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Mum (72) recently diagnosed

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by shubb, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. shubb

    shubb Registered User

    Mar 9, 2018
    18
    #1 shubb, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
    Hi
    This is an overwhelming situation. I have found it hugely upsetting.
    Mum (72) was diagnosed in February 2018 but we have noticed problems for the last couple of years. It's not so much memory loss. She has excellent recall but her levels of concentration are shocking. She has real issues with problem solving, even the very basic stuff. She just can't 'get' stuff.
    She's very compliant and doesn't seem to have her own opinions anymore. She goes with whatever the last person has said. This worries me when it comes to having people in her house fixing things. She pays them whatever they ask for and doesn't question costs or ask for receipts.
    Driving is another issue because she doesn't/can't keep her concentration. We have had her driving assessed and they have deemed her 'safe' for the next three months and I do think that has helped her case with the DVLA but she still likes to drive long distances to see her friends which the assessor and my sisters and I are discouraging. She loves driving but we recently moved her to a smaller house on a bus route so she is better placed to get about when she finally can't drive anymore.
    My sisters and I have kept this to ourselves until close extended family started to notice early this year. I find it easier to deal with if I don't get texts from her or calls from family and friends who are now beginning to notice and are expressing concern. It guess it means it's all real and we are not imagining it.
    Mum is passive about her problems. She doesn't really understand what she is doing and how noticeable it is to others. I can't talk to her like I used to. It gets my stomach churning every time she texts me a garbled message about her medication or who came to visit. She makes odd comments on Facebook and although always very literate, she often writes like a child using blunt language and unstructured sentences.
    I am now not sure whether to instigate POA and how to do it. Luckily Mum set this up a couple of years ago but at what stage do I do this? She is very able to look after herself at home at the moment but she seems to be deteriorating rapidly which is alarming and I don't know why.
    I am wondering whether I should start looking for 'help' in the form of someone who pops in on her a couple of times a week? I live an hour away so that's not too bad but have three kids, job etc and if I'd like to go THAT day, it's not always feasible. I can't just pop in.
    I'd like her friend's number (a neighbour) but she says that I don't need it because nothing's going to happen but I want to explain it to them and ask them to keep an eye out so do I go behind Mum's back?
    I don't want to upset Mum by suggesting extra, formal help, encouraging less driving, igniting the POA, but she needs it - even though [she says] she doesn't see the need.
    I also don't know how to find her car insurance details. They'll need to be informed but it's all online and Mum can't remember the name of the insurer and will they talk to me? She doesn't remember old passwords etc.
    She has terrible sleeping problems too which is partly been an issue but now I think it's more chaotic.
    The doctor has given her 10mg Tempazepam but she only takes a third - sometimes twice a night I think - and still wakes up. She says she's hooked - but she's not. She doesn't take enough and can go nights without it. I have put all the pills in daily pill pots but she still texts me asking what she should take and when. I went with her to the doctor about her sleeping problems but it was pretty pointless. Mum couldn't answer the question and kept saying she was fine. Very hard for the Doc to diagnose and help her and I am not there in the night so I don't know how she really sleeps. The story keeps changing. Anyone else had this issue. What did you do? Can she go to a sleep clinic for assessment or is this something she has to put up with? Sorry for the long brain dump. This is all so hideous.
     
  2. Wee sis

    Wee sis Registered User

    Sep 18, 2017
    7
    Hi shubb
    Welcome to the site of understanding sanity. At least that’s how I feel about the forum. I know your mum won’t want to hear it but you really need to think about activating the POA. I luckily activated my oh,s 4 years ago when he was still quite able. I’m so glad I did because he deteriorated very quickly and wouldn’t have been able legally to agree. I don’t mean to frighten you and I hope for everyone’s sake that although it’s activated you don’t have to use it. I’m about to get mine activated although I hope it won’t be used for a very long time. If ever.
     
  3. Norfolk Cherry

    Norfolk Cherry Registered User

    Feb 17, 2018
    287
    Female
    I could have written this word for word when my mum was the same age. She's now 80, was diagnosed with vascular dementia about five years ago and has had a stroke as well as lots of mini strokes. I agree with the previous person, I would activate the POA. I wonder if you could get everyone together and make the decision to sell her car? Maybe explain it to her as a family? I remember the awful feeling of going behind her back, but you just have to in her own interests. I started basically lying to her about all sorts of things to protect her and avoid making her anxious. I did talk to her neighbour "behind her back", and then persuaded her to go to a day centre one day a week, partly so that other people were involved with her. I paid a carer to go in and ostensibly clean, but to be a companion and be someone close by I could call on if I needed. TBH long term, I would think she will need to be close by or living with a family member or in some kind of care or sheltered accommodation. Last year she had a social workers assessment and as a result has carers 3X a day (for meals and meds) plus me popping in and out and running the house. So that's where we are up to, but I would just read as much as you can on here, there's some amazing people with a wealth of experience and huge warm hearted support that you can draw from. I wish I'd found it at the beginning of my mum's dementia.
     
  4. shubb

    shubb Registered User

    Mar 9, 2018
    18
    #4 shubb, Mar 10, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018


     
  5. shubb

    shubb Registered User

    Mar 9, 2018
    18
    #5 shubb, Mar 10, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
     

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