1. CMP

    CMP Registered User

    Aug 14, 2005
    2
    Hull
    Hello there,

    I was wondering if anyone could give me any help or guidance.

    My mum lives with me and my partner at home and over the past few months we have gradually noticed a deterioration in my Mums mental health.

    She's always been a bit scatty and forgetful but I will not forget the day when she couldn't rememeber who I was.

    Since then she has deteriorated quicker than I ever imagined possible.

    In the space of two months she has been argumentative, forgetful, been ordered by the doctor not drive, she's forgotten what family she has and how many children she has, Started wetting the bed, forgotten her address and where she lives and to my horror last week I came home from work to find her wandering the streets with no handbag, purse or coat. When I pulled up in the car she refused to beleive who I was.

    She does not sleep at night and wakes me up up to six times a night beleiving it is breakfast.

    I work full time and so does my partner. My sister, who lives two minutes away, doesn't feel she can help with looking after her. The responsibility has come down to my partner and myself.

    We can't sleep at night and now as a result of last weeks incident she cannot be left alone during the day.

    We have been to the GP who refered her to a psychiatrist. She had a brief test where he said her symptoms are not severe.

    I appologise for the length of this post but I don't know who to turn to next or what to do. I try my best to be understanding with her but feel I lose my patience all to often. This upsets me as she deserves love and understanding, not a son who does not know what to do for the best.

    I would greatly appreciate it if anybody could assist me with my next step.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi and welcome

    so sorry to hear this.

    Your mum needs to see a specialist - not a psychiatrist. And a brief test is not enough. She needs a number of tests over a period of time to try and identify what the problem is.

    Don't make assumptions as to the outcome, but there is clearly a need to resolve something here.

    Go to see the GP again and be forceful in demanding that this is escalated.

    By the way, do keep a diary of her condition as this will back up what you are remembering.

    You will benefit from contacting the Alzheimer's Society Help Line and asking their advice.

    Good luck!
     
  3. KarenC

    KarenC Registered User

    Jun 2, 2005
    122
    Los Angeles, USA
    I second what Bruce says about being persistent with the GP and keeping a written record of your mum's problems coping with real life. The medical-care situation in the UK may be somewhat different than here in the US, but some similar problems occur.

    A few years ago, when it became apparent to the family that my mom was having real difficulty managing daily life, we were lucky in that she had quite a good GP, a woman doctor who had common sense and was willing to take time to listen, etc. Even so, when my mom went in for a memory assessment, the doctor did the mini-mental exam, on which my mom scored just fine, and in a short interview she seemed quite alright. So the doctor could only conclude that there really was no problem.

    What turned things around is I wrote up a true story of about one page, recounting a period of about 3 days in Mom's life, with its series of confusions as to day, getting lost driving, locking herself out of the car with it running, etc. We FAXed that story to the doctor, and it opened her eyes to the fact that while a person may be able to do specific mental tasks in the doctor's office, they can be having real trouble in real life. That got the ball rolling to start trying her on memory medications, etc.

    Good luck!

    Karen
     
  4. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    "She had a brief test where he said her symptoms are not severe"!

    Don't you just love 'em! Trouble is as has already been said - during a brief test/interview it is often the case that the full picture does not emerge. Definitely write EVERYTHING down and pass it to the GP and any other "professional" who is involved. After all they can only judge what they see.

    Good luck
    Kriss
     
  5. zed

    zed Registered User

    Jul 25, 2005
    76
    London
    You could also try to get a social worker allocated, call your local council and ask for the social work team. Tell them your mother has mental health problems and that you need help caring for her. There are various things they could do to help you, like arrange for her to go to a day centre or a day hospital, arrange for a carer to come to the house to look after your Mum. Your local Age Concern or Alzheimer's Society may also have some services such as day centres or home visitors.

    Also ask your local Alzheimer's Society if they have a memory clinic. A memory clinic can diagnose someone with dementia. The one where I live has takes self-referrals, which means that you can call up and make an appointment yourself without going through your GP.
     
  6. noodle31

    noodle31 Registered User

    May 1, 2005
    81
    kent
    Hello

    How familliar that sounds.

    My dad had a severe decline over the past 4 months. This also started the same as your mum, forgetfulness etc over a period of time, then one day he woke up and didnt recognize my mum, the deterioration since then has been steady.

    We took him to casualty as his GP was no use at all....."blood tests and drink more water" was all he would recommend

    Dad has since been to a day unit 2 days a week for assessment, and has been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia and Parkingsons.

    He is currently in hospital as he has detriorated so quickly and is a danger to himself and others, it is very very sad.

    My mum is unable to cope, as you know yourself, it is hard work trying to keep someone safe, specially when they refuse to believe you are who you are

    good luck

    love jane xx
     
  7. CMP

    CMP Registered User

    Aug 14, 2005
    2
    Hull
    Thank you for everyones kind replies.

    We have made some progress today. After a call to the doctor that we saw last week they arranged for a community health nurse to comer and see her this evening.

    She was very good, listening to what my mum had to say and to what i had to say as well.

    She is due to start some new medication this week although what it is and what it'll will do I'm unsure. A visit to the GP will answer my questions I hope.

    My Mum will be assessed every evening this week to see how she is getting on.

    In the mean time my Dad (who was divorced from my mum over twenty years ago) has kindly agreed to look after her whilst me and my other half are at work.

    We have also been told today that she is now on a waiting list for a CT scan. This could take anything up to 6 weeks.

    Today she has had a good day. Dad has taken her to the seaside and they have had a natter and an ice cream.

    i guess at the minute i'll take it one day at a time.

    Thank you all once again, and if i may I'll keep you all posted.

    Carl.
     
  8. KarenC

    KarenC Registered User

    Jun 2, 2005
    122
    Los Angeles, USA
    That's good that you're making some progress with "the system"! Please do keep us posted on developments.

    Karen
     
  9. noodle31

    noodle31 Registered User

    May 1, 2005
    81
    kent
    hi again

    i am pleased you have some progress.

    6 weeks for a CT scan is fantastic!! before dad was addmitted the wait was 26 weeks!!!!

    keep us posted please

    best wishes

    Jane xx
     
  10. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear Carl, the problem is, that there are many reasons why a person can act strangely. The medics have to check it all out before making a diagnoses. Sadly this can take time, which, when you are caring for someone acting so strangely, you just don't have. My own Mum was in this nowhere land for over a year before things were taken seriously enough for me to get help for her. Do hope things soon improve and you get an accurate diagnoses of her problems so that her needs can be met.Love She. XX
     

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