Is this 'normal'?

Caseys

Registered User
Dec 10, 2015
37
Brief history: 91 YO motherinlaw came to live with us 6 weeks ago. Initially happy but then started to believe there was another Mike (her son) here too. 3 weeks in, emergency hosp admission. Discovered heart failure, brain volume loss, previous TIA and a broken neck! In hosp much confusion, incl believing she was in her old school, unable to grasp explanations about neck condition, and describing children who weren't there. Surgeons felt best course was not to operate on neck, or apply brace so sent home with us to take great care of her. Now often forgets neck situation, believing that because she didn't want surgery (nor did they) that there is no ongoing problem. Is becoming increasingly confused, including mixing up familial relationships, especially with her son. Now believes there are two of him here and two of my son - one of whom is my son and one my husbands. Often lucid but mixing in these fictional relationships. Has started getting up early when no-one else is around although she needs someone with her at all times. Anything to do with money becomes very confused. We are waiting for a memory clinic appointment but would appreciate any views on whether this is 'normal' aging or 'normal' for potential dementia :-/. Her appetite is also drastically reduced
 

AlsoConfused

Registered User
Sep 17, 2010
1,953
If you haven't already started doing so, I'd strongly suggest you investigate now all the sources of local support and allowances available to help the family care for your mother-in-law.

It's mentally exhausting as well as extremely tiring to care for someone who's at such physical risk and so intellectually incapable of understanding the risks she takes. Add in the fact your MIL is active at times the rest of the family would normally sleep and you're likely to find yourselves exhausted through lack of (deep) sleep. You'll need "time off" occasionally ... which normally means paying for a carer.
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,732
Brief history: 91 YO motherinlaw came to live with us 6 weeks ago. Initially happy but then started to believe there was another Mike (her son) here too. 3 weeks in, emergency hosp admission. Discovered heart failure, brain volume loss, previous TIA and a broken neck! In hosp much confusion, incl believing she was in her old school, unable to grasp explanations about neck condition, and describing children who weren't there. Surgeons felt best course was not to operate on neck, or apply brace so sent home with us to take great care of her. Now often forgets neck situation, believing that because she didn't want surgery (nor did they) that there is no ongoing problem. Is becoming increasingly confused, including mixing up familial relationships, especially with her son. Now believes there are two of him here and two of my son - one of whom is my son and one my husbands. Often lucid but mixing in these fictional relationships. Has started getting up early when no-one else is around although she needs someone with her at all times. Anything to do with money becomes very confused. We are waiting for a memory clinic appointment but would appreciate any views on whether this is 'normal' aging or 'normal' for potential dementia :-/. Her appetite is also drastically reduced

i would question whether she has an infection such as a urine infection on top of everything else. Some of the behaviour sounds as though it could be caused by a urinary infection and it is worth getting her checked out by your GP

Also it is very confusing for anyone with dementia to have the kind of changes you are describing in such a short time - new home, hospital, back to new home. It would be a lot for any of us but for those who have memory loss it must be extremely frightening. There isn't anything you can do about that except trying to keep a routine around the house.

If social services are not involved then I would get them involved - phone adult care social services duty desk and tell them you need an assessment for your mum and also a carers assessment for yourself which might give you some hours respite with a sitter coming in for your Mum

Agree that your local carers organisation will be very helpful too - google your area with carers cafe and see what comes up - these cafes are an invaluable source of support and local information.

Allowances that are possible
Attendance Allowance (non means tested) but get some help filling in the forms (Age UK or local carers organisation)
Carers Allowance
and there may be others - either the Alzheimer's helpline or Age uk helpline will give you a hand with these

Hope some of this helps x
 

Caseys

Registered User
Dec 10, 2015
37
If you haven't already started doing so, I'd strongly suggest you investigate now all the sources of local support and allowances available to help the family care for your mother-in-law.

It's mentally exhausting as well as extremely tiring to care for someone who's at such physical risk and so intellectually incapable of understanding the risks she takes. Add in the fact your MIL is active at times the rest of the family would normally sleep and you're likely to find yourselves exhausted through lack of (deep) sleep. You'll need "time off" occasionally ... which normally means paying for a carer.
Thank you! At the moment we can't leave her but my mother is coming over regularly, and my daughter is granny sitting tonight so we can have a rare night out with friends. It is exhausting and we will definitely look at all support options :)
 

Caseys

Registered User
Dec 10, 2015
37
i would question whether she has an infection such as a urine infection on top of everything else. Some of the behaviour sounds as though it could be caused by a urinary infection and it is worth getting her checked out by your GP

Also it is very confusing for anyone with dementia to have the kind of changes you are describing in such a short time - new home, hospital, back to new home. It would be a lot for any of us but for those who have memory loss it must be extremely frightening. There isn't anything you can do about that except trying to keep a routine around the house.

If social services are not involved then I would get them involved - phone adult care social services duty desk and tell them you need an assessment for your mum and also a carers assessment for yourself which might give you some hours respite with a sitter coming in for your Mum

Agree that your local carers organisation will be very helpful too - google your area with carers cafe and see what comes up - these cafes are an invaluable source of support and local information.

Allowances that are possible
Attendance Allowance (non means tested) but get some help filling in the forms (Age UK or local carers organisation)
Carers Allowance
and there may be others - either the Alzheimer's helpline or Age uk helpline will give you a hand with these

Hope some of this helps x
Hi - yes very helpful thanks. She already had attendance allowance which she now gives us as 'rent'. She has been tested regularly for UTIs so doesn't seem to be that but you're right - a massive change in a short time and my brother in law wants her to go to him for christmas which is more change. Although we don't feel happy at her doing it it might be the last chance she has so unless she deteriorates further ( not eating enough) we may have to let her - and it will give us a break I guess x will look for local carer support
 

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