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Mum declining rapidly and in crisis - Not what to do?

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by birdybird, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. birdybird

    birdybird Registered User

    Sep 20, 2016
    Hi! A little bit of background:
    My Mum is 58 and has a long history of bipolar, epilepsy and historic alcohol abuse (sober for 2 years). Over past couple of years her memory has clearly been deteriorating and it is likely she has Korsakoffs (alcohol induced dementia) but this never seems to have been officially diagnosed, but GP, psychiatrist etc accept she has this. She has had several hospital admissions this year for fitting and this seems to have lead to a much sharper decline in her memory and I wonder if she may have also developed another form of dementia. This leads us to this week...

    Her neighbour called me yesterday to say that in the past week:
    She is being increasingly aggressive - has gone round asking them to e.g. go to shop for her and then shutting, swearing, banging etc when they have declined (because they'd already got some bit for her!) She has accused the male neighbour of assaulting her - not true! They have young children and have said they no longer feel safe having mum come to their house when the children are there. Mum has never been an angry or aggressive person, so this is a huge change.
    Has had paramedics out at least 3 times (she has a carline button for epilepsy)
    Has been withdrawing HUNDREDS of pounds from her bank account and then going to local post office to aggressively accuse them of stealing from her. I have no idea where this money is going but she is serious debt. I had previously set up a limited account for her but clearly she has not been using this.
    They've heard her shouting and swearing through the wall - possibly on the phone or talking to herself
    She has burns from where she has dropped cigarettes and apparently has singed her hair somehow
    Phoning various family friends multiple times per day to ask them to take her to shop, get cash for her, buy her things

    The Dr has been out to her (as she refused to go to surgery) and has said 'her mind is shot to pieces'. She would not go voluntarily to hospital and he said he wouldn't section her - though I wonder how much worse she has to get to be forced into hospital?! Paramedics asked for a home safety assessment as she is not coping in a 2 storey house, not sure if this has happened.

    I am her next of kin and only family member in this country but live over 4 hours away. We also have a very strained relationship as my childhood growing up with her wasn't exactly rosy! I feel completely overwhelmed - my own mental health is fairly fragile - and I have no idea what to do next. She cannot come and live with me and I cannot afford to fund care for her. She owns half of her house, other half is in my name (and has been for many years).

    Can anyone please give me some step by step suggestions of what I should be doing? I spoke to her GP on Friday evening - he is going to re-refer her to social services. I spoke to emergency social service number, they are going to start a referral on Monday. I composed an email highlighting the clear safeguarding issues and sent to local mental health team, social services, memory clinic etc - although obviously no-one will see this until Monday.

    It is clear she can't continue to live alone but I don't know what the next step is. Thank you in advance for any advice or hand holding you can give!
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    I think you need to keep mothering the GP & social service. Remind them they have a duty of care for her.
  3. Jasmine123

    Jasmine123 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2014

    I don't have any real words of wisdom but it sounds like a truly horrendous situation so felt I ought to respond in some way.

    I have also no experience of Korskoff syndrome. My mum, through standard Alzheimer's, became extremely difficult. So full on psychosis, decorators were too scared to come into house as she attacked them, attacking all her carers, attacking me, trying to escape. She was also 60 and a very healthy, for 60 year old so was all round a bit of a nightmare.

    Different situation though as she wasn't as isolated as your mother and had family living with her and nearby. Anyway we put all our effort into trying to prevent her being sectioned as believed this would be the worst thing in the world, but she in the end got sectioned, firstly under section 2 and then section 3 and after this had a lot of support going forward that wasn't means tested.

    I don't know if this is useful as my knowledge of practical side of dealing with dementia pales in comparison to other posters.

    I would say that you definitely shouldn't uproot your life to be with her, particularly if you've had a difficult time with her.

    Good luck
  4. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Host

    Dec 15, 2012
    hi birdybird
    sounds to me as though you are doing as much as you can
    I hope the GP referral and you contacting the emergency SS number has brought about some action
    do let us know
    best wishes
  5. birdybird

    birdybird Registered User

    Sep 20, 2016
    Thanks everyone :) Bit of an update.

    Mental health nurse wen to asses her this week and agreed that she needs care of some kind. His report is going to social services etc.
    Sadly, there was a bit of an escalation last night - Mum actually grabbed the neighbours young child during one of her shouting/swearing rants. Eventually got the GP out to her but by this time she was calm and rational so very little he could do. She went to the GP today ( a prearranged appointment) and I believe he has done blood tests etc to rule out any medical cause for her change in personality. Adult mental health team have been re-involved today and are going to reassess her tomorrow. It has also been escalated to MASH (Multi agency safeguarding hub); haven't heard from them yet but pan to chase up tomorrow.

    It all feels like it's going in a positive direction but don't want to get my hopes up! Surely at the very least Mum will end up with at least a visiting carer as a first step?!
  6. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Host

    Dec 15, 2012
    hi birdybird
    sounds awful to say but now being taken seriously and having those agencies involved must be a weight off your mind - hopefully they will act soon and more weight will drop off
    you're right to keep chasing - hope you don't have to do too much running around; about time someone else did

    best wishes

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