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Mum

Karen Rushton

New member
Dec 28, 2020
1
0
My Mum has dementia. She hasn't been diagnosed. Despite a hospital admission almost 3 years ago where I had to 1-1 her. I tried to talk to her GP a few years ago and she overheard and was furious and he just said we all get forgetful!
I've tried again to speak to her new GP, still nothing. Things have been awful this year. Her dog was really ill and pooing all over the house, and my once houseproud Mum was wiping it up with baby wipes. I can't even believe how bad things were. I couldn't breathe when I went in, it was so bad! Yet her and her partner were oblivious. It took a lot of doing to get Mum to put her much loved dog out of her misery and allow me to clean the house up. The weird thing is my Mum actually believed she was cleaning. Every phone call, everyday she would tell me how she'd been on all morning when clearly the thick layers of dust and dog hair that had formed balls of hair all over the house. I couldn't use the hoover because she had even hoovered poo up on the rare occasion she had used it.
At this point, I have to say my Mum was always a clean freak. Always had lovely clothes on, hair and makeup immaculate. House immaculate, never anything out of place!
Once I was finally allowed in to help, I realised that as bad as I thought things were they were much worse! She doesn't shower, change her clothes etc, in fact when I started to clean (7months ago), almost all of her clothes were dirty, and I do mean dirty. I brought bin bags full of washing home. Her partner has been covering up for year's and stopped me from getting close enough to see how bad things were. He has so many medical problems and my Mum is totally dependant on him for food, drink, medication etc. He's tired all the time so she is spending a lot of time going back to bed with him. She's vulnerable, gives money away.. ... the list goes on
I'm not well myself, my hubby has secondary progressive MS. I clean once a week at Mum's, bring her here once a week for a shower etc. Sort shopping out. My hubby takes Mums partner to regular hospital appointments while I Mum sit.
I feel overwhelmed. This covid situation has me in a bubble and I'm struggling and don't know what to do. The guilt is absolutely destroying me.

Sorry for going on. It's been going on for years but other family members didn't agree with me. My hands have been tied and my Mum just would not acknowledge she had a problem so here we are .....
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,283
0
Sorry to hear this story, it is quite a familiar list of issues to regular readers of this forum. It is common for dementia patients to refuse to believe they have the disease. Also washing and cleaning are often issues. Possible options include getting adult social care services in to assess their needs, it looks like some care at home is needed. You are doing all the right things to help as best you can. It might take a crisis to bring about change, but if your mum really won't accept help all you can really do is be prepared for whatever crisis comes along.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,757
0
Hello @Karen Rushton . Welcome to the forum. There is a great deal of information available here and lots of us to give support and advice so I hope you find useful tips. I remember being horrified at the state of mum and dad's house very early on and arranged some help but mum soon got rid of them! I ended up frantically cleaning when mum wasn't looking. It's not a great solution. Would your mum accept any help with cleaning to start off with? If you said it was a local person or friend who was in need of work perhaps?

You mention your mum was in hospital. Did they do any kind of test or give a diagnosis of any sort? There are many other conditions which can mimic the symptoms of dementia and it's important to rule these out or treat them. You mention that your mum is on medication which her partner is responsible for. I wonder if he is actually giving her that medication or if the medication itself is causing problems (or whatever the medication is for is causing problems).

Some members have had success keeping a diary of worrying behaviour and sending that to the GP so that they are aware and have it on record, and some have managed to get a consultation (which would probably be by 'phone at present) disguised as a well woman check requested by the doctor or for some other reason that the person would accept.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
16,126
0
South coast
Oh my goodness @Karen Rushton , that takes me back. I remember this period well - and not in a good way. Mum got into a similar state (although, fortunately, she did not have any pets) where she was convinced that she was doing all her own shopping, cooking, housework, laundry and that she showered every day, when one look at her and her home told you otherwise. Mum at this point was also convinced that I was stealing from her and abusing her, so she frequently wouldnt even let me into her home, but when I did go in it was pretty much as you have described.

Getting to talk to her GP is not easy and its almost impossible to explain your concerns in front of her, so I would recommend that you write the GP an old fashioned letter. Your mum wont have to see it, but it will be in the GPs file where it can be seen by them. Some GPs are willing to send an appointment for something innocuous sounding like a meds review, or a "well woman" clinic appointment in order to get them in for an assessment. Alternatively you could book an appointment for something that she is concerned about (heart problems maybe?) and piggy-back an assesment with it . If youve written to the GP already, you shouldnt have to explain in front of your mum. Another little tip is to go in with her at her appointment and sit behind and at one side of her, but still in the doctors line of sight. Then when she starts saying that she does all her own housework etc you can silently shake your head.

Do also contact Social Services so that your mum is on their radar. Dont expect miracles, though. If either your mum or her partner refuse help, SS will not insist. SS phoned mum up and asked her what help she needed! Then when she told them that she didnt need any help because she did everything herself, they crossed her off their books :eek::mad:. Eventually, there was a crisis. Mum had a TIA and ended up in hospital. She moved from there to a care home.

Do be careful that you dont take on too much. It is very easy to slide into caring and take on more and more tasks, but you have to look after yourself too and in your case there is also your husband. If you make yourself ill what would happen to him? Decide at this stage what you can, and more importantly, what you cannot do and stick to it. Be prepared to pick up the pieces, though, when the crisis hits.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
2,234
0
High Peak
I think you should push the issue of them getting carers in but you'll probably have to use subterfuge! As others have suggested, maybe say the cleaner (who would really be a carer but maybe a cleaner too!) is a friend who needs a job, or it's a government scheme and free to those over 60/70/80. You could go in with the 'friend' at first then develop a really bad back so the cleaner has to go in instead of you....

Basically, say whatever they will believe but you can't do this by yourself.
 

Kingsdaughter

Registered User
Dec 27, 2020
15
0
My Mum has dementia. She hasn't been diagnosed. Despite a hospital admission almost 3 years ago where I had to 1-1 her. I tried to talk to her GP a few years ago and she overheard and was furious and he just said we all get forgetful!
I've tried again to speak to her new GP, still nothing. Things have been awful this year. Her dog was really ill and pooing all over the house, and my once houseproud Mum was wiping it up with baby wipes. I can't even believe how bad things were. I couldn't breathe when I went in, it was so bad! Yet her and her partner were oblivious. It took a lot of doing to get Mum to put her much loved dog out of her misery and allow me to clean the house up. The weird thing is my Mum actually believed she was cleaning. Every phone call, everyday she would tell me how she'd been on all morning when clearly the thick layers of dust and dog hair that had formed balls of hair all over the house. I couldn't use the hoover because she had even hoovered poo up on the rare occasion she had used it.
At this point, I have to say my Mum was always a clean freak. Always had lovely clothes on, hair and makeup immaculate. House immaculate, never anything out of place!
Once I was finally allowed in to help, I realised that as bad as I thought things were they were much worse! She doesn't shower, change her clothes etc, in fact when I started to clean (7months ago), almost all of her clothes were dirty, and I do mean dirty. I brought bin bags full of washing home. Her partner has been covering up for year's and stopped me from getting close enough to see how bad things were. He has so many medical problems and my Mum is totally dependant on him for food, drink, medication etc. He's tired all the time so she is spending a lot of time going back to bed with him. She's vulnerable, gives money away.. ... the list goes on
I'm not well myself, my hubby has secondary progressive MS. I clean once a week at Mum's, bring her here once a week for a shower etc. Sort shopping out. My hubby takes Mums partner to regular hospital appointments while I Mum sit.
I feel overwhelmed. This covid situation has me in a bubble and I'm struggling and don't know what to do. The guilt is absolutely destroying me.

Sorry for going on. It's been going on for years but other family members didn't agree with me. My hands have been tied and my Mum just would not acknowledge she had a problem so here we are .....
It's good to talk things through. My mum and dad were clean people too, but on one of the last visits I went over to see them, the house smelled bad. I soon realised that the dog and cat hadn't been looked after and both had fleas. The fleas were so bad I was getting bitten everywhere, bad because I'm allergic. I saw mum was feeding the cat bird seed and dad was trying to open dog food tins with a screw driver, I was horrified.
Mum wasn't washing and her clothes were dirty, just like you found with your mum. She didn't want to wash and said whats the point.
You said your mum went back to bed with your dad, I know it sounds a silly thing to say, but thats what my mum was doing. Dad was frail too. Mum seemed to think, especially when she went to the care home, that she was a young woman who needed her conjugal rights. I think Dad was quite pleased when we said they weren't to be left alone. We were worried she would suddenly think she was being raped. She could easily beat Dad in a struggle.

One day, mum brought dad a half pint glass with a drink. Dad said it tasted strange. It was half a pint of wine.
It could have been anything. She was putting salt in for sugar and could easily have given him bleach etc.
It was very worrying.
We did take mum to the dr. She agreed when I said he may be able to give her memory tablets. But it's not an easy time. Eventually it was the Dementia Crises Team that came to see her. They diagnosed her. Unfortunately they gave her the wrong meds and she became worse and had to be admitted to hospital, but even that was the catalyst that started the ball rolling. Maybe if you had a friendly dementia lady visit for a chat, she would know whether you could have a care package where someone could get to know her and assess the situation. When the dementia people came, mum thought they were new friends. She quite enjoyed the attention as it was at home.

Canary said something helpful to me, Therapeutic Untruths or Love Lies. We brought mum and dad home by convincing Dad he needed to have some recovery time. He thought it was going to be a week, but we knew they wouldnt go back. Sometimes you have to use those Love Lies for their safety. I am so thankful we brought them home in October. The thought of them being locked down abroad, alone together on a hill, is a chilling thought.