Should I interfere and how can I help?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Connolly, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. Connolly

    Connolly Registered User

    Apr 11, 2008
    3
    surrey
    {quote Posted by Brucie}
    It is a balance, worrying about doing the right thing, yet not offending the person concerned. For me the correct balance is not to cause the person any more confusion than is necessary.

    Hello, I am new to this forum and am looking for some advice with concern for my mum. Bruicie quote of causing the person more confusion really rings out to me. There has been a gradual decline in memory loss over the years with my mum, but has led up to now full and happy life, she has always been a positive person. My mum has since been to see doctors and consultants and had various testing for this memory loss at the request of other family members, and I personally disagreed with this approach although realise that some addressing of it needed to happen. But it seems such an unempathetic and un-individualised system. It has caused great anxiety in my mum and stress increased confusion and memory loss ten fold since all this started. she has lost total confidence in herself and this has happened very quickly. I do not believe this is a positive step for my mum. She has an appointment to results etc. next month and I wondered if there was anything I could do to step in and try to turn this round. Should I write with my concerns to her GP and to the consultant? I would li
    ke to go in with the consultant before my mum does. I'm not trying to bury my head in the sand but looking for what is best for my mum. But I also do not want to make anything worse.

    Any advice would be gratefully recieved.

    Many thanks

    C. Connolly
     
  2. helen.tomlinson

    helen.tomlinson Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    541
    Dear Connolly

    Yes it is an awful process but it is my understanding that one needs to go through this and to be diagnosed in order to get any kind of help.

    My husband has a dementia and I put off going through the process for ages because I wanted him to have as normal a life as possible and not for it to be taken over by tests and hospital appointments only to be told that there's nothing that they can do. However, there came a time when I knew he needed to go through this process (maybe there was a chance that medication could hold back to onset of the disease?). During this time of tests, scans etc. etc. my husband seemed to deteriorate quite rapidly but once it was over he came back to his usual self. A self that has a dementia but a self that was capable of having quite a good life still.

    Personally, I am glad I didn't do it too soon and I'm glad I didn't leave it too late.

    I don't whether this helps any but I think I appreciate some of your worries and concerns. Hopefully you will gain more than is lost by going through the process.

    Love Helen
     
  3. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    'Not interfering' could be construed as being neglectful .... :confused: (that's almost Good Samaritan stuff and sorry, not meant to sound pious!)

    Connolly, your mum is no doubt confused about appointments and their need ... it should not be her concern to worry about where she is going, when or why ...... that's where we have to take over - when they can no longer manage their own needs.......

    'Going through the process' (of gaining diagnosis and therefore hopefully some help in whatever form that takes) surely does not in itself exacerbate the condition (unless 'family members' are believing your mum still has the responsibility for her own welfare when she is clearly not capable and that is causing her anxiety which is definitely NOT helpful?)

    Hope that makes sense, (and being very wary of not trying to read too much between the lines!)

    Please keep posting, you will gain a lot of insight and ideas,

    Love, Karen, x
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,875
    Kent
    Hello Connolly,

    I understand your fear and your mother`s fear, but think for a moment.......if your mother continued to lose her memory, don`t you believe she would still lose her confidence, and be confused and anxious.

    It is a lovely thought, that if nothing were done, the person suffering memory loss would continue life as usual, without fear or worry, just slowly, and with serenity becoming more dependent on the help and support of a loving family. If that were the case, I don`t think any of us would seek medical advice.

    Oh if we all had the answers, and the right answers, how much easier living with dementia would be.

    Love xx
     
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    #5 Skye, Apr 11, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2008

    Can you tell us what approach you would have preferred?

    I had my husband diagnosed as soon as I suspected what was wrong. I wanted him to have treatment as early as possible, and to have support for me.

    Yes, it was a very upsetting time. No-one could be happy to have such a diagnosis. But not knowing does not make it go away, or delay the progression. For my part, I prefer to know what I am dealing with.

    As regards your appointment, yes, you can ask to talk to the consultant alone first. He will probably also give you the choice of whether or not to tell your mum the diagnosis. You know your mum, and know whether she would prefer to know or not. Again, it's not always a good idea to conceal the diagnosis. Some people would be panicked by the knowledge, others would be made more anxious by worrying about what was wrong. I think you should discuss this too with the family.

    Good luck,
     
  6. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Connolly,

    Firstly may I welcome you to TP.

    It must be difficult seeing your mum's increasing confusion and lack of confidence.....that may well have happened whether the tests had been done or not.

    The system does at times appear unempathetic and impersonal...professionals doing a job....not realising the impact that their words have on families. I remember waiting with mum and dad for a psychiatrist, who turned up an hour late, who then refused to have more than two people in his room!!

    There is no harm in you writing to the GP and Consultant....whether they would talk to you first, I dont know.

    Let us know how you get on. This is a very hard time for all the family....there is support here.
    Helen
     
  7. Short girl

    Short girl Registered User

    Mar 22, 2008
    60
    Hi

    Think I know what you're talking about here - all these appointments stressed both me and my Nan, but at the end it was a relief to get the diagnosis - it was if this was an answer to some of the deterioration I had seen in her.
    To see lots of people from each specialism, being seen by memory clinic, assessed by SS for social care and then OT etc etc can upset and confuse someone as they may ask 'what's it all for?' I always thought that 'Single Assessments' and 'person centred' were the way forward, but seems to have gone quiet recently.:confused:
     
  8. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Dear Connolly
    You've been given so much good advice and reassurance so far. We are always so worried about our loved ones at this time, but we also need some TLC. Its hard to come to terms with everything a diagnosis means. To echo others, I think mums confusion would happen anyway it just seems so much worse with appointments etc.
    When I was worried about Dad and had questions and things to say to the consultant, out of ear shot of Dad, I used to put them in a note and ask a nurse to pass it on. They would always make time to speak to me without Dad being there.
    take care
    hendy
     

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