Mum approaching diagnosis...

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Tripehound414, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Tripehound414

    Tripehound414 New member

    Aug 13, 2019
    4
    Hello, and thanks for allowing me to join this forum.
    My Mum is exhibiting dementia symptoms (forgetfulness, confusion), but has been reluctant to fill in the diagnosis/assessment forms.
    Her Mum had Alzheimer's, and I think that Mum is worried that she might be getting the same. She has started to exhibit similar symptoms to her Mum.
    I live a long way away, but will be visiting more often. My Dad is Mum's main carer, but he is finding it stressful, and he is older than her.
    I'll be going to visit this month, and was wondering if anyone here can give me any hints or tips to make Mum and Dad's life less stressful?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,442
    Female
    Dundee
    Hello @Tripehound414 and welcome to the forum.

    I’m sorry to hear that your mum is exhibiting symptoms. I can imagine how scary this must be for her given what she might remember of when her own mum had dementia.

    The forum has a plethora of information which I know you will find useful as time goes on. Probably too much information at this point but it might be an idea to have a quick look at the titles of the factsheets available here -

    https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list

    If you have any specific questions there is always someone around the forum who will have experience of the issue and there will be lots of help and support.

    In the meantime this thread on communication might make life a little easier -

    https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/threads/compassionate-communication-with-the-memory-impaired.30801/

    Keep posting!
     
  3. Tripehound414

    Tripehound414 New member

    Aug 13, 2019
    4
    Thanks Izzy - the communication link was especially helpful.

    One thing Mum's Mum did was to truly believe that her son-in-law had split into two different people, one half evil, one half good. At the time, it caused a lot of problems.
    Now Mum is starting to believe that Dad is splitting into two halves, although she doesn't think that one is evil and one is good, like her Mum did. She'll say:- "When is my other husband getting home?", which breaks my Dad's heart.
    I'm wondering what is the best way to work through this? Especially for Dad.
     
  4. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,457
    Female
    England
    Hello and welcome @Tripehound414 .

    Your Dad becoming two husbands will most likely be your Mum and her memory fluctuating between long term and short time. When her short term memory is good she sees your Dad as he is now, when it’s not then her memory is back when he was younger and visually he is different. Which ever she sees, he’s still her husband and hopefully Dad can see that and not be too upset.

    When my husband lost me as his wife I held onto the fact that he was happy and contented so felt safe to be with me while he waited for me to come back. It’s a weird world we have to live in when Dementia is part of it.
     
  5. Tripehound414

    Tripehound414 New member

    Aug 13, 2019
    4
    Thankyou so much, jaymor, that makes complete sense. I'll let Dad know.
    It must have been very difficult for you, going through that experience.
    Thanks for helping me understand what's going on.
     
  6. Soroptimist

    Soroptimist Registered User

    Jun 10, 2018
    31
    Hi @Tripehound414

    This must be a hard time for you and your mum and dad - I know that when my mum started exhibiting memory problems we knew she was probably going down the same path as her mum, my gran, who also had alzheimer's. Frankly we put our heads in the sand for too long, so it's a really good thing for you to confront this head on.

    Have you got powers of attorney in place? If you can get this done whilst your mum still has capacity that will make things much easier down the line. I know you probably won't want to think about this now, but it's really important.

    The compassionate communication advice is really good - if you can start to see things from your mum's point of view that will make it easier. But it can be emotionally draining, and it will be a shift in how your relationship with your mum works.

    Is there much support locally for those with memory issues.eg singing for the brain, memory cafes? Age UK can help tell you what is available. Some of these are only accessible if you have a diagnosis. Make use of the local support if you can - that may help ease the pressure off your dad a little.

    Good luck and very best wishes to you xx
     
  7. Soroptimist

    Soroptimist Registered User

    Jun 10, 2018
    31
    Forgot to say - the Dementia UK helpline is excellent - I had them on speed dial for a while!
     
  8. Tripehound414

    Tripehound414 New member

    Aug 13, 2019
    4
    Many thanks Soroptimist,
    Yes, power of attorney is something we hadn't considered yet, but will look into.
    We're registering with several groups which might be helpful, a Carers' support group, Attendance Allowance, and activities.
    Mum loves the singing group she goes to (although that is only on during term time), and she also does gentle exercise sessions at the gym.
    Thanks so much for your tips :)
     

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