it's happened so quickly

barbara h

Registered User
Feb 15, 2008
county durham
Hi i am new to the forum but have been browsing quite a bit and reading all your stories.

We noticed mams behaviour changing about last september she had spells of acute confusion ringing my sister and i in the middle of the night thinking it was morning. I live nearby and i would call in on my way to work and on my way back to make sure she had taken her medication and she would be ringing to ask where i was. After these spells she would be ok and deny that anything had happened. We called her gp out after this had happened a couple of times and also told him about her behaviour changing towards us she would be verbally agressive when we mentioned getting some help in for her (She wasn't going to have strangers coming into her house cos there was nothing wrong with her!!)

The gp referred her to a consultant who she saw in december and she arranged a brain scan which she had on 17th January. While waiting for the results she suddenly started getting worse about three weeks ago seeing my dad and her mam and dad(who have been dead many years) in the house. The gp came out and thought she may have an infection and got her into hospital thinking it would be for a short while until we sorted a care package out. She was in hospital a week and they could find no infection and her scan results show vascular dementia so it is just a very sudden worsening of this.

So from being in her own home with help from us we were told she now needs 24 hour care and has now been transfered to a care home which i must say is looking after her great we have been lucky on that score.

Another complication we have is that she did not have power of attorney so after speaking to her solicitor he said she has to be made guardian of the court which may take months.

It is hard visiting her because she is obviously not happy she is either telling stories from the past as if they have just happened or just talking nonsense. She has a huge distrust of people and thinks everyone is after her things to sell them or they are going to do something horrible to her.

It is hard to get my head around how quickly this has happened and wondered if anyone out there has had experience of this. We have a meeting with her doctor on monday to discuss things as we haven't even talked about it properly as before she got proper diagnosis the illness had progressed so much. Nobody seemed to want to tell us much before the diagnosis.

Sorry to have gone on a bit but i felt i had to tell the story.


Registered User
Mar 22, 2007
Yes, this is not dis similar to my experience. up til Jan 2007 my mother was living in her own bungalow and managing with a fortnightly visit from me to deal with any paperwork and fill her frig/freezer.
Then she had a fall and was taken into hospital and in the couple of months she was there changed from a slightly confused old lady to one needing 24/7 care.
I too was given the "infection" story as an explanation for her rapiddecline and maybe thats what did happen or it was just the shock and trauma , plus I think personally she had another stroke.
She never went home and now lives in a NH . A year on she bears no resemblance either mentally or physically to the person of just over a year ago, it is both bewlidering and upsetting. I have adjusted a lot now but initially I simply could not believe this was really my mum threatening violence and making wild allegations
I hope things are the best they can be for you

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello Barbara,

This illness is the most unpredictable of any I know of. It does sound as if your mother, like Natasha`s mother is showing a rapisd decline. Others decline far more slowly.

I don`t think even the doctors understand it fully, and I`m sure for the family, it`s very difficult to adjust to such rapid change.

Please let us know what the doctor thinks, when you go on Monday. I hope you get some explanation.

Take care xx


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Sorry to read of the deteriation of your mum.

Think this kind of deteriation is more noticeable when someone lives alone. Please try to remember that any change, i.e spell in hospital, move to care home, even change of home at any time, all exaserbates the condition.

This then shows up as very rapid decline. When this is absorbed within a family home, with one or two people around to care 24/7, the stages don't seem quite so dramatic. (Note the word 'seem')

All part of this illness we know as Dementia.

barbara h

Registered User
Feb 15, 2008
county durham
thanks for your replies

like your mam natashalou my mam had a bad fall in the house at the beginning of january.
This seemed to coincide with her decline. We also think she is having mini strokes or something cos every so often she seems to walk leaning to the right and then after a few days she seems to straighten up.
Once again thanks for the support x


Registered User
Jan 15, 2008
Hello, Barbara

I'm sorry to hear of your Mum's sudden decline - September until now is a very short period of time to see your Mum become almost another person and you must be very worried and upset.

This strikes a chord with me because my Mum has vascular dementia too, although she refused a brain scan (the doctors came to the right conclusion, though). Ironically, she has had a "good week" unlike your dear old Mum. Her good mood came out with the lovely sunshine we have had and she appears peaceful and happy. However, I know that this is not going to last and I read with concern about an apparent stroke and how the dementia can progress in stages downards, as it were.

My Mum's decline has been relatively slow, but we're all invidividual and your experience has been entirely different. I too, however had to deal with the "strangers in the house" concept and the mistrust and suspiciion. You are doing the right thing, though. You couldn't look after her at home, could you? It wouldn't be fair on either of you.

Anyway, just wanted to give you my support.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Hi Barbara

Your mam does seem to have deteriorated very quickly. I have experienced a similar rapid decline in my husband, but that was following a UTI, and after seven years fo slow decline.

It's an awful shock to the system, and I'm finding it very hard to come to terms with the speed at which things are changing. It must be so much more difficult for you, as it has all happened so suddenly.

It can happen like that with vascular dementia, and it might be that your mum is experiencing small bleeds in her brain, which cause cell to die. I'm not a medic, so please don't take that as gospel, but I know that is what can happen.

Have you read the AS factsheet on vascular dementia? It might help.

Thank you for telling us your story. Please let us know how you get on.


Registered User
Oct 16, 2007
manchester, uk
Hi Barbara

Welcome to TP.

I'm sorry to hear about your mam. It is so hard when things happen so quickly. At the begining of last year my Nanna lived in her own home on her own and started having little falls. However she then had a big fall and that seemed to be the start of her downhill struggle with this horrible condition.

Looking back now I wish someone had slapped me in the face hard, as it would have caused less pain than this horrible condition does.

The only thing I can say to you is please keep posting here as the people here will be a rock for you and help you through the hard times ahead.

Take Care


Registered User
Jan 30, 2008
Hi Barbara,
My mum started showing signs of confusion around Chistmas. I was concerned that she had U.T.I or that she was having TIA's.The GP commenced her on medication for a UTI but her confusion became worse.
Mum was admitted to hospital on 8th January and I have been told that she has vascular dementia moderate level.
I visit mum every day and most days I am in floods of tears as there is a deterioration in her every day. Mum thinks the nurses are witches she is being poisoned and that the patients are going to murder her and that they the patients are being murdered.
Mum's belongings were being taken by other patients so now she hides her pants, brush and comb and thinks the nurses are stealing from her.
Mum is waiting to be placed in a care home so I still have that upset to go through.
You have my sympathy and empathy and I just wanted you to know that you are not facing this alone.
Keep you chin up. I know. It is very difficult.
Loris xxxx



Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
I know how you feel. For me it was the sudden shock of having a husband who was forgetful to, within a few short weeks, a man who needed 24 hour daily care! The only explanation for the sudden decline I can give is that we had to move back from Spain to England and I think that tipped him over the edge and he never recovered from that trauma. That was three years ago. I'm still in shock at how quickly events went completely out of my control and only recently, with husband having been placed on a Continuing Care ward for many months, coming to terms with it all and trying to get some semblance of a life back. xxxTinaT


Registered User
May 24, 2006
My Mother had also had odd spells of forgeting and phoning in middle of the night and strangers on the lawn and people talking about her but she was still living and coping alone and STILL driving !!!!!right up to 6 mionths before she died
However quite suddenly the whole situation escalated and she never knew i had taken over finances etc with EPA 5 months before she died and having been found collapsed and with pneumonia 5 weeks before she died after which she basically had no clue who anyone was or what she was doing


Registered User
Jan 29, 2008
Ashford, Kent
Hi & Welcome


It must be a terrible shock to see your Mum deteriorate so rapidly.

I'm sure you will find TP a great source of support and info.

Beverley x