Mother-in-law Waiting for a Diagnosis

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by mumof3, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. mumof3

    mumof3 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2006
    82
    Hello everyone
    Feeling brave enough to make my first post after following the site for a few weeks.
    My mother-in-law is 62 and has being undergoing assessment for the past year or so. She has not been formally diagnised with dementia but I feel this is probably solely because of her age. Today she had a third assessment and scored 23 out of 30 in the mini mental state examination. At the end of September it was 25 but her memory has definitely worsened since then. She is now being referred to a psychogeriatrician.

    I feel that we are walking a bit of a tightrope as no-one has ever mentioned dementia. She suffered a small stroke and puts her slowness and memory loss down to this. I do know that she does get scared and fretful though and needs lots of reassurance.

    My husband is an only child and having lost her husband 2 years ago, we are the only family my mother-in-law has, apart from her sister who has been great and some really good friends who do rally round. She doesn't see this in her low times though and says she is all alone with no-one to care for her. She has been on anti-depressants twice in the past year as her symptoms were put down to depression. Both times she got even more agitated and stressed.

    She is managing on her own flat for the moment with 2 hours support three times a week. She also needs help twice a day with taking medication as this is something she cannot cope with herself.

    Social services are trying to get a day centre/hospital place and I feel this would be a good thing to provide a bit of stimulation and interest. The social worker has said that because of her age, a place is difficult to find. Apparently she is too young for the services provided! We worry how long that she will be able to manage by herself and what the future holds. This last year seems to have been a gradual decline in the number of things she can manage and is not frightened by.

    I feel bad because one of her few pleasures is the children yet the eldest who is 10 gets quite anxious as her behaviour is unpredictable and she gets very emotional and agitated at times. She senses this too as the other day she told my husband that she dosn't want to see the children "until she is better". I feel the children are being robbed of their granny and it is awful that their memories of her will be of this time of her life when she shows little interest in them. She was over the moon when the eldest was born and he really was the apple of her eye.

    Feel a bit of a fraud since I am not living with caring for someone 24/7 as so many of you are. Don't really know why I posted this. Just feel that with all the involvement of social services, specialists etc that she is close to being diagnosed with dementia and then we will have to face it properly and start having to think about the future.
     
  2. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Mumofthree

    No need to feel a fraud, lots of us on here are not 24/7 carers (in the practical sense) but we love (care for someone) with dementia 24/7, get my gist?

    It is difficult with children; my own children do not remember their nanna being well, but they do love her. I know that they feel that they have missed out on knowing her. Others on here have advised me to share photos and memories of my mum with my children, and I try to do that. I do feel though that having a nanna who has suffered with dementia has made my sons very caring and considerate of people who are different. I know that the only time I really lost it with my mum was when she attacked my eldest; she didn't know what she was doing, but my motherly instinct took over. My son understood that it was he illness, though he was only about 10 at the time. We did have to keep a closer eye on him when mum was around, but there were no further incidents.

    I have always been open with the children about what is happening to their nanna. Children are very accepting, and have a great capacity to love. I reassure them that their nanna loves them, and would have loved to have been able to do things with them, had she been able. Life is not a bed of roses though, and your children will learn that lesson early. I don't know if this is of any use; your kids will be OK though. Just reassure them that it is the illness and not their granny who shouts and is unpredictable, and granny is still there, and still loves them dearly.

    Take care. Let us know how things are going. I expect that you posted because you wanted to talk to other people who are in, or have been in the same scarey place that you are at this time. That's why most of us post. Sharing makes it easier.

    Amy
     
  3. May

    May Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    627
    Yorkshire
    Hi Mumof3
    There's no fraud in loving and caring about what happens to your Mum in law. I'm not a 24/7 carer, it's my Dad who cares for Mum, but I just do what I can and worry about the pair of them......as I'm certain you do about Mum in law.
    Keep posting, there are some amazing and inspiring people on this site, and the relief to be had from just sharing, as Amy said, makes it easier.
     

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