1. jasperty

    jasperty Registered User

    Jul 24, 2006
    West Midlands
    This is my first time on this site and I would like some help in how to handle my mother who is 83. She has been diagnosed by her GP with short terms memory loss and referred, this problem has been getting worse over the past year. She is normally a quiet person, but she falls asleep and dreams, saying people have come in the house and sometimes taken things, which she has hidden. She can get very aggitated and aggresive when I try to tell her she is wrong. She lives alone in a retirement apartment, but broke her hip early May while on holiday with me and my husband and she was very confused whilst in hospital.

    I would be grateful for any advice

    Thanks. Pat
  2. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    With difficulty sadly IMHO
    My Mother is nearly 90 and 9 months back she was like yours now its got worse although there are times when she appears quasi normal but if challenged is very aggressive
    Other times she is confused , agitated away with the birds , long silences and immense difficulty finding the right words or being able to express herself

    What is vital is that you download the forms for an EPA from Guardianship Office website and get her to sign it in front of witnesses

    If it has not happened already her finances will soon be in a mess
    Bills unpaid trying to write cheques to pay what are cheques !!

    (my mother has written cheques to cover her own pension cheques and posted them god knows where )

    Wont be able to remeber pin numbers

    So the sooner you are able to take control the better

    make sure her credit card balance is low
    remove cash cards because they are so vulnerable to theft etc

    the list goes on

    Its also a good idea for the family to plan what steps they will take in the future as she progresses then you wont be rushing around in a panic
  3. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Pat,
    Welcome to TP.The anaesthetic and strange surrounding of a hospital would have made your mum confused. Often people with short term memory loss can 'cover up' when in their own environment, but when elsewhere the confusion shows.

    The hiding things, and accusations about stealing are very common. The best thing is to try and change the subject, do not confront your mum. She cannot remember hiding them, she cannot find them, therefore someone MUST have stolen them. Logical, isn't it!?! Remember mum is entering a scarey world. Her brain is beginning to struggle to do the simplest tasks - putting her clothes on in the right order may take a lot of thought. Things are getting lost all the time. She may have to think hard about how to make a cup of tea. Things, people, places, words - they are all becoming less familiar. Do not keep reminding mum that she has asked the same question 10 times, try and answer it with a smile each time, as though it is the first.

    Mum needs you to take this journey with her. Reassure her that she is OK, that she will be OK. Enable her to do as much as she can for as long as she can. She needs you to understand, and forgive, the aggression, because she is going to say things that will hurt you. She needs you to keep her safe, and as time goes on to make the right decisions for her.

    Helena is right. If you haven't already got a POA, get mum to sign one - it will save you problems in the future.

    Take each day as it comes, and make the most of it. Hopefully you have many more days to enjoy with your mum, even as the illness develops. It is not all bad!!

    See if you have a local Alzheimers Society, they can provide support and put you in touch with other agencies. There is also the national Helpline, which can provide information and support.

    Welcome to the rollercoaster ride of dementia - you are not alone, there are many of us on it with you.
    Love Helen
  4. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    If your mother is living alone in her apartment, it might help her if she had a carer or a home help in some days for company and to check she is coping. When my Mum was imagining things and getting confused, she got quite frightened on her own and more muddled.
    She needed to go into a Care Home because of her rheumatoid arthritis, rather than the confusion, but being with other people did help a lot. With the routine of meals and activities, Mum improved and was much happier. Some people find that a daycare club is useful too.
    When Mum broke her hip and was in hospital she became much more confused and immobile and is now in a nursing home. If your Mum is walking again, she has done very well and she may also become less confused as her health improves. The hospital environment does seems to disorientate the elderly, but once home again they may return to normal.
  5. jasperty

    jasperty Registered User

    Jul 24, 2006
    West Midlands
    Thanks for your advice, have had an aweful week, then three days calm.
    Today the Doctor gave me the results of the CT scan and has diagnosed vascular
    dimentia. Today she was very confused and even said she thought she was loosing her mind, was not sure where she was, her house or mine, keeps phoning
    and asking where I am.

    I contacted social services last week and they are going to appoint a social worker and re-assess her, but I have to wait until they have got someone free
    to do it. Still waiting for the appointment to see the Docotr at the clinic, so no medication yet.

    Hope things might improve once she is on some sort of medication.

    Thanks again

  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #6 Margarita, Aug 2, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2006
    My mum did improve with the medication, I hate saying this but even with medication my mother could still not live alone .she stop wondering around a lot & walking out of the house into the street and getting lost , the long silences did stop , I don’t like the expression away with the fairies .

    As what it is the short
    memories are not working right because the disease is destroying them ,so they are living in the long
    memories , as the disease destroys more cells they get more confused in the long team memories . When they seem like they are back what is happening (its Like) a electric bulb that has come out place has been trun back on, then gone again.

    Beside of course like said above getting the POA .Amy has given you some real good advice ,read up on what is happening to the brain cells , this may all be a lot of information to take in so make sure that you get as much rest out side help .
  7. jasperty

    jasperty Registered User

    Jul 24, 2006
    West Midlands
    Not sure what to do

    Have had the specialist Doctor do home visit to see mom, he says there is no drug licensed for vascular dimentia, and if they do give them anything it can cause falls etc. So basically he was saying carry on as you are with the help of social services until such time that she becomes unmanageable, wondering out into the street and things, we have had one incident this week of knocking on a neighbour
    at 10.30pm saying there were men in blue coats in her apartment, and she called
    me and we finally got her to bed, had no recollection next day, but felt I had to tell her, she was horrified and has apologised to the neighbour, who was very understanding, but how long before we do get the wondering out into the street?

  8. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    Timescale of progression of any dementia seems to be impossible to ascertain

    With Vascular dementia the person can be so incredibly variable from day to day and hour to hour its a nightmare

    When the next mini stroke comes she may go down badly or only slightly
    She may recover to a point or furthur decline

    The confusion , suspicion, aggression, accusations, mislaying things , not understanding will increase and she may be very argumentative or she may slip quietly into an amenable state

    I only wish my Mother was horrified at what she is doing but so far she insists its the rest of the world that is mad not her

    My Mothers finances were/are in one hell of a mess in just 3 months she sees cheques as bills but actual bills are to be ignored .....they have no business charging her for electricity etc

    So get an EPA signed fast and activated at banks etc
    ensure everything is paid by direct debit or credit into her bank account
  9. jasperty

    jasperty Registered User

    Jul 24, 2006
    West Midlands
    Thankyou for your reply Helena, I have had control over my mothers finances for sometime, so no worry there. Thanks for your concern. Today has been quite a good day, only repeated questions nothing major yet!

    Do you know of any medication that might help vascular dimentia?

  10. Ruby Headstrong

    Ruby Headstrong Registered User

    Jan 25, 2006
    Hello Pat
    I noticed you said the doctor had said there was no drug he could give Mom for vascular dementia. My mum also has vascular dementia and we were told the same, however, she has been prescribed various drugs to try to tackle or at least control some of the associated causes of mini-strokes (e.g. something to lower her cholesterol, something to regulate her blood pressure, aspirin etc), and thus try to reduce the chances of her having further ones. Has the doctor mentioned any of these as possibilities?
  11. cynron

    cynron Registered User

    Sep 26, 2005
    east sussex
    Meds For Vad

    My husband was not on any medication until he became aggressive at the SS day centre they expelled him :eek: After being assessed in hospital he was put on Quetipine to calm him but the SS CENTRE would still not take him back.:( So much for helping carers:rolleyes:

  12. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hiya Pat
    Until I joined this site, I thought we were probably the only family in the world to have a mum accusing us of stealing from her, putting up with aggressive outbursts, getting 30 phone calls a day/night etc. etc. This site has saved my sanity. It's hard, but I now tell myself during what ever is going on at the time, there are folk out there putting up with worse than you, and tomorrow is another day/night!
    My only advice to you is to be a pest to people like SS, doctors, Consultants, he who dares wins!! Also a few weeks ago mum accused my SIL of taking her dentures, when things get really bad I imagine my SIL wearing mums choppers, it brings a smile.
    We are working towards the EPO, just waiting for the right moment to get her to sign it.
    We have also had a key safe put outside the flat door following mum having a fall, so at least we know we can get in now.
    When I cannot sleep through worry, (or one of those 'Groundhog Day' calls), I just get on this site, it cheers me up no end.
    Hang on in there Pat, and dont forget, be a pest.
  13. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    Sorry Nada

    But nothing Alzheimers Society or anyone else has written accurately describes the true effects of Vascular dementia or indeed any other form of dementia

    What relatives etc experience is very different to whats is written other than by posters on this forum and other carers say in local alzheimer groups
  14. jasperty

    jasperty Registered User

    Jul 24, 2006
    West Midlands
    Thanks for all your replies. We are going to see the doctor and the hospital who requested the scan next week. I phoned them today requesting an appointment to see if they could give her something to reduce the risk of further strokes, she cannot take asprin. We should have had an appointment come through after the scan, but never got it. However, I did manage to get it out of mom yesterday that she had had a letter from someone, she said about going into a home and she had thrown it away! Who knows.

    I have also contacted SS again and I am waiting for a return call. Mom is very adament she does not wont to go into a home, thats on a good day,but when she has a bad day, we do get "I think I shall have to go into a home."

    The impression today from the doctor who came the Physiatric Unit was leave her where is is until she gets unmanageable, like wondering into the street and knocking on all the neighbours.

    Hope you all have a better day tomorrow.

  15. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    "mom is adamant she does not want to go into a home "

    My Mother is equally adamant but even on a bad day she will not face that ultimately that may be the only option because even now she should not be living alone

    I know her neighbours do not need her wandering or knocking on doors
  16. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Jasperty, just think about it. Would you really want to go into a home.?

    Of course we can all say that is what we would like/do, but we can say that in possession of all our facultities. How must our loved ones feel with their minds tangled up in a way we can never imagine.

    All we can do is the best for them, according to our own ability
  17. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Hi Pat,

    One of the things I learnt early on this site was that it is sometimes necessary to "lie" to your AD loved one! At first I felt I was compromising myself and also betraying my Mum, but I have learnt that telling the truth or trying to get Mum to face up to reality often just sets up conflict and distress.

    I also have a relative with a mental illness and we were always told NOT to collude with his fantasies or paranoia, so I've found it difficult to "change horses in midstream" as it were. But the people here who advise this approach are absolutely right. It seems important to bear in mind that the AD person no longer thinks (feels???) like we do so telling the truth or facing up to reality are no longer the best ways of dealing with situations.

    Now if Mum says something outrageous I tend to either tell her I'll deal with it (sometimes that is enough!) or ask her about some facet of the discussion until she becomes distracted. Eg. missing piece of jewellry (actually in her jewellry box all the time!) - I asked her where the pearl brooch came from, who gave it to her, did it match her pearl earrings, etc. Before long I was hearing an old family story about how she once lost an earring on the dance floor and it was miraculously recovered without damage! No more talk about the missing piece of jewellry!

    Anyway, for me, this has been a really valuable bit of advice - so I'm passing it on in the hope it works for you too!
    (But don't be surprised if you still feel guilty - "lying" to your parent is not easy to do, even when it is necessary.)

    Good Luck!
  18. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    Yesterday, I felt like I was the one with problems! Mum thought I'd been away in the USA, and she was only twenty and having to go into an Academy School on Monday. She was most put out that no one had told her, as she was not as academic as her younger brother.
    She was also worried about getting another job, because, "Sometimes I can't even walk or stand." I really don't know what to say to all this and try to distract or change the conversation. I also felt that I needed to check that she wasn't going out somewhere on Monday, with the nurses, and felt rather silly, as I'm sure they'd have let me know about a hospital visit or an outing.
    It is hard to explain to other people how stressful and distressing it all is, as it sounds amusing and harmless. I feel confused about how much I should tell her about family news as she doesn't seem to remember who people are.

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