My Nan - alzheimers or not?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by emscub, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. emscub

    emscub Registered User

    Dec 5, 2003
    124
    Bath
    Hello everyone,

    This is my first visit to this site, and I'm writing about my Nan, who lives with me, my sister and my Mum and Dad.

    About 8 -10 years ago she suffered a number of strokes and since then has had memory problems. I was very young when this first happened (she didn't live with us then either). My Mum says that when it first happened she used to become frustrated that she couldn't remember things. She is now completely unaware of her memory loss (and the extent of it). She has never been diagnosed with Alzheimers, in fact the doctors have never made any sort of diagnosis, although she is now completely unaware what day it is, she keeps asking my Mum whether her parents are alive (and does she need to write them a christmas card - she's 82!). Her memories seem to exist no longer than a few seconds these days. She also has diabetes, and has no idea when she's eaten or what (as she has a sweet tooth this often causes problems). This is incredibly frustrating for my Mum who is her main carer (and works full-time). There is no-one else in the family that wants to help, and my Mum is becoming increasingly exhausted with the constant questioning and demands my Nan makes.

    So many of the postings here have been helpful just in making me realise that there are others seeing the same things. My Nan is also very good at making up feasible answers to things that are completely untrue - every month a nurse comes to check her blood-sugar levels, and my Nan tells her all sorts of things that aren't true, and I'm sure the nurse thinks my Nan is fine (if a bit forgetful perhaps).

    Can anyone make any suggestions before my Mum exhausts herself?
    Do you think this sounds like Alzheimers?
     
  2. suzie

    suzie Registered User

    Oct 26, 2003
    12
    coventry
    it sounds to me like your nan has some sort of form of dementia and i would ask your mum to request the doctor to arrange some tests for your nan to see if she can be diagnosed as an alzheimers sufferer, then she can get some help with your mum.
    my dads 83 and until s few months ago he had the same symptons as your nan....but they suddenly got much worst..he kept getting up at 4a.m telling mum he had 2 go 2 work...he constantly asked after dead relatives from his immediate family, thinking they were alive....he'd get on the bus and go right across the city changing buses for hospital appointments he never had,...he'd dissappear for hours on end and when he got home couldn't tell mum where he'd been....it was all gradual until he had a ministroke at his day care home he attended one day a week to give mum some respite. they phoned the ambulance who took him to hospital, and from that day he was really gone from us, his dementia ran away with him at such a fast pace thats why he ended up in a carehome.

    there are tests that can be done on your nan..i hope she gets them...let us know how u get on

    all the best
    suzie
     
  3. Angela

    Angela Registered User

    May 28, 2003
    151
    Wales
    Hi Em and welcome to the site

    You really should inform the GP about your concerns for both your Nan and your Mum. Hopefully you will all have the same GP and then whilst he/she will not be able to discuss any aspects of thier notes with you, you will be able to tell him of your concerns about your Nans memory difficulties, and the demands placed on your Mum. If the GP is any good, they may arrange to meet with your Nan either by arranging an appointment for a 'routine check up', or a home visit if this is more suitable.
    Your Nans feasible answers are called 'confabulation', and it really is difficult for anyone else to realise that her comments are not correct. My advice to this would be, for either your Mum or yourself to be present when she meets the GP, then you can speak up when her comments are incorrect, otherwise it may be more difficult for the GP.
    Good luck and keep in touch
     
  4. emscub

    emscub Registered User

    Dec 5, 2003
    124
    Bath
    Hello and thanks for your replies.

    I've now talked my Mum into taking my Nan (back) to the doctors and getting the test done again (as she's had it done before and we've never heard any answers - we've also been waiting for a scan for about two years).

    What makes me wonder whether it is dementia or not, is that she's had it such a long time. From everything else I've read I've gathered that in most cases, the sufferers are in the last stages within ten years or so, but obviously this isn't the case with my Nan. Is it just down to the individual?

    If anyone wants to share their experiences I'd really like to hear, as it would be good to be prepared if it is dementia.

    Emma x
     

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