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New to forum - cant sleep as thinking about my mum

TTT165

Registered User
May 8, 2013
2
0
Not sure how to use this space just struggling to sleep tonight as worried about my mum. She hasn't been diagnosed but has many symptoms of alzheimers. We can't get her to the GP as she denies any memory problems and is very stubborn. It's so difficult to know what the right thing is to do as I don't want to frighten her.
 

FifiMo

Registered User
Feb 10, 2010
4,705
0
Wiltshire
Hiya TTT and welcome to Talking Point,

The first thing that you and these rest of the family can do for your mum is get a diary and start recording any incidents or behavioural changes or observations worth noting and also make a note of what time of day this happened and how long it lasted for. Also make a note of any underlying reasons, eg. Was she particularly tired, been over exerting herself that day.

The purpose of the diary, particularly if someone won't see a doctor, is so that you can copy it and send it to her doctor and tell them that you are providing them with information regarding your mum's deterioration and suggest that the dr either makes a home visit or calls her in for a chat. One this has been done and she is, say, referred to a consultant, the diary is yet again useful as it gives them a history of what has been going on and how quickly things have changed over time. This is invaluable to them, especially if your mum is a hostile patient!

Lay off mention to her of a doctor for a couple of weeks as you compile the diary. I mean no mention at all. Let her calm down and think she has won round one. You don't say what particular challenges your mum is faced with right now but if things escalate then don't hesitate to call an ambulance.

Hope this helps,

Fiona
 

Big Effort

Account Closed
Jul 8, 2012
1,927
0
Dear TTT165,

I can appreciate your not sleeping...... it is difficult to rest easy when someone we love is displaying behavior that isn't what it should be, and yet they remain in firm denial.

In my view, denial is a coping mechanism, and my mother now has quite severe Alz, she cannot dress, finds knife and fork too challenging so fingers work best, speech is a huge struggle, and so on. Yet Mum is still in total denial that anything at all is wrong. The one thing Mum didn't want to have is dementia, yet this is how it panned out, and her way of dealing with this reality is to deny it.

Our/her GP knows this as does her neurologist. So no mention is made of the Big A, pills are given to 'improve her memory', and they praise and support her, so the big deception remains in place. I have come to realise that if we force acceptance of her condition on her, she will collapse. Mum will not live with dementia, so she doesn't have it. And life can go on.

It doesn't prevent pain and sleepless nights in others though, and like you, I haven't slept particularly well in a while. Mostly I am very sad, as I realise the war is lost, and I am going to lose all skirmishes and battles too. Not a comforting thought for someone like me who wants to help. My motto is 'Make Life Better'. Not easy right now. Thinking of you as you face your own pains and battles, be gentle with you, this is hard, love BE
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,289
0
SW London
Dear TTT165,

I can appreciate your not sleeping...... it is difficult to rest easy when someone we love is displaying behavior that isn't what it should be, and yet they remain in firm denial.

In my view, denial is a coping mechanism, and my mother now has quite severe Alz, she cannot dress, finds knife and fork too challenging so fingers work best, speech is a huge struggle, and so on. Yet Mum is still in total denial that anything at all is wrong. The one thing Mum didn't want to have is dementia, yet this is how it panned out, and her way of dealing with this reality is to deny it.

I can't help wondering whether it is always a case of denial, though. Of course everyone is different but I swear that most of the time my mother genuinely thought there was nothing wrong with her. Given that she couldn't remember anything from one minute to the next, this was probably not so surprising. She genuinely couldn't remember at any given time that she could (e.g.) no longer manage her finances or do her own shopping/cooking.
Or indeed that she had not had a shower without a great deal of fairly forceful prompting for ages.

Even when she was told by the GP that she had Alzheimer's (and apparently accepted it) she had forgotten by the time she got home maybe 15 minutes later. So I don't see how she could reasonably have retained any knowledge or insight into her condition. I don't mind admitting that this was probably for the best, since if she had been aware it would only have distressed her greatly.

She was prescribed Aricept, but again the lack of memory made it very difficult for the tablets to be taken properly. Someone was detailed to come round and make sure she took them, but often she wouldn't let them in since a) she couldn't remember that they were coming, or b) that there was anything wrong with her that needed medication.

Can you imagine in those circs. opening the door to some total stranger who says brightly that they've come to help you take your tablets? I know what I'd tell them. :eek:
 

little shettie

Registered User
Nov 10, 2009
220
0
I remember going down the same path as you 3 years ago when my mum was first diagnosed. I first started to realise something was amiss when, having taken her christmas shopping and buying presents fore everyone, when we opened said presents christmas day, we'd all been given the wrong items! During the course of that year there were other things such as forgetting birthdays etc which previously she'd been spot on with then, christmas loomed large again and this time I thought I'd cracked it by writing her a list of names and the present we had bought for them. Alas no, when we opened them, not one was correct! My mum is stubborn as a mule, would never admit to a problem and certainly didn't want to see her gp. So after much coaxing and fretting and rows, I left it a while then one day I just turned up and told her we had to go for her appointment as the gp wanted to see her at the clinic for a general check up. Told her it wasn't just for her, it was for her age group, a special mot and what a good thing it was!! Success, she agreed and off we went. Of course I'm afraid the outcome was the diagnosis we'd all been dreading. I hope you can convince mum in some way, but sometimes the only way is telling them fibs, for their own good of course. Good luck and let us know how you get on x
 

TTT165

Registered User
May 8, 2013
2
0
Thank you

Hi everyone,

It's been a long delay in me reading and reying to these and that's partly (mainly) due to me feeling too emotional to see the word alzheimers and anything relating to it. It's upsetting to read how my mum has had similar symptoms to the ones some of you describe.

My mum is very stubborn and I think it would be too distressing for her to acknowledge this horrible thing that's happening. We went to her GP who said he could write to her or do a home visit but the problem with a home visit is she will get frightened and it will damage the trust she has in us. She has a very old fashioned view of medical services and thinks she will be taken away. She also rarely visits the doctor due to a fear of needles, blood etc. So it's very tricky.

I worry that I regret not doing more to help her get treatment but then I don't want to scare or upset her. My sisters and I talked about possibly getting her to the doctors for a general check up but then I've that there isn't much they can do anyway to treat it so why cause that amount of distress?

I'm not ready to accept this either and I'm not sure ill ever be able to. Thanks for listening.