build up knowledge. There is nowhere that gives the information this site does!
 

Evie5831

Registered User
Nov 7, 2015
150
0
Hmm...... The answer to your question "is this dementia?" is - maybe.

When you live with someone full time you are often aware of things that are "not quite right" well before the medial establishment agrees with you. I knew there were problems with OH 8 years ago, but as he can still ace the memory tests it is only recently that people have started agreeing with me.

On the other hand, esrly signs of dementia look very much like symptoms caused by other things. My memory is shocking and sometimes I do things with absolutely no recollection of having done them, so I regularly fret that I too am developing dementia. I am, however, mostly reassured that it is just stress that is causing the bad memory.

If it is dementia, it will get worse and eventually (like my OH) it will become apparent to everyone else too. I agree with sarasa - get her checked for anything else that might be causing this and keep a diary of all the odd things that happen.
Thank you for your support
 

Evie5831

Registered User
Nov 7, 2015
150
0
My main priority would be to get both the power of attorneys in place.

’ What is the name of the reigning monarch’ ????
Seriously? My option of dementia testing is not printable!

Remember that if she has vascular dementia there is no treatment, so the benefits of early diagnosis are debatable.
There are medication options for alzheimers.

Keeping the diary is excellent advice.

They attempted to fob me off. ( Not recommended)
It seems the professionals have never heard of hostess syndrome?

If you really become frustrated then you can get a scan for under £500 privately. But also be aware that It is possible to scan too early and not see anything.

If you can spare the time to read random posts on this site you gradually build up knowledge. There is nowhere that gives the information this site does!
Thank you
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
662
0
It sounds as if the test was inadequate. Short term memory goes first and loss of short term memory does not prevent people from counting backwards or knowing the name of the seasons. Asking who the Prime Minister is is no yardstick unless he or she very recently took office. I sat in on my father's test and it included for example remembering a phrase that had been provided a few minutes previously.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,352
0
North West
Hi All,
I am new to the early dementia forum having been in the middle and end stage forums four years ago with my dad.
So, my Mum has some very worrying memory issues. They aren’t present all of the time but when she is tired, or in pain, distracted or just unfocused they are very prevalent. I have spoken to the GP who asked the community matron to do dementia tests with her. She asked Mum to count backwards from 20 and name the seasons which she did, with mild hesitations. This test was done in the morning with facts she has known from childhood, which she remembers perfectly. The matron cleared her of dementia in literally 5 minutes.
Has anyone else had this type of experience in the early stages of dementia or do you think the matron is right and that I am seeing something being brought on by some other undefined issue. Doctor has now dismissed dementia totally

I think there needs to be some understanding that there is a difference between mild cognitive impairment (MCI) which many of us get as we age and dementia. Sounds like an AMT test the matron did as opposed to a full dementia screen. Its not always easy to decipher dementia from other causes so I would keep an eye and re-visit this if things deteriorate more -hope that helps
 

DreamsAreReal

Registered User
Oct 17, 2015
58
0
@Evie5831 Your Mum sounds very much like mine. Took me ages to get her to agree to see her GP - she aced that memory test and was very proud of herself. When Doc said, “I don’t see any reason to refer you to the Memory Clinic - unless you’d like to?” Mum replied with a triumphant grin in my direction, “No thankyou, I knew there wasn’t anything wrong with me“. Her many paranoid delusions not even taken into account. Agree you should keep a diary.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,277
0
Victoria, Australia
My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's almost seven years ago.
The tests that they give are only a guide and when given regularly over a perof of time may indicate deterioration in some people.

They should never be used alone to either rule in or rule out dementia.

My husband's diagnosis came after scans and hours of psychological testing.
He aces all those minimal tests and still plays bridge most days of the week. But he canot remember the first thirty years of his life and that part of his memory is getting worse.

I think you are right to be concerned about what has happened and I hope that you get some suitable help in the near future.
 

Evie5831

Registered User
Nov 7, 2015
150
0
Hi All,
After yet another fall resulting in a fractured hip Mum has been in hospital for the last ten days and the medical profession as seen what we see. They today gave us a diagnosis of moderate Alzheimer’s.
she isn’t medically fit or be discharged yet as she has had two serious falls after having surgery which has compromised her recovery but as a family we have some hard decisions coming.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,229
0
High Peak
My mum recovered from a broken hip but her general decline continued. She needed a frame to walk from then on but was already in a care home.

As you say, you have some difficult decisions to make now...
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
2,526
0
Sorry to hear your mother is now in hospital @Evie5831. Hope she makes a good recovery and the family agree on what should happen next. At the very least it sounds like a few weeks in a care home for some rest and rehabilitation would be sensible option.
 

Evie5831

Registered User
Nov 7, 2015
150
0
My mum recovered from a broken hip but her general decline continued. She needed a frame to walk from then on but was already in a care home.

As you say, you have some difficult decisions to make now...
She has been put on tablets to help the alzheimers but I have no idea what they are and what difference I should see.if I knew she would stabilise on them I would bring her straight home but the hospital say in their option she needs 24/7 waking care now as her falls are so bad. It doesn’t help not being able to see or speak to her because of the current COVID rules so I don’t even know how she is holding up