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Mums condition is deteriorating rapidly

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Jane898, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Jane898

    Jane898 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    12
    My mum has finally been diagnosed with multi - infract dementia this diagnosis was made on the 5th of August. Since then my dad and I have been able to manage my mums condition however in the past two weeks my mum has deteriorated rapidly. In the afternoon she will forget that she's at home with my dad and will demand to go home when my dad tells her she's at home she becomes even more distressed which results in her leaving the house to go "home" my dad is 90 years old on many occasions he will frantically go out searching for my mum I have had to leave work to join him in the search on each occasion she has found someone who has been able to help her back home last week I had to call the police. Again tonight my dad called me to say that he had to take my mum out at 7pm because she "wanted to go home" he will take her for a walk to calm her down. I'm at my wits end because I am petrified for them both my dad is at the brink of having a heart attack and I'm worried for my mums safety. I have called the memory clinic and all they could recommend was that I take my mum to the doctor and get the doctor to test for a UTI and then feedback the results to them. Only then can they proceed with anything, can someone help me please ?


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  2. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,035
    Yorkshire
    My goodness, no wonder you are petrified.
    Not sure how helpful the memory clinic will be anyway
    but I would definitely get to the GP tomorrow and explain exactly what is going on - both your mother and father are frail and vulnerable and at risk.
    Hopefully the GP will make immediate referrals
    but anyway, I would contact Social Services and say your parents need immediate support
    Sadly the wandering is unlikely to stop
    are you considering a care home placement?
     
  3. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,826
    UK
    This must be awful for your dad, may be now is the time to put locks on garden gate, I had to and while my mum has not actually stopped wandering[ she seems to have this need to be moving all the time] the locks have stopped her leaving the garden. Definitely get her to see the gp.
     
  4. Jane898

    Jane898 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    12
    To be honest with you I blame the care team. They all know how old my father is, I have thought about putting my mum in a care home however I know this would break my dads heart. My mum needs to go during the day, she hates the idea of an activities club however she is willing to go shopping with a career. Before she was diagnosed she was very active however now she spends all of her time indoors except for Saturday's when I take her out shopping ( my dad can't walk too far) I know she enjoys this, I am willing to pay for this however when I explained this to the admiral nurse for some odd reason she wasn't listening to me and insisted that I take her to the doctors to get her urine checked. I will go to the doctors tomorrow because someone has to listen to me and understand how serious this is.


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  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    The reason everyone is focusing on the whole "go to the GP and get her checked for a UTI" is because a sudden downturn like this is often, I mean really frequently, due to an underlying infection or even, dare I say it, constipation. I mean, like a light switch sometimes. Until you can confirm that that's not the reason, then the assumption (and I have to say, quite rightly in most cases) is that that's the problem.

    I realise it doesn't make the situation any better for your family, but it is what it is.
     
  6. Jane898

    Jane898 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    12
    Yes the nurse has explained that, however my mum has been "regular". However I will go to the doctor I'm not expecting everything to be resolved I just want them to know what's going on and what help can be given


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  7. Summerheather

    Summerheather Registered User

    Feb 22, 2015
    160
    My mother had a melt down a few weeks ago - hated me, I was stopping her going to live with her Mum and Dad, I was a ***** blah blah blah. Screaming, very anxious. When I rang the Memory Clinic they said about water infection - when I rang the GP, he came out - his mother actually had died from Alzheimer's - and I have to say he was very good. He gave me some antibiotics but also prescribed lorazepam because he said in his opinion it was the Alzheimer's progressing and wasn't a water infection. What he said about the memory clinic was that they say it's a water infection all the time when it's not.

    It actually felt a big sense of relief to speak to someone that understood me
     
  8. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Realistically, if it's not an infection then not much help I'm afraid unless your father is prepared to consider a care home. There are mechanical things that can help (pressure pads and door alarms that alert him if she attempts to leave) but if this is a genuine downturn there isn't medication (for example) that can help as this sounds like classic sundowning and there isn't medical treatment for that.

    Now you might be able to get a carer (or perhaps a befriender) to take your mother out during the week. But the truth is, that's not going to stop her attempting to wander if she is sundowning - that will happen even if she's been out the entire day.

    I hope for your father's sake that this is an infection that can be treated.
     
  9. Jane898

    Jane898 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    12
    Thank you ! And thank you to all who have responded I will feedback as this maybe helpful to someone else


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  10. Jane898

    Jane898 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    12
    Jennifer if they can or can't help me I will remain as positive as I can. As much as I appreciate your feedback I have found it negative, I'm not expecting this situation to have a fairytale ending I know there will be hard decisions to be made


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  11. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    #11 jenniferpa, Oct 11, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
    Oh god. I'm really sorry: that was in no way my intention. I do hope you find a solution for this. I just didn't want to give you false hope.
     
  12. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,232
    Female
    The Sweet North
    I think Jennifer was trying to be realistic. If the sudden drastic downturn is not due to a UTI or similar then it is a progression of the disease, and although in some cases the symptoms can be helped by medication (such as the Lorazepam) it is sadly not going to get any better. Wandering is one of the hardest things to deal with, and my heart goes out to your dad, trying to cope with it at his age, and to you, worrying for both their safety. Wandering is often the symptom that tips the balance in favour of permanent care in a home.
    I do hope the GP can help you further, with a referral to Social Services.
     
  13. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,212
    Merseyside
    Jennifer wasn't being negative. She's given you some very good points. If your dad won't accept help there is little to be done.

    As others have said UTIs cause havoc & are always the first check point for GP, memory clinic etc.

    I hope you get some joy with the GP.
     
  14. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,968
    Brixham Devon
    I've read and re-read Jennifer's posts and I can't see any negativity. I thought the information that was given was spot on. My late Husband suffered from recurrent infections-chest/constipation and the dreaded UTI's-his state of mind and physical abilities deteriorated at an alarming rate of knots. The reason it is imperative that infections are treated ASAP is they can spread and a secondary infection appears. If the problem is an infection anti-biotics should be given at the earliest opportunity.

    I am also sorry that your Dad is struggling but it may be an opportune time to let your Dad know that if he doesn't agree to some help coming to the house (whether your Mum agrees or not), Social Services and other services may take the decision out of your Dad's hands.

    I am sorry that you are all going through this

    Take care

    Lyn T
     
  15. Risa

    Risa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2015
    483
    Essex
    Hi Jane898

    My Mum is a wanderer too and she lives with my Dad as well. If your Mum hasn't got a UTI but just a need to wander 'home' then I would recommend getting a tracker. We got one for our Mum and it is attached to her doorkeys. Using a smartphone we can trace where she is. We also took away her bus pass to prevent her from being able to get too far. She hasn't got any bank cards as she hasn't used them for years so her purse contains only a few pence - again this will limit where she could go.

    We found that it is better not to argue with Mum when she wants to go out as she gets very angry. If we try to prevent her from leaving it makes the situation a lot worse. Instead we stay calm and don't get into too much dialogue, just something along the lines of "ok see you later". Just being out seems to calm Mum down and often going to the top of the road and back is enough for her, she will come back home and be more settled. Dad also takes Mum out for a couple of walks each day as this seems to relax her. Maybe a befriender or carer could take your Mum out for walks to give your Dad a break?

    I feel for you as your Mum sounds a bit more capable of getting to her previous address than ours. Hopefully the downturn your Mum is experiencing is due to a UTI but if it is another stage, at least having a tracker allows you to see where she is going and does give a little piece of mind.
     
  16. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,232
    Female
    The Sweet North
    Trackers are very useful in some circumstances, but in this case it is the poster's 90 year old father who has to find his wife, so even though he may know where she is, it is still a worry for jane898 to have her elderly parents in this situation, possibly late at night, and with winter approaching. A tracker could pinpoint her whereabouts quickly, but someone has to bring her back to safety, be it family or the police.
     
  17. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,035
    Yorkshire
    Morning Jane898
    You last wrote
    So I hope the GP is helpful, today. Do come back and let us know!
    And please believe that all on TP, especially those who have replied to this thread, are listening to you
    All too sadly we do recognise your situation and appreciate how serious it is
    The replies we all write are with the best of intentions to support you and offer information and, yes, our opinions - we're amateurs (as in not health professionals - the vast majority of us) but have a wealth and breadth of experience to share
    maybe we've not quite grasped what your 'question' is?
    I have looked back at your posts and do notice that your first, in march, was because your mother was getting lost and you said your father was 'fit as a fiddle'. Later he couldn't walk well and now he is on the brink of a heart attack and you fear for your mother's safety. So the last few month's have had quite an effect on him.
    I'm not sure what care you have in place, some I guess as you blame the care team - for not being able to take your mother out when she needs to wander or not taking her out shopping? The Admiral Nurse will have focussed on the immediate concern, a UTI may be influencing your mother's behaviour and dealing with that may then mean that the wandering diminishes. Then the issue of care visits to go out with her can be addressed. Though, these should be paid for from your mother's finances. Are there there other care visits in place - to help in the home, with personal care?
    From your posts the wandering has been happening for some time and is increasing. And your concern seems to be that your father, at his age, cannot keep frantically going out after your mother. And the wandering will not be stopped by any tracking system, just monitored. Your mother can get out of the house so locks on gates etc aren't preventing her leaving.
    You have considered a care home placement for your mother so you appreciate that the situation indicates that there is a need for this. You feel that this would break your father's heart. Has he, himself, said anything? It may be that he will, understandably, feel heartbroken but also somewhat relieved, understanding that he can visit her and she will be safe. Maybe even find a home where he can be with her? If care will be self-financed then your parents can pretty much go ahead at any time and put in place whatever care they need.
    I'm not offering solutions, just attempting to lay out your concerns as I read them from your posts.
    This is a horrible situation for all of your family, we understand that.
    And we're here to support you.
     
  18. Summerheather

    Summerheather Registered User

    Feb 22, 2015
    160
    It's the wandering that's the killer - that and the constantly asking/demanding to go home. Last week when I was in work my Mum went into the back garden (I lock the front, leave the back door unlocked as she can't get out of the garden anyway) and she went into back garden and couldn't find her way back into the house. Unless you have 24hr care there are going to be times when they are on their own - and the way social care is now in this country most people have to get on with it themselves without much help from SS. Sometimes it sucks, you just have to do the best you can and don't beat yourself up - I think we should give ourselves a big 'high 5' for everything we do.
     
  19. chrisdee

    chrisdee Registered User

    Nov 23, 2014
    171
    Yorkshire
    Dear Jane,
    I have to agree with Summerheather and Shedrech. We are replying to you because we care, and have been in the same situation, please do not misunderstand. My Mum had wandering and rapid deterioration. In all her Alz journey of 7 years she never, ever had a UTI. Your Mum may have, but on the other hand, may not and therefore I suggest like others that sadly, urgent action needs to be taken. My Mum's wandering led to her very nearly being hit by a neighbour's car - in which case we would have been responsible - imagine!! I think you need to be looking for residential care for your Mum. Dad is too old to cope I think. See if SS can get you some respite care. In my opinion, its urgent.
     

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