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Newbie carer

Kezzamac

Registered User
Apr 28, 2015
31
Somerset
Hi all.
I'm very new to this site, but I'm very relieved that I've found it. Although I'm having very mixed emotions about things I'm reading.
My MIL lives in an annexe attached to our house and has done for the last 10 years. 2 years ago she was diagnosed with mild dementia. She was coping fine, still cooking, cleaning, washing for herself, just a little forgetful. So she rejected any help at the time.
Last year we noticed more small changes. She would be very unsettled if we went away from home. She stopped reading (she'd always been an avid reader), I've had to take over dealing with her pills as she was stock piling some and running out of others! We haven't been able to leave her over night for a long time now.
She went to my BIL at Christmas and since then she has deteriorated rapidly. She constantly asks when she's going home and sometimes packs - just shoves all sorts of rubbish in a bag ready to be picked up. She started losing a lot of weight and we became very concerned that she wasn't eating. Both my husband and myself work, so she's left alone during the day.
In February I took her to the GP. She was referred again to the memory clinic, but it took almost 2 months for the appointment to come through and now we are in limbo again waiting for a scan and help of any sort. Although they've given a preliminary diagnosis of vascular dementia mixed with Alzheimer's.
Last month she locked herself out of the house twice by walking out the side gate and letting it close behind her. We were very luck that in few weeks ago I found a lovely lady to come in during the day to make sure she has lunch and keep her company. She's been fantastic.
We have good days and bad. On a good day she can remember to eat and even prepare it herself, although she talks a bit of rubbish she's generally cheerful. But in a bad day she talks about wanting to go home, she gets angry when I tell her this is her home and she shouts at me and calls me a liar. She thinks her mother, father or husband are still alive (all have been dead for many years). She talks about having enough food to feed the children and repeatedly asks where everyone is and are they still all in bed. She also goes wandering without the career. At the minute the good days out weigh the bad, but I know from reading the forum that things will get worse.

Sorry to ramble on. I just needed to write things down.
Thanks for reading.
 

patsy56

Registered User
Jan 14, 2015
839
Fife Scotland
hello Kessamac and welcome to TP, I and many more of us posters here have/are going through what you are. As my mother lives an hour away I can't visit as often as I should, due to other RL commitments. I am sure that others will be of assistance and do read other threads and you will realise there is a wealth of experience here.
 

Kezzamac

Registered User
Apr 28, 2015
31
Somerset
Thanks, I guess we're lucky that she's lives with us so we can keep a close eye on her. Still very worried about the future though, but I know I can get support here when I need it :)
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,893
London
First I'd like to say don't wait for the full diagnosis but get in touch with Social Services now and ask for a needs assessment. If she is increasingly dependent on others, a day care centre would be a good idea, as she will be looked after there, get social interaction with others and receive food as well. Sitting service like you have in place is good but could also maybe get extended? They can also refer to telecare for memory devices and trackers and to an OT for grab rails etc.

As for dealing with the things she says, here is a link to compassionate communication that is well worth reading: http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showthread.php?30801-Compassionate-Communication-with-the-Memory-Impaired
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,218
Welcome, and glad you have found us!

Get all the help you can, as soon as you can.
Get her into routines, that help you, Dosset boxes for pills, (filled by chemist, often delivered as well) Bath time ( this will cause problems, but routine helps)

All the symptoms you describe are "normal" for this illness.
Don't be afraid to ask questions, there are experts, from personal experience here, who will answer all questions, however daft/strange/silly.

Bod