New member Charlie84


Registered User
Feb 12, 2008

Thought as I'm new I'd introduce myself!

I'm 23 and live in Basingstoke with my partner. My mum and dad live about 20 miles away, but I work near them so get to see them a lot.

My Nan lives near London, and has recently been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. Her memory had been getting worse for a long time, I think I noticed it more as I was away at university so wouldn't see her as often. Now we can have the same conversation many times over. We visited my brothers new house on Sunday, and 5 minutes after going into his bedroom she went back in and asked which room it was and who was staying there. When we ring her she won't remember talking to you the next day, sometimes not even that we've visited. Recently she thought that she'd spoken to my mum and that she'd invited her over, my mum got home from work and found her sat on the sofa reading the paper!

She will go to the shop several times a day, and buy the same things as she's forgotten that she's been the first time. Her fridge is overflowing with food, she has more in there that my parents do in theirs. As she's run out of room she just leaves food on the side, which then goes off. As soon as you walk into the house all you can smell is rotting food. My mum goes round and tries to clear it all out, but my nan gets upset and they end up having an argument about it. Her driving licence has now been taken away as well, as she was forgetting where she was driving to, and once left the car a few streets away and walked home, then the next day couldn't remember doing this and rang Mum saying that it had been stolen.

Mum and Dad wanted her to move in with them, but the outreach worker Mum has spoken to has said that this isn't a good idea as her short term memory is so poor, so it's best to leave her where she is until she needs long term care. The only way that Mum has got her to agree to having the kitchen cupboards etc cleared is making her think that she's helping out my mum as she loves organising. We're doing this in 2 weeks time.

My partner wants to come with us, but I don't think he should as she might see that as ganging up on her. He says that whenever Nan sees me at my mums he's with me, so it would be normal, but whenever I visit her house I'm on my own. And to be honest, I don't want him there if mum and Nan get into an argument like they usually do, as they both get really upset and I don't want him around for that, I see it a family thing.

Also, my Nan does drink more than she should, which isn't helping her dementia. It also causes a lot of the arguments between her and my Mum. My Mum gets stressed out by it as Nan is her mum-in-law, but my Dad doesn't help as much as he could, neither does my aunt. They all have power-of-attorney now, which is one good thing. Anyway, we have tried to persuade her to cut down on her drinking, but it doesn't seem to be working. If anyone has any ideas on how to stop her, this would be much appreciated!

Thanks for reading :)


Registered User
May 24, 2006

You have my immense sympathy
I went thru all this with my Mother age 90

My Mother was not quite as bad as your Nan when she collapsed after another mini stroke and was not found for 3 days so pnuemonia set in and after 5 weeks in hospital where she basically had no clue which way was up a C Diff infection re appeared and took her

Given my experience i would say your nan is already at the point of needing care

I trust your parents have a Power of Attorney for her because thats vital to be able to sort out finances etc will probably find they are in a horrendous mess house insurance etc

you may find she is /has been destroying things or throwing/giving them away too

Having a blazing row with VD patients is sometimes the only way to get a period of sense out of them or co operation

Sounds bad i know but thats what i found was the only way forward .....patient persuasion did not work

As for the drinking that too occured with my Mother but i dont think theres any point trying to stop it ......she seemed to crave cakes sweets chocolate and drink


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Dear Charlie,
Welcome to Talking Point. Have you contacted your Local Alzheimer's Branch ?There are valueable fact sheets on main page.

It does sound that for your Nan's safety being that more help is being needed. Writing things down about your concerns and sending it to her Doctor would help.

As for the drinking,, although it has worked for others and that is watering down the drink. If your Nan is on medication this would be a very important factor.

When people argue/quarrel in front of people with AD or any form of dementia, they are unable to cope with it.
Taking on someone with this illness in regard to living with them, although it is out of love and protection, it is 24/7 care and your own life goes by the wayside.This is from my own personel position.

I wishyou all the best, people will come on line later and give their views.
Best Wishes.


Registered User
Jan 29, 2008
Ashford, Kent
Hi Charlie

Firstly, welcome.

Having read your post, I believe that your parents are right. Your Nan would be better off living with them.

I don't understand the theory given of 'leave her there until she needs full time care'. That time might be ages off, and what about the risk to her before that point comes?

My Dad has Vascular Dementia. He lives with me, and from what you have posted, I would say your Nan is more confused than my Dad.

There might be arguments, and stubborn times, but if your parents have the space, the willingness and ability, then what is the Outreachers problem?

Each to their own - but, I think the longer people can be kept out of care the better. Living with relatives can delay the need to go into a Nursing Home.

Good luck.

Beverley x


Hello, Charlie

Everything you describe is par for the course, in our world – and especially in our world of learning about dementia. We are all learning from day to day, as you are.

Your caring about your Nan comes through – and that will never leave you.

The shopping for the same things is normal; the overflowing fridge is normal; the reluctance to throw anything away is normal – so don’t worry about it, just work out a mechanism for dealing with it. Whatever may suit you . And you sound as though you have one in hand: namely, “we’d like you to help us with the spring-cleaning” … so other coping mechanisms will come to you along the line! They will all be guaranteed to work – well, most of them!!!

As for the drink problem, it’s not one we ourselves had to face, because she never ever was a drinker of alcohol. Apart from once: when at 1030 in the morning, she phoned to say “I don’t feel well” and it turned out she had found a bottle of brandy at the back of a cupboard, and had “sampled it”. We didn’t remove it, but DILUTED it so that it would not cause a problem again. And it didn’t, so I recommend diluting it. As long as that particular bottle is in the cupboard, seriously diluted, she won’t need to go out and buy another one. Unless of course ….. you know what I mean!

There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways of dealing with our own particular situation. Each of us has our own individual experience, ways of coping, ways of working things out from today to tomorrow, and the day after. So, do not worry about making your own decisions. They are the right decisions for you. Sometimes you will hit the ‘right’ button; sometimes you will not. That is life. That is dementia.

As for your partner, I can only suggest that you get him on board as soon as possible. Just explain the situation. Ask him how he feels about it all. And achieve an understanding. Then, just hold his hand, if the situation gets tricky, and just go with the flow.

Because, you must think about yourself as well as your Nan. Your partner is part of your today. And will be part of your tomorrow, if you’re lucky!! So you need to keep him on board, alongside you, beside you.

I wish you every success in your efforts.



Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
south lanarkshire
Hi Charlie

Given the chance your partener might be a big help.

If he could distract your Nan with conversation, while you and Mum clean cupboards, that would be of great benefit.

If he is to be part of the family, then this includes your Nan. My husband and my daughter's boyfriend have suprised me, they are very good with Mum and Dad.

Give him a chance, if it doesn't work, then you don't do it again.

Take care


Registered User
Jul 10, 2007
If it helps any heres what I do to get rid of the rotten food; I take a friend/daughter around to chat with my mum then I strip her 'fridge of the bad food (telling Mum Im going to the loo) and her memory is so bad she forgets she had them in the 'fridge.

I then take the black bin sack out to my car without her knowing and dispose of it later. I have found that if I put it in her bin she gets it out later.

When I first started to do this after a few weeks of mum having a gippy tummy there was food in there 3 years old!!!

Its a wonder she didnt kill herself.


Registered User
Jul 10, 2007
BTW I cook most of my mums meals now so there is only the odd marge, bread and yogurt in there now.

Kate P

Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
Hi Charlie,

The others have all given great advice so far so I won't presume to add to it.

However, I would consider letting your partner come with you. If it's bad, it's bad and you know not to do it again. My mum has FTD which means she can be extremely aggressive and struggles to know what the right behaviour is in social situations. However, even now when she has never been so bad, there is still some level of learned behaviour in there that tells her when strangers or "authority" people (vicar/doctors etc) are present she needs to rein herself in and stay calm.

Perhaps this may work with your grandmother too - the presence of your partner could be the necessary catalyst to stop her and your mum arguing?

I hope it goes well for you.

Kit Kat

Registered User
Feb 10, 2008
Hi Charlie!

Welcome to the site. I am a new member and only joined a couple of days ago, but already I am identifying with other members here. My Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 12months ago and my Dad is her primary carer.

I think the key is that we must reach out and ask for help, and hopefully we will receive encouragement here.

My partner was fine with my Mum and took her for what she was, after all he never knew her pre-diagnosis. However, he did find it difficult to cope with me when I was going through bouts of guilt, despair and frustration.

You sound like you have a really supportive partner, I would not presume to offer advice, but he is part of your family, just as your Nan is. Maybe it would be a good idea to join your local Alzheimer's Support Group where you can receive some support.

Keep on keeping on.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2008
Soldiers Grove

Welcome to this website, but can tell you support groups for alzheimers is a welcome relief to know that there are others out there that can support each other. I understand there must have been a food issue along the way. We can relate and yes that bad food can effect the person keeping it and possibly eating it. We had much to do at our mom's home, once we got her out of it. Too much bad food and some of it not in the refridgerator. So we have cleared out all the bad food, plus lots of other bad things as well. We still have a long way to go on the house, but at least our mother is safe in a nursing home setting. She has some people who care for her and will see she gets the nourishment and help she needs. Good luck with all that is ahead of you and congrats on what you have accomplished so far. jimsandy


Registered User
Feb 12, 2008
Thanks for all of your responses, they've all been really helpful. With regards to the drinking, I'm not sure that we could water it down, as it's wine that she drinks rather than spirits. And for the food, the problem is as she lives on her own, and there is a supermarket a 5 min walk away, I think she would still go out and buy food even if we did try making meals for her unfortunately.