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Living overseas and my Mum has just been diagnosed with Dementia - Advice pls


Registered User
Sep 29, 2015
I've lived over seas for the past 20 years and my parents have always enjoyed the opportunity to spend long holidays with us but recently my mums behaviour changed quite noticeably and she was becoming very confused and defensive. Yesterday our fears were confirmed that she was indeed suffering from Dementia. They are both 80yrs old they are both physically fit and love life so for my Mum this is the worse news she could get. The challenge I'm facing is she doesn't want anyone to know and we must not mention the 'D' word again. My Dad doesnt deal well with stress and is going through hell with her right now as she blaming him for everything. Our plan is to get back to the UK to provide the support they both need right now but how can I get her support if she refuses to accept it and how should I approach it without repeating it and feeling very cruel ? My apologies I have to spend time researching, right now its sadly all very new.


Registered User
Sep 29, 2015
My nan recently passed away & suffered with dementia, she would cry for family members that were no longer with us, one thing my family came to learn was that you couldn't tell my nan she was wrong, you just have to go along with what she was saying make up excuses (e.g. My nan used to worry over 'her baby' & we would have to tell her a family member was looking after it) Towards the end communication was non-existent & she was unable to tell us there was something wrong. My advice to you is to look for any changes in your mum physically & contact her GP if you are worried, try & make your mum drink as much as possible & keep her mind active, spend as much as possible with your mum. Maybe make up a photo album full of memories for her to look at. but most importantly do not be afraid to ask for help, dementia is a very tiring process for family members.
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Registered User
Jul 18, 2011
My mum has been in denial since a few months after she was diagnosed. Shortly after she was diagnosed I was telling her about my best friend's mum, who had recently been placed in a care home, and she asked what was wrong with her, so I told her it was dementia. "What, like me?", so I told her that she was far, far worse than mum was and since then she's been in denial, so I don't know if it was me telling her about my friend's mother that did that.

I have this year had to get her carers going into her home three times daily as when I took her for her memory clinic in February/March she wasn't eating properly at that time, and she now accepts the carers. An ex-colleague of mine, when his mum needed carers going in and she was refusing, told her point blank that it was that, or a home, and she agreed to the carers then. I don't think that's the best way to deal with dementia patients but it worked for him.

I am lucky in that my mum isn't a wanderer (that has been my biggest fear) but she has been quite resistant to anything I put in place to help her stay in her own home but once I've pushed them through and the things are in place, she is quite happy. I find the "it's worrying me that..." approach is best for my mum, if she thinks it will make me happy she will do it. And having strangers around helps, she tends to be all sweetness and light with strangers around and reverts to the nasty old biddy when it's just her and me.

I have, on occasion, had to be quite brutal with her. For example, mum had a fall in June, the carers couldn't get in, couldn't get hold of me, and had to get the police out to break in. Then once she was up and back in her chair she stopped eating and drinking, and I had to spell out what happens to an 86-year-old who doesn't eat and drink in the heat of the summer - and I stood over her while she had something to eat and drink.

She also has quite hurtful notions, like she can't now remember my dad (he died in 1978) but thinks her mum is still alive (she died in 1990). She also at one time kept asking me who was looking after my baby. I've never had a baby!
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