Mum (84) forgetting words/numbers and is "thrown" by any activity outside the norm

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by martybee, Jan 13, 2020 at 11:50 PM.

  1. martybee

    martybee New member

    Monday
    4
    #1 martybee, Jan 13, 2020 at 11:50 PM
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020 at 12:00 AM
    Hi, my first post here. My mum is 84 . Both she and I are concerned that she is confusing numbers and words on a daily basis. With numbers, this could be a time or date reference, a money amount etc. She says she can "see" the number in her mind but can't verbalise it. Mum is retired, highly educated, but is aware of Alzheimers and that she might me getting early stages of it.

    With words she is very frustrated that she cannot find the correct vocabulary for say a simple grocery item, place, person or object name and the word "thingy" is now all too common a part of her vocabulary in which my mind now has to work overtime in trying to decipher !

    This all began a few months ago and now seems a daily occurrence.

    She still reads (crime thrillers) a fair deal and does the daily newspaper puzzles to keep her mind active first thing in the morning

    The other aspect of this are her panic attacks which occur over the slightest thing e.g. taking out the washing, answering the phone, putting out the bin, answering the door are all activities she can handle UNTIL two or three of those things have to happen at the same time and she panics, often with outbursts of temper and sometimes tears, usually over the most trivial things. Quite a shock to both our systems as like most mums " multi tasking" was her middle name, water off a duck's back...UNTIL NOW !

    This may be linked but she had a back operation some years back and is on the painkiller Tramadol and has severe withdrawal (nausea/irrational/irritable temper) if she doesn't keep up with the daily doses.

    Finally, strand three of all this is "inertia" (not being bothered to do anything) whereas before she was a passionate gardener, "chef", reader/researcher, day tripper etc. etc. all that has now taken a back seat.and like many of her generation she is technophobic, netphobic, with no interest in using this computer and no intention of doing so. Even finding her way around a mobile phone can totally distress her.

    So that's my "picture" . I don't live with my mum but live nearby and visit/stay most weekends. Am keen to help out with any chores that need doing : shopping/laundry/security/garden/handling phone calls etc. but I cannot be here 24/7.

    Any ideas ? Suggestions ? Similar experiences from anyone else ?

    Any feedback much appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,606
    Nottinghamshire
    Welcome to DTP @martybee

    That sounds very much how my dad started but I also wonder if the Tramadol might be a factor. It's worth speaking to her GP.

    There are also other, treatable, conditions which mimic dementia so it's important your mum gets a check-up.
     
  3. martybee

    martybee New member

    Monday
    4

    Hi @Bunpoots thanks for your reply...we've already liaised with GP re the Tramadol when she went off them for a while, we then had to have her put back on them as she can't cope physically or psychologically without. As painkillers they're very effective and she can be light and chatty when under the effect..."high" even !! Then the minute they wear off it's almost a Dr Jekyll & Mrs Hyde scenario which can happen literally in minutes until she takes the next one. Being of that generation she resents being drug dependent, but I can't see any alternative. She's actually just gone to her room now as she can feel "it" ( come down) coming down and warned me to keep clear till she's dosed up again !

    Tell me more about your dad if you will, how did his condition progress and what day to day action did you follow ?
     
  4. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,606
    Nottinghamshire
    My dad was a joiner and a woodwork teacher so very practical and hands on. He was intrigued by the newest tech so one of the first symptoms we noticed (apart from getting lost and forgetting where he’d parked) was an inability to use his computer and mobile phone.

    I lived close to dad - about 5 mins away by car, ten on my bike, so I could pop in and make sure he was ok. In the early days I used to get a lot of phone calls, several times a day asking me to sort things out. Eventually these stopped and it took me a while to realise that he couldn’t use the phone. Soon after that he stopped answering the phone so the only way I could check on him was to go round - up to 3 times a day!

    By mid to late stages the only thing dad had any enthusiasm for was going to the pub for lunch.

    It wasn’t all bad though. We managed to find a way to deal with most of the challenges that dementia threw at us. In my case a lot of that “dealing with” was done by coming and having a rant or asking for advice on here.

    I’ve cared, or helped care for 3 family members with dementia and they have all been very different so take things as they come.

    If you haven’t already try to get Power of Attorney set up for your mum and consider getting a carer/cleaner to take the pressure off you. You might not feel the need for help now but eventually I suspect you will. I started with a cleaner/gardener for my dad but really she was there to remind him to take his meds too on the days I couldn’t be there - and making sure he had lunch.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.