mum cant remember what she did 1 hour ago

spuddle

Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
118
hi, ive just come across this forum and have read a few posts. there is obviously a lot of knowledge and experience here so I would be grateful for any thoughts on my concerns.

mum has always been a bit forgetful but since my dad died last april things have got much worse and the last few weeks have been very worrying.
she is becoming very forgetful. often phoning me several (10) times within half an hour about the same thing with no idea that she has already spoken to me. at first I would laugh and tell her we have just spoken but now I act as if it is the first phone call. I take her for a trip out and by the time we return home she doesn't know where she has been. she also tells the same stories to my partner from 60 years ago with no idea that she has already told him. this can be several times on the same visit, getting out photos we have seen many times. Again we now act as if we hadn't already seen them but I don't know if this is the right thing to do.

yesterday I made her cry. I found she was carrying over £1000 in her handbag, which she frequently misplaces. I tried to tell her it wasn't a good idea and tried to take it from her. in the end I gave up and when she wasn't looking removed some of it for safe keeping. later in the day we went shopping and the bill came to £40 and she thought she didn't have any money on her. I had to insist that she looked in her bag, where she found a lot of money. no idea how much she was carrying. my sister and I have recently sorted out power of attourney but I want her to be independent as long as possible.

We talked her into going to the doctors last year who referred her to a phsyciatric specialist. she passed the tests with flying colours. she knew who the primeminister was, she knew what month it was etc. the only thing she couldn't do was remember a word that she was told to remember at the beginning of the session. im sure she still knows the first lot of info but it is like her short term recall is switched off.

Amazingly she still drives.. after 60 years it is second nature to her but she forgets where she is going before she gets there. I worry she will do something daft like just stop in busy traffic to work out where she is.
she is aware that she is becoming very forgetful and constantly says 'ive lost my marbles' 'I wasn't always like this', though she flatly refuses to go to the doc, I guess she is worried what she may hear. she often gets upset saying I will be putting her in a home (she will live with me before it comes to that)

I realize this is a similar scenario to others I have been reading about here but I would be very grateful for any thoughts on her behaviour and more importantly how I should deal with it to help her stay positive and independent

sorry for such a long first post but I needed to get it out.
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
Sometimes when there is a problem we have to think outside of the "normal" channels whatever they are. If Mum won't go to the GP, then you should. Keep a note of everything that is happening, the GP can't share mum's medical records with you without her permission but they may be able to arrange a home visit, or a well woman check to get the tests done again.

The memory clinics will visit in the home if there is resistance to being seen at the hospital venues, but you will need to explain why a home visit is needed. They seem to be used to this.

With your mum's memory being so bad, it is doubtful that she is safe driving, I would inform the DVLA of your mum's medical condition, with or without a diagnosis and ask them to reassess her safety to drive. Whilst that sounds harsh, if your mum hurt herself or anyone else whilst driving if not fit, that would be worse.

If she is still fit to drive they will give her an annual licence. I would not leave that to chance.


A warm welcome to TP
 

spuddle

Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
118
thanks so much for your reply. I will arrange to see her doctor. she has spent a lot of time there with my dad so they know her well, although she has been 'fit as a fiddle' herself until this. i am very loathe to stop her driving as it his her lifeline, though i understand the concerns. i often sit in with her to see how she is and she seems fine at the moment but i appreciate it would only take one moment of forgetfulness to change all that. its a really tough decision and its one i am going to have to make sooner or later. she is very aware of how she is becoming so i hope she will realize herself if things are getting bad, or maybe she wont, i just don't know.

i have been hoping that this memory loss was part of the grieving/coping process but sadly im beginning to realize that i most likely isn't.

im very grateful to have found this forum (not used to this internet discussion thing) as i have felt at a loss on how to help her.
 

supporter1

Registered User
Sep 14, 2012
219
:) welcome to the forum.

Sadly reading your post I can understand your concerns. I know it is difficult but if you can get your mum to visit the GP for a check up it might be helpful and it is probably time to get checked out again for her memory.

Loss of short term memory is very common and it must be quite worrying for the person experiencing it. You are right not to correct , it often just increases anxiety. I can see it in my fathers face when he realises that he cannot remember things. When it first happened to him he covered up by using his intellect. Even the psych was taken in believing he was more able than he actually was...

Short term memory problems I think can sometimes be managed but you need to see how things are from a safety point of view. Taking tablets , remembering to eat , cooking etc all require some short term memory to be able to complete tasks. I would check that your mum is safe with those sort of tasks.

The money issue and the driving issue are difficult to deal with and you may see many of us trying to find a way to help with these issues but I do not think that there is a simple answer to managing money or driving.

My dad really reacted badly to us removing his car but it had reached the stage that he could have hurt someone. Unfortunately the dvla and the GP's tend to be somewhat unhelpful in respect to this issue. I do recall someone on here disabling the car and in the end their family member gave up driving because they could not get the car to work ( extreme measure undoubtedly but understandable). We eventually found out that dad had infact had several accidents and had hid this from us .. I am just so glad that he was not hurt and that nobody else was hurt.
 

spuddle

Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
118
its making me cry reading here (I good release I guess)
sometimes when I mention stuff that mum cant remember she looks at me like a startled rabbit. its so upsetting. often, now when she is obviously not remembering she talks to my dog, just switches off from the conversation and has one that she can cope with (with the dog).
she lives about 8 miles away so I am able to see her every day and talk on the phone often. im not working at the moment so I have no time constraints but I have to get back to work soon and its worrying that I wont have as much time for her. although she has good friends and neighbours she doesn't want to talk to them or even see them much, I suspect she is embarrassed as she is aware that she is forgetting things and repeating things.
 

supporter1

Registered User
Sep 14, 2012
219
This journey that we are all on ( carers and family that are experiencing difficulties) is not an easy one but it is not all doom and gloom ;)

Your mum is very lucky because she has you in her corner and you have somewhere safe and supportive to turn to ( TP :D ) . when you feel the need and there are lots of us that have lots of experiences and suggestions that can really help to make things easier to cope with.


There will be times where it is painful
PHP:
emotionally for everyone but there are also times where you also share good moments.

If you look at the big picture it can get overwhelming , my own strategies for coping is to look no further than today. At times even today has been too much and then I find myself posting on here and I have found so much support :)

Tears can be a good thing, it acknowledges that you are expecting changes in your relationship with your mum. I know , I too have shed many tears for my dad , the one I turned to when I needed help. Now we do things differently and we share the odd joke or remember the good times . cannot face looking at the future but today is ok ;)

As for the practicalities of things at present I think a chat with the GP is first step. In the mean time check out how she is managing day to day. The fridge is often a good place to look as it may be that she is not checking use by dates or not eating ;) hen cook together;) to see how she manages with the cooker or microwave ;)
 
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bilslin

Registered User
Jan 17, 2014
762
hertforshire
Hi spuddle and welcome. First things first get your mum to the gp and get memory test done to start the ball rolling. If your thinking of going back to work your mum will eventually might need some help care workers coming in. ss will need to get involved and every thing seems to take along time to put in place. So good luck with the gp. lindaxx
 

Saffie

Registered User
Mar 26, 2011
22,505
Near Southampton
Has your mother been considered for depression. Some of the characteristics of dementia are similar to those shown with depression and this should be discounted as well as blood tests for other conditions which can cause similar symptoms, eg. undiagnosed thyroid problems or lack of B12.
As you say your mother scored well on the memory test, it would be worthwhile to try to check the above whilst keeping a diary of other symptoms. Very best wishes, it is a hard time.
 

spuddle

Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
118
thanks again. you cant believe how much this means to me to have others here understanding this. I spoke to my mum on the phone yesterday and she was marvellous... I wouldn't have concerns if she was like this all the time. a bit forgetful but nothing too bad. im starting to make a diary of it all, along with her moods to see if there is a pattern (don't know if that is something to look for). my sister has turned up unexpectedly from away (she has lived in Greece for 20 odd years) and is staying with mum for a week or so. I hate to admit it but I have straight away gone out and bought some wine to have a night off. its like I want to shut it out for a while, which of course I do. this is new to me but the last few weeks the first thought in the morning has been about how mum is doing and last thing at night is how I can help her tomorrow. sister is going to be with her 24/7 so she will see things from 'the front line' as it were. sister is obviously very worried (she got the POA sorted out last time she was in UK) but hasn't seen the recent decline. I am still possibly in denial, as if it is something my mum is going to get over this, but the whole reason I came across this forum is from looking for help. Im very happy that my mum has someone with her for now. hopefully I will re charge my own batteries.
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
I am so pleased that you are making the most of someone else taking over for a short while. You deserve some R&R for the next week as your sister will go back to her life and you will be here caring for your mum.

You deserve this week, rest and enjoy it!
 

spuddle

Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
118
i hope its ok to come and waffle here. I don't feel I have much to offer others yet as I am new to all this.
I have ended up rowing with my sister (we very rarely even have a cross word). she has started messing with mums paperwork etc which I have spent a long time organising and making sure she gives everything to me. I do understand it must be difficult her living away and not being involved but when all said and done I am the one here for the other 50 weeks of the year coping daily. I haven't spoken to them for 3 days and am just getting in with other things that I have been neglecting for me. to be honest its not helping as I am just stewing on things and feeling bitter. no doubt it will all resolve itself.
 

lin1

Registered User
Jan 14, 2010
9,320
East Kent
Hi Spuddle
You waffle here all you like/need to, It's part of what tP is about!
It's a good place to have a rant too.

I hope you and your sister make up soon and that you get the paperwork back in order without to much trouble.
 

spuddle

Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
118
thank you so much for replies. I have just met my sister and talked to her. she is worried about mum. but she cant seem to realize why I am angry with her and need support.;
. it is not about words on the phone . it is not about saying yes I understand. I talked to my sister and she keeps saying.. oh its not that bad. mam is just forgetful. I have been hoping for a year that is true but im finally realising that it is not forgetful.. my mum is obviously suffering from a really nasty desease..... I only hope I can help her through this.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
thank you so much for replies. I have just met my sister and talked to her. she is worried about mum. but she cant seem to realize why I am angry with her and need support.;
. it is not about words on the phone . it is not about saying yes I understand. I talked to my sister and she keeps saying.. oh its not that bad. mam is just forgetful. I have been hoping for a year that is true but im finally realising that it is not forgetful.. my mum is obviously suffering from a really nasty desease..... I only hope I can help her through this.
Oh, gosh, this rings a bell - only with us it was my sister who kept saying 'I think she's getting Alzheimer's', and me who kept saying, no, she's just getting forgetful... TBH I had not long been through it all with my FIL and just couldn't face it all again. My sister had never had to cope with it, and what's more lived over a 5 hour drive away so I knew she wouldn't be the one doing much of the coping. But there came a point where I couldn't kid myself any longer.
I do hope you sort things out with your sister before she goes back. It is a hard enough thing to deal with without family squabbles thrown in. Maybe your sister is anxious to kid herself, since she knows she will feel bad going back to Greece and leaving you at the sharp end. I know my other sister who lives in the US often felt very bad that she couldn't help, but she was widowed with a young child and working - it was out of the question.

I am glad you have found TP - at least you always know that no matter what the issues, others will know what it's like. All best wishes.
 

Raggedrobin

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,427
i do feel for you. I remember when my mum's dementia suddenly really developed, and I kept hoping I was kind of imagining it, especially when she had good days. Ironically sounds like your sister's denial is pushing you into facing it. I would take one step at a time, make a note of your mum's symptoms and make an appt to see her GP without her, so you can talk freely about your concerns. if you have a good go they will help work out a strategy for getting her along to see them, or someone else in mental health as they think appropriate.

Sadly a kind of denial is also common with sufferers; some, like my mum, never accept that they are ill and that is part of the dementia itself. This can be hard to deal with but one finds ways around it to keep her safe and slowly help manage her affairs.
 

spuddle

Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
118
again, I am so grateful to have found this place to read and waffle. its a lonely place here in the real world. thankfully I have sorted things out with my sister, after another semi-row (more like me getting upset and stomping off), and a few days of stewing. think I was so wound up I was ready to burst, after a week 'off mum duty' I feel much more relaxed. makes me realize that I am gonna have to be gentle with 'me' as well as im no use if im climbing the walls myself.

we went to see mums gp for a 'quiet' word, sadly she was as much use as a chocolate teapot. we tried to explain our concerns and the response was 'well she's never had a good memory'. This is what my mum has told her and is quite true, she never did have a good memory, unfortunately this is in a different league from just having a bad memory (I have a dreadful memory and always carry a notebook and have noteboards in my kitchen with everything on).
We did get the doc to send an appointment out to mum for a 'general check up', we didn't want to increase mums anxiety by thinking she was going for a check up about her 'mind', I just hope the doc is discrete about things as mum is already paranoid that we (me and sis) are talking about her (which we are) and we don't want to make things worse.
I saw mum yesterday and she seemed much brighter than she has been for a while. maybe its having company 24/7. sister is staying with her but each morning she is surprised to see her.
I guess we just have to take each day as it comes... hoping there are more bright days than down days.
 

spuddle

Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
118
GOOD DAYS/BAD DAYS.... im rabbiting on again.
when i saw mum yesterday she was great... yes, forgetful, but chirpy.. even making jokes (at my expense of course). a day like that, i wouldn't dream of worrying about her, or involving the doc. on days like this i think, yeah she's fine, just a little blip, etc... then a week later the hope comes crashing down.
is this normal, im guessing it is, im guessing its a progressive illness (if it is an illness, yep theres my hope)
mum is aware that she is forgetting stuff, always saying 'ive lost my marbles'. we bought her a bag of marbles as a joke which amused her, and i may make a 'marble cake' for mothers day. please don't think im being flippant about it but it makes her smile, and smiles are sometimes hard to get from her on 'bad days'
 

hollysmum

Registered User
Sep 13, 2010
59
Mum can't remember what she did 1 hour ago

Dearest Spuddle - my mother's Alzheimer's was diagnosed almost by accident in the end, after my sister and I (and secretly, I suspect, my father) had been seriously concerned about her memory, and her behaviour, for about three years. She suffered a series of urinary tract infections (and didn't necessarily seek treatment each time), and ended up in hospital as a result. They discovered a pre-cancerous growth on one of her kidneys, but she also suffered a series of mini-strokes, which prompted them, finally, to carry out a full body scan. They concluded that the apparent damage to her brain could not have been caused simply by the TIAs, and she was referred to the memory clinic at our local hospital. She was finally diagnosed in July 2011, and was found to be eligible to take Aricept, which she's been having ever since. Her memory is that of a gnat, some days, but on others, she's sharp as a razor. Her behaviour had become, frankly, embarrassing, and I found myself trying to explain to people to whom she'd been incredibly rude that she wasn't "quite in her right mind recently". The "old" Mother would never have dreamed of saying some of the things that she said, or at least, not out loud! If nothing else, Mother is very mellow these days, and is no longer the bossy, judgemental, opinionated matriarch she once was. But, oh, how I miss her! We all laugh together a lot, and never point out that she's said something numerous times, because she really can't remember that she's already said it. I worry about my father much more than I worry about her, because he lives with it, and her, all day every day. Cherish the days when your mum is her usual self, and I really hope that you and she get some answers very soon, so you can both move forward.
 

Mrpepperman

Registered User
Apr 2, 2014
2
Similar situation here

Oh this is so difficult, but at least the help of this forum is guiding me in the right direction, Spuddle your post covers many of our issues, my Mother in law appears to be having similar symptoms, we have noticed over the past few years a slow change in her memory and attitude to things. Just over a year ago her husband died and it appears to have been the catalyst for things to get far worse, her memory is very poor, she can remember her childhood vividly but a phone call in the morning is forgotten. Post it notes ( she tries to hide them when we visit ) and a diary are always being used, so it seems she is aware of the situation.
My wife has gently tried to bring the subject up but she is adamant that all is well, we wonder if it could be depression as she will not have any bereavement counselling, she does not go out often, and does not really want to, one major problem is we live in London and she lives near Manchester, we regularly travel to see her and my wife phones her at least once a day, we feel powerless and she is becoming stubborn and there is absolutely no way we can get her to see a doctor concerning her memory or possible depression, she will not even consider social services or any help whatsoever.
She has another daughter who lives locally but only visits her for one hour on a Monday, she has a wonderful friend of her own age and they go out once a week for a meal, her friend is also very aware of the situation. We asked if she wanted to move down to London, she sounds excited then says no, but I can understand that.
This is only describing a small part of the situation, I really do not want to waffle on.
Thank you for reading this... it has helped just talking to someone neutral.