Muddled Mum


Registered User
Nov 26, 2007

This my first visit here.

My mum (84) who has alway been pretty scatty is now forgetting and getting muddled with things like where she has put money or keys or any number of things.

Her sister in law rang me last night after she and her husband had taken my Mum away to Blackpool for a few days to say that she was really hard work kept losing the key to her room. Emptying her bag everywhere they went to check her money. Also to let me know the had 300.00 that she had in her bag that she couldn't remember what it was for.

My problem is that I still work full time my Mum seems to cope with all the eveyday things like eating and washing OK. She goes out 4-5 times a week to bingo. and pops out shopping and pottering around the shops.

She also still does a bit of needle work from home.

If I take her to the doctors what will happen, I cannot imagine what she would be like without her independance but when do I know that she is a danger to herself.

Money can be replaced but its her health that worries me and I don't know what I should do next.

Any one been through something similar




Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
Hi Pauline
welcome to Talking Point.
The first move is to take Mum to the GP.
Check whether this is just absent mindness or something else.
Early intervention is the best way.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
emptying her bag everywhere they went to check her money

I remember my mother doing that on 2 occasion , before being told she had AZ also it was when we where on holiday , which could of been because she was in a different environment from her usual surrounding so got more confused [ also after my father died ] but when back home she was also independence just forget full with keys and umbrella also losing money then finding it .

Like Norman says

Early intervention is the best way.
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Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Pauline.

It sounds as if your mother was affected by being away from her known routine when she went to Blackpool.

At home, she appears to know what she`s doing.

It would do no harm for her to have a check-up by her GP. Write down the concerns you have and either take them with you if you accompany her, or post them a few days before the appointment. This way you won`t have to talk about your worries in front of her.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Hi Pauline and welcome to Talking Point.

I would agree that a visit to her doctor is the first step, but I would offer one caveat. Whatever is causing this (if something actually is) it is in its very early stages. Because of that you may not get much joy from the doctor. For a start, there is no treatment available on the NHS for very early AD, while vascular dementia, the other most likely possibility, isn't, strictly speaking, treated anyway (any efforts in that direction are focused on the underlying causes such as high blood pressure, or clotting). Unless the GP has extensive (or personal) experience with dementia you're more likely to be told it's "normal aging".

There are things, though, that you can do to support her. If she has medication for any reason you're going to have to find some way to ensure that she takes it - I harp on this aspect because this was not something that was pointed out to me by my mother's GP when I first raised her short-term memory loss - if it had been maybe she wouldn't have had her subsequent strokes. Now is also the time to ensure that she has a LPA (lasting power of attorney) in place, both for her finances AND her welfare. Everyone should have these, in fact, but it's even more critical when you get older. You need to address the safety aspect - not just the obvious such as is she locking up the house at night, for example, but also the less obvious such as can she be trusted not to hand over her financial details willy-nilly, of fall for those mailed sweepstake scams, or leave the gas on or eat improperly stored or out of date food or ... well, you get the picture. You might have more success with being pre-emptive about these things that you would be later on. Sadly, if it is dementia, she may well get more suspicious as time goes on, so that when she REALLY needs the help, she won't accept it, while now she just might. Depends on personality though - some people are fiercely independent.

Best wishes


Registered User
Sep 10, 2005
Hello Pauline

Welcome to Talking Point.

As the others have mentioned, I think the first stop is your mum's GP. I found it best to have written to him before going with my mum ... unfortunately I had to do this several times and see different ones ... before anyone seemed to take it seriously. (That's just my experience, of course). Don't be fobbed off with them saying 'it's just old age'. That's as maybe, but if it is dementia, then as Norman said, early intervention can be most helpful for all concerned.

In terms of you knowing when your mum is a danger to herself. I guess the bottom line is, you don't until something happens, or a pattern forms. In any case, if the GP feels intervention is needed you should get an assessment. When it happened with mum, a CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse) and OT (Occupational Therapist) visited. The OT had a quick scan round and checked for obvious things (smoke alarm, trip hazards, cooking with gas). Other things can be more subtle, but from what you've said about your mum, she doesn't sound too bad. I do agree that the trip to Blackpool obviously removed her from the familiar. My mum cannot 'map' new things at all now. To make things easy when she visits me, I put post-it notes on all the kitchen cupboards so that she can find things, it saves her repeatedly asking and it saves my sanity! :D

Let us know how you fare at the doctor's. There might be another reason for her forgetfulness (other than dementia).

With best wishes.