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Mum recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

Kc4

New member
May 11, 2021
4
0
My mum (64 years old) was diagnosed yesterday with Alzheimer’s. She is refusing medication. I obviously don’t want to force her but am concerned how quickly this awful disease is progressing. Any advice would be very very grateful. Thank you.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,714
0
Hello @Kc4

Welcome. Your mum, and you, will need a bit of time to adjust. Take it a day at a time and don’t rush. The link below might be useful. Have a look around the website when you are ready but don’t assume everything you read about will happen to your mum.

There are lots of us out here to help you along so keep posting for advice and support.

 

silkiest

Registered User
Feb 9, 2017
362
0
Hi @Kc4, has she said why she won't take the medication? There is a huge range of possible reasons ( some more irrational than others unfortunately). Does she understand how the medication is expected to help her?, hopefully the doctor explained but it can be a lot to take in. A lot of people I talked to when I was still nursing saw decisions re medication as irreversible, reassuring her she can stop if they don't work or if they cause her problems may make her feel in control enough to give it a try. Many people also worry about side effects but in my experience memory clinic will start at the lowest dose possible to avoid these and then build up the dose depending on how your mum responds to the medication.
Good luck, everyone responds differently - my MIL saw medication as a possible cure and would have taken 10 times as many tablets as prescribed, but my mum was scared of the possible side effects - the information sheet scared her silly but she agreed to give it a try when she realised that the initial dose was very low and that it would be built up over a few weeks to a therapeutic dose.
 

Kc4

New member
May 11, 2021
4
0
The doctor explained about the medication really well. I was asking lots of questions as well. I thought I’d give her some time to digest the diagnosis and try again. I spoke to her again yesterday evening but she’s still adamant that she wont take any medication. Mum is really hard to talk to, she is very quiet and hardly talks.
 

nimby001

Registered User
Sep 16, 2020
12
0
I can only recommend you get Lasting Power of attorney while your Mum still has her faculties. We were unaware of the problems caused by not having power of attorney when my mother in law had to go into a care home and lost mental capacity to take care of her finances. We are now having to apply for deputy ship which is lenghty and costly.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,539
0
Hi @Kc4 I'm sorry your mum won't consider medication, but it doesn't work for everyone, though some people do find that it does help.
I agree with @nimby00, making sure you have things such as Lasting Power of Attorney are set up, are maybe more important battles to fight at the moment.
 

Kc4

New member
May 11, 2021
4
0
Thank you all for the advice. We are in the process of arranging POA.
Mum changed her mind and has agreed to try medication. She has been prescribed memantine.
Since diagnosis she has been extremely tearful. Also saying she won’t be around for much longer. I can’t imagine how she’s feeling but should I be worried??
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,714
0
It’s very encouraging that your mum has agreed to try medication @Kc4 . It may be worth asking the doctor about a low dose anti-depressant like Mirtazapine, which can really help with low mood and anxiety.
 

Grannyandpaps

New member
Jun 9, 2021
5
0
I can only recommend you get Lasting Power of attorney while your Mum still has her faculties. We were unaware of the problems caused by not having power of attorney when my mother in law had to go into a care home and lost mental capacity to take care of her finances. We are now having to apply for deputy ship which is lenghty and costly.
 

Grannyandpaps

New member
Jun 9, 2021
5
0
And power of attorney for health as this is important or else you have to have best interest decisions agreed with social dr etc
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
720
0
My doctor saw mum when she didn’t want to take her medication. She was very good, discussed each medication said what it did and suggested mum take it. When we got to memantine she said that it worked in the background and tied everything together. A lovely description though possibly not medically accurate. Mum has taken her medication for the last 18 months without a whimper!!
 

Grannyandpaps

New member
Jun 9, 2021
5
0
I can only recommend you get Lasting Power of attorney while your Mum still has her faculties. We were unaware of the problems caused by not having power of attorney when my mother in law had to go into a care home and lost mental capacity to take care of her finances. We are now having to apply for deputy ship which is lenghty and costly.
I totally agree.luckily I got peer of attorney in place for mum shortly after diagnosis . It's invaluable.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,953
0
High Peak
Thank you all for the advice. We are in the process of arranging POA.
Mum changed her mind and has agreed to try medication. She has been prescribed memantine.
Since diagnosis she has been extremely tearful. Also saying she won’t be around for much longer. I can’t imagine how she’s feeling but should I be worried??
It sounds like your mum still has mental capacity - to an extent - so I'm not surprised she's struggling with her feelings about diagnosis and taking meds. I certainly would be!

Does she know much about dementia and is she able to relate that to herself? People react very differently - many deny there is anything wrong, either because they don't want to believe it or they really can't see it themselves. Others worry about their future - hardly surprising. The trouble is, there's nothing comforting you can tell her about her future - she won't ever get better than she is today, she will get considerably worse... :(

I wonder if you could talk to her GP about an anti-depressant - it might lift her mood a little.
 

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