Mum going through assessment stage

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by sunshine1965, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. sunshine1965

    sunshine1965 Registered User

    Dec 21, 2015
    Hello, my dear Mum is 75 and we have been concerned about her memory for a little while. Long story short we are waiting for the results of her assessment at the memory clinic which she had on 21/12/15. My Mum has always been such a strong and resilient person. The powerhouse behind my Dad who as 83 is struggling to accept she has issues and gets cross with her if she repeats questions, which she does frequently. I am a full time carer for my disabled husband and two of our daughter's but find that I am now virtually running two households as Mum has lost interest in just about everything. Dad does most of the cooking but I clean and do their ironing and take them to their various appointments. I do this gladly, my parents gave me a fabulous childhood and I owe them a huge debt of gratitude. Over the past couple of weeks Mum has suffered a collapse at a family party where she was taken to a&e by ambulance. They suspected a TIA & she had a CT. We were told the scan didn't show anything and as she was already in the process of being assessed she was discharged the next morning. On New Years Eve Mum and Dad were at my house and Mum seemed to go in to a faint. She didn't lose consciousness, as she had briefly before Christmas and was responding to me talking to her throughout. When she felt a little better I asked her to raise both arms, tested the strength of her grip, got her to touch her nose and my finger that was about 12inches away, all of which she responded well to. I asked her various questions which she answered satisfactorily, so on this occasion we didn't call an ambulance. Mum was tired so I helped her to bed and we kept our eye on her. Before both of these episodes Mum has said she feels extremely tired. Is this linked do you think? It's a bit long winded explanation but I just feel so lost and frightened. I'm trying to support Mum and especially Dad as he is so scared it's horrible. What if I'm not strong enough to be there and help both of them? I have a brother but he is burying his head and just puts it down to old age but as he doesn't keep in regular contact he doesn't see what we see. He came to the assessment but got upset in front of our parents which was unfortunate. I know everybody deals with things differently but I might just as well be an only child. I won't let my parents down but I feel like a frightened little girl. Does this sound familiar to anyone? :(
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    Hi there welcome to TP - you will find support and friendship here. I am just about to be interrupted but thought I would post some very general info because you clearly need some help. I've been there with two teenagers, a husband with terminal cancer and a mum with dementia and you really need some support here goes with a little list!!! Others will chime in and you will get lots of ideas - a matron once said to me - put support in earlier rather than later (and there is a lot out there) - because as the memory loss gets worse it gets more difficult. Some of these will be more relevant when you get the diagnosis (sorry I can't comment on the fainting episodes but someone will have had experience and be able to help out. This bit of info is relevant now for you - our carers cafe is an endless source of useful local info I would strongly advise you to join your local carers organisation - they usually have a carers cafe (and so do Alzheimers society in some areas) and it is worth a morning off to go and find out what help there is in your area over a cup of coffee - lots of friendship and support face to face and everyone in the same boat.

    If you have an Admiral Nurse in your area (you will need to google it) then lots of people have said how helpful they are.

    You can phone Social Services Adult Care Duty Desk and ask for an assessment if there have been no recommendations from the Unit - services like carers visiting to help with the daily routine/personal care or day care that should be an option - a day centre where your OH can go for lunch and activities. As well as our social services centre we also have Crossroads Day Centre where people can go for up to 3 days

    It is worth googling Dementia activities + your area to see what is going on. There is probably a fair bit but you need to search for it. Some care homes also do 'day care' which can be useful but I would try the day centres first

    You can also ask for a carers assessment - this will give you a break and give you some 'free' hours of help possibly. it might seem early days to be thinking of a 'break' but a few hours here and there is a good idea from as early on as you can.

    If you are not already getting it do apply for Attendance Allowance - the forms are a bit tricky in that you have to imagine the worst possible day and write down the help that OH needs (not the help that he gets but what he NEEDS). Attendance Allowance is not means tested and you should get it, if you need some help with the forms come back and ask Age UK are really good at helping with assessing what benefits you can claim and then they also help you fill in the forms - someone will come to your house. Age UK are also very good at practical advice and help - Age UK Advice line free national advice line that is open 365 days a year 24 hours a day. To talk to someone, just call 0800 169 2081.

    If there are issues with incontinence all areas have a continence service - you will need to look up your Trust or google your area plus Continence Service. The continence nurses we have had have been wonderful and pads are supplied free by the NHS.

    The Dementia helpline is a useful number to have

    lzheimer's Society National Dementia Helpline 0300 222 1122 can provide information, support, guidance and signposting to other appropriate organisations.

    The Helpline is usually open from:
    9am - 8pm Monday to Wednesday
    9am - 5pm on Thursday and Friday
    10am - 4pm on Saturday and Sunday
  3. sunshine1965

    sunshine1965 Registered User

    Dec 21, 2015
    Thank you for your advice. I feel totally out of my depth but it's good to know support is available out there.


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