Mother recently diagnosed with early stage dementia

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by rosebud99_cdn, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. rosebud99_cdn

    rosebud99_cdn New member

    Feb 14, 2019
    5
    Female
    Hello,

    I am brand new to this forum, and for the past month, I have sought help for my mother who was having problems with cognition, language, and memory issues. She was diagnosed last week with what appears to be the early stages of dementia, however, I am waiting for a referral to a geriatrician that can give an accurate diagnosis.

    I have gone through every emotion possible, including sadness, anxiousness, anger, frustration, and anxiety, however, I am committed to making sure that my mother gets the help that she needs. Her GP overlooked her earlier symptoms of transit ischemic attacks (TIAs), and I had to push him to do a cognitive assessment on her. If I didn't step up and fight for my mother, I don't know what would have happened.

    I am overwhelmed at times because I am an only child and my mother is the only family I have left. I am in denial, and am taking things day by day. I am seeing a therapist that is pushing me to see out community supports, and I am exhausted.

    I came to the conclusion today that I am dealing with both grief and loss: the loss of the person that my mother used to be, and grieving the diagnosis. Unfortunately, my father died of dementia 15 years ago, and in a cruel fate of irony, my mother has the same condition. For the moment, my mother is able to live on her own, and has carers coming in twice a week to help her with personal care and housework. I am keeping in close contact with her care coordinator, and have all of the necessary legal paperwork, such as enduring power of attorney and her will in the event that she needs to be admitted to a care home.

    Is there anyone else that is going through a similar experience?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Donkeyshere

    Donkeyshere Registered User

    May 25, 2016
    246
    channel islands
     
  3. LJP

    LJP New member

    Feb 14, 2019
    1
    Hi. I'm at a similar stage to you and have just joined the group. My mum was diagnosed on Monday with mild/moderate Alzheimer's after being diagnosed last year with Mild Cognitive Impairment. She will start medication tomorrow which may slow down progression but I am worried about what the future holds. Lots to sort out in the next few weeks. Hope you get the help you need.
     
  4. margherita

    margherita Registered User

    May 30, 2017
    2,425
    Female
    Italy, Milan and Acqui Terme
    Hi @rosebud99_cdn ,
    I think taking things day by day is the right attitude, because dementia is such an impredictable desease.
    You have made the necessary decisions to have your mother cared for , as she needs at this stage of her illness.
    You can still somehow enjoy her company, so live the moment and try to store as many sweet memories as possible
     
  5. Joy1960

    Joy1960 Registered User

    Oct 29, 2018
    19
     
  6. rosebud99_cdn

    rosebud99_cdn New member

    Feb 14, 2019
    5
    Female
    Thank you LJP, I know that it is going to be a challenging road ahead, but I will get Mom the proper care and attention that she needs.
     
  7. rosebud99_cdn

    rosebud99_cdn New member

    Feb 14, 2019
    5
    Female
    I am going to try to make the best out of the situation, and let Mom live her life the way that she wants. She is a very social person and thrives when she is amongst other people. I am learning to change my reaction to her behaviours and realize that I cannot control her illness, only my reaction to it. I am in close contact with her medical team and although I find it challenging to adapt to the ever-changing events in Mom's life, I know I will get through it.
     
  8. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    252
    I felt like you when my mother (now aged 86) was first diagnosed in 2016 but she seems to have progressed quite slowly. She is still just about able to live alone with no care package although myself and my two siblings now do all her food shopping, take her out for lunch a few days a week to make sure she eats properly as she is not cooking for herself anymore and help her with all appointments or jobs around the house. We do heve LPA and have registered it at the bank so we can keep an eye out for scam payments and have just installed a call blocker on her phone, again after many scam phone calls. Mum has had a cleaner for many tears which helps us with that job.

    We are just at the stage of thinking about a carer, more for company and to help with food preparation as mum does not need help with personal care and does not take any medication. I do wonder for how much longer will she be able to live alone but there have not yet been any incidents where she has put herself in danger.

    I think we spotted the initial symptoms at a very early stage and she had a quick diagnosis so we have not had to adjust too quickly. But every person reacts differently and I often read of cases when significant support has been necessary soon after diagnosis.

    Try not to worry too much about the future but go with the flow so to speak. It will be harder for you as an only child, me and my siblings make a brilliant team and there is always someone to share concerns with. This forum is very helpful with support and advice so keep in touch.

    Good luck
     
  9. rosebud99_cdn

    rosebud99_cdn New member

    Feb 14, 2019
    5
    Female
    I try to make each day as good as I can and telephone my mother twice per day to see how she is doing. I remember the memories that Mom and I made together over the years, and luckily I have a lot of pictures. Learning to adapt is a challenge for me because I don't do well with surprises, and as you said, dementia is unpredictable.
     
  10. rosebud99_cdn

    rosebud99_cdn New member

    Feb 14, 2019
    5
    Female
    Lynmax,

    Thank you very much for your kind words. It is my hope that the condition that my mother has will be slow in progression.
     
  11. lis66

    lis66 Registered User

    Aug 7, 2015
    272
    Hi rosebud 99 like you I am an only child and at times I have found it incredibly difficult ,my mum has had Alzheimer's for six years.The last two have been the worst ,I don't feel there is much support for carers in my head I know my mum needs resendital care ,but my heart breaks at the thought of doing it .But I'm at rock bottom and like you there's only me and it's 24/7 job.Please enjoy the time you have with your mum xx
     
  12. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,756
    Female
    Hi Rosebud
    I am an only child but my mother is now considerably further down the dementia road, she has late mid-stage dementia. She had carers at home for 18 months but it became apparent she needed supervision 24/7 and has now been in a care home for a year.

    My mother is very sociable too, which means she has done really well in her care home and told me she loves it - there is always someone there to chat to and help or reassure her. She only goes to her room to sleep, the rest of the time she's downstairs as she likes the company.

    @lis66 Sorry to hear you are now making this decision, no one wants to have to move their relative to a care home, it seems such a drastic decision, but it can work out well.
     
  13. lis66

    lis66 Registered User

    Aug 7, 2015
    272
    Thanks sirena,I wish my mum could still be sociable,she loved life and talking to people before Alzheimer's robbed her of that.When she was in respite for a few weeks she just stayed in bed ,got her meals and then bed she is also late stage so hard to watch .
     
  14. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,756
    Female
    That must be hard for you. There are residents at that stage at my mother's care home and no doubt my mother will reach that stage too. It is a comfort though to see that all the residents are treated with consideration and kindness however advanced their dementia is.
     
  15. lis66

    lis66 Registered User

    Aug 7, 2015
    272
    Thanks sirena,like all of us on TP this is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with in my life, yes that's what you hope to get from a nursing home ,for your loved one ,care respect kindness it makes all the difference x
     
  16. Steff1

    Steff1 New member

    Nov 23, 2018
    3
     
  17. Jojohove

    Jojohove New member

    Mar 19, 2018
    6
    Hi I feel for you. I agree I think I’m grieving too. We have a carers centre where I live and am on a CRISP course that the Alzheimer’s society run which helps understand the illness and there are other carers on it so you get advise too. They have also offered me counselling and I believe there’s possibly bereavement counselling for loss although not bereaved yet! We all talked about grief as you feel you’ve lost someone you love. I’m struggling thinking I’ve lost the mum who was super mum and that tears me up. I too am new to this so happy to chat anytime.
     
  18. BluTinks

    BluTinks Registered User

    Dec 7, 2018
    42
    I want to know who will give help i’m In your situation.
     
  19. Gladys1946

    Gladys1946 Registered User

    Feb 17, 2019
    25
     
  20. Gladys1946

    Gladys1946 Registered User

    Feb 17, 2019
    25
    I feel for you. My husband was diagnosed just 3 weeks ago even though both my daughter and I knew that it was likely to be Alzheimers. All you can do is live each day as best you can as I find that some days are fine and others I could quite cheerfully run away! You must make time for yourself. That's not being selfish, it's being sensible. It's a horrible cruel disease but you just have to deal with it. Do keep in touch with the Forum as it's so comforting to know that others feel just as you do.
     

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