1. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    121
    Hello there everyone

    I am new and looking for friendship and advice.

    My mother is nearly 90 and is getting forgetful. She still drives but did have a minor accident a month ago. She has pre glaucoma arthritis in her hands and is getting very deaf. She has lost lots of weight since my dad passed away 3 years ago. I tell her things and she forgets it a few days later. She is reasonably happy but lonely. She visits friends that she knew when dad was alive about once a month but has no hobbies and spends a lot of time on her own if I don't see her twice a week.

    She has trouble with numbers, writing cheques and dealing with admin which I help her with. My partner and I help her with her bungalow maintenance and with the garden which is becoming a strain for bot of us.

    In short my partner and me have replaced my late dad because he did all of those things.

    My mum is very independent and hates going to the doctors, strangers coming to the house or accepting outside help.

    Is this early dementia or just cranky old age

    We invited her for dinner once recently and she did not come. She only lives next door. I rang her next day and nothing was mentioned by her it was as if nothing had happened.

    She talks about the past most of the time and repeats herself a lot.

    What do you advise I should do.

    Any advice would be very much appriciated.
    thank you
     
  2. Concerned J

    Concerned J Registered User

    Jun 15, 2014
    65
    London
    Hello,
    My Mum (77) has gone down hill steadily since Dad died 5 years ago. Lonely and depressed but physically fit as a fiddle.

    She started forgetting words. (you know the thing you use to stir your tea when she couldn't remember spoon).

    She always left the finances to Dad and has never really understood money as she didn't need to. She was a fantastic mother, wife & housewife.

    We got the Alzheimers diagnosis a few months ago as we (4 children) were all concerned about her.

    One thing that I know everyone will advise you to do - get Power of Attorney.

    I got my Mum to the doctor's for a general checkup and quietly mentioned to GP about memory test. Mum has thrown this all back in my face - "you started all this". But I'm glad that I've done what I've done.

    Good Luck
    J
     
  3. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,619
    USA
    Mrs Christmas, welcome to TP. There's a lot of good advice and information and support on here and we are glad you found your way here, although sorry you had to.

    If you don't have power of attorney sorted, do that now. Better to have it and not need it, than the other way round.

    It's hard for us to say if your mum has some form of dementia, or if it's just aging, or something else. Certainly some of the symptoms/behaviours you mention could be dementia. But there are illnesses and diseases that cause similar symptoms, that can be treated. These include: urinary tract infections, thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies, insomnia, reactions to medications, and the list goes on.

    So my advice would be to have her checked out by her doctor. Convincing her to go may be difficult; there have been other threads on this recently. Two ideas are to have her doctor do a home visit, or to have her doctor request she come in for some sort of "routine" well visit. What you do is, you communicate privately to the doctor ahead of time and tell them your concerns. Make sure this is ahead of time and not in front of your mum, as that will probably just upset her.

    Also be prepared to have the doctor be the bad guy or the fall guy for things that need doing but that your mum won't like. For instance, if your mother needs a vision or hearing test from a specialist, but she doesn't want to go and is upset with you, you can say, "Mum, I know you don't want to go to the eye doctor; however, Dr Smith said you needed to go, so we are going." This works best when the person is inclined to be compliant AND the doctor has already said this to the person.

    Good luck to you!
     
  4. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    121
    Power of Attorney

    Hello there

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to me that was very kind of you.

    As you can tell, this is all so new to me!

    I have done as you have suggested and have written a long email to our doctor's surgery but asking them to tell my mum that it was me that contacted them. She would so hurt and upset and if I 'went behind her back' as it were.

    I understand the POA and LPA/EPA and would really like to get one sorted. However, the problem that I face is that Mum would simply not allow this to happen, I am sure. She likes very much to be in control of her life and finances. I am the youngest of two and she tends to respect my older brother rather than me and would defer to him where major problems are concerned. He lives about 60 miles away and visits every couple of months. My brother is very detached and diffident and would prefer to either 'let sleeping dogs lie' or face problems as they arise. Which easy is to do when the problem is not on your doorstep!

    To give an examples of Mum's attitude towards me. She will not allow me to get a gardener organised and because she wants to do it herself but then never makes any effort to contact the gardeners I find for her. My partner and I end up doing the garden because it gets overgrown and it just goes round in circles.

    She will ask me to help her with admin work but will write her own cheques (badly) and deal with her own finances or she saves them up until my brother deigns to visit. I am very much the one that does the 'heavy lifting'.

    My mum had a recent accident and lost her wing mirror when she hit another car. When I suggested that she might not be safe driving she just ignored me, arranged for the car to repaired (my partner and I refused to get involved as a silent protest)...it's amazing what people can if they want to....! My mum is continuing to drive, albeit painfully slow and carefully.

    So, I am in a bit of a cleft stick.

    I guess the only thing that will trigger a change is a diagnosis of illness such as Dementia.

    Thanks for listening and I am sorry for going on. Maybe one day it will my turn to support someone else going through it one day!

    Regards

    Mrs C
     
  5. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,051
    GLASGOW
    If you get your brother to agree joint power of attorney then you can both look after things. Its better to have it in case you need it. If your Mum listens to your brother then use that to your advantage. Can he suggest a visit to the doctor? He doesn't have to deal with her every day so might be easier to be mad at him.

    Bets of luck. I know how hard work it is. My Mum never drove than goodness. I dread to think!:eek:
     
  6. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    839
    Fife Scotland
    I read this and thought it was me who had written it, yes mother threw it back in my face as well. No that my sis and I have carers coming in , that too is now our fault,

    Sorry forgot to say Welcome to TP
     
  7. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,239
    Cotswolds
    Oh, how I wish I could multi-quote on here! These posts sound just like me and mum two or three years ago! (Minus the driving, thank the lord!)

    I do agree, try to get your brother involved. If you can get joint LPA, you don't have to use it until it's needed, so your mum can still be involved / do what she can.

    Also I do think it's important to get medical advice on the driving.

    This is such a difficult stage. I know I never stopped worrying about mum when she was like this....managing, but really not managing. Not eating properly, lonely, etc. It has got slightly easier with the introduction of carers....but I really had to stand up to mum about this, and it's not something most of us are used to doing with parents, is it?

    Wishing you all the best

    Lindy xx
     
  8. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    121
    Hi there everyone

    How lovely of you to Take time to reply to my post.

    Some of you seem to resonate with my experiences with your own parents. So, presumably all of your parents have been diagnosed wth Alzheimer's or similar? Do you feel that this is my mum too?

    I just want know now if this is what she has got so that I can prepare for the future. How did the symptoms show in the beginning For you?

    I keep reading up on the first signs and it is a bit hit and miss. She does not have speech problems but when she had her car accident and she was stressed it was then that I noticed that she could not string sentences together and was searching for words. It is just her short term memory and the constant re telling of stories from the past. Sometimes she seems a little vague. One thing I have noticed is that she does get a little accusatory of me just little things and she is very selfish. When I tell her things I have to repeat them a couple of times like she can't grasp what I am talking about. On the whole she manages okay day to day but there is this nagging doubt...was that how you felt in the early stages.
     
  9. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,239
    Cotswolds
    #9 Lindy50, Jun 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
    Hi again :)

    I have to be honest and say that mum was aware that something was wrong, well before I was. She said she had trouble remembering birthdays and following TV programmes, for example. I didn't want to see it, and tried to reassure her.

    Looking back, developments that I couldn't ignore included:

    - inability to make a shopping list
    - inability to choose from a menu when out
    - getting money very mixed up, eg paying £50 for something that cost over £100
    - episodes of incontinence
    - living on packets of crisps and humbug sweets
    - not knowing it was Christmas despite all the evidence around her
    - not writing Christmas cards even though she was receiving them
    - accusing her neighbours of stealing things
    - either not taking medication, or taking several days' worth in one go
    - an overall attitude of "I don't need to do anything, do I?" ie losing the ability to initiate things

    I could go on....Her short term memory was and is very poor, but it was these functional things of finding everyday life difficult to manage, that were the clincher. Eventually she had a urine infection, and the GP referred to to the memory clinic, then we got the diagnosis.

    Not sure whether this answers your question, but it's how it was for us :)

    Mum is still much the same, by the way, just slowly getting worse and having periods of increased confusion.

    Hope this helps :)

    Lindy xx
     
  10. Jimsbird

    Jimsbird Registered User

    Jun 6, 2015
    3
    Hello,

    I am new to this site and hoping for some support and insight into this terrible illness/disease from other carers.

    I with my partner am looking after my mother in our home. She is 84 and was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers in 2010. For the past four years she has been living at home on her own (my father passed in 2004) and her memory has been increasingly failing. She has very lucid moments, but general confusion and memory loss most days. I don't really want to say anything but just felt the need to contact others who have same/similar problems. Looking forward to sharing and support in due course Thank you
     
  11. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    839
    Fife Scotland
    Just called mum to see if she was fine, insisted it was Sunday, when told her Saturday she laughed and said "Knew it began with S and ended in day" sighs.
     
  12. Fred Flintstone

    Fred Flintstone Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    133
    S. E. England
    Sorry to nag, Mrs C, but the question of the Lasting Power of Attorney will not go away. Really it won't.

    Regards, Fred
     
  13. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    121
    Hello Fred

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to me so quickly this forum is amazing. Such kindness from you all.

    I have emailed my brother explaining the situation and my fears for the future and floated the idea for an lpa today in response to your advice. He is in Cornwall taking a break from retirement....! I hope he'll come on board with me but I don't hold out much hope tho. I tried to warn him when my father was ailing but he said that we'll deal with it when it happens. When my dad collapsed with a brain tumour I had to cope on my own with mum and dad for 3 days.

    What worries me if I am not taken seriously this time and mum gets steadily worse how will I pay for help without an Lpa? I have no savings as I don't work and all finances have been dealt with between mum and my brother.

    It is a quandary but I hope my brother sees my point view or at the least it plants a seed. Again he is so far and sees so little of us he just does not understand my concerns.

    My mum had dinner with us tonight and was on good form until my partner and me found ourselves repeating the same things over and over again... Sounds familiar?

    Thanks for listening everyone and I hope I can help by listening to others one day.

    Xx
     
  14. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    121
    Hi jams it'd

    I am new to this too and my thoughts are with you.

    I am still pre diagnosis stage it sounds worse for you now and I am sorry.

    Mrs c
     
  15. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,239
    Cotswolds
    Hi MrsC :)

    In a bit of a rush, but just wanted to say that if your mum needs care, and especially if you don't have LPA, you apply to the local council social services department (often called adult social care dept) for a care needs assessment for your mum. If you don't have access to her funds, it would be up to them to arrange care and to deal with your brother on the money side of things.

    It would be much easier if you do have LPA, but I just wanted to reassure you that there is a safety net :)

    Take care :)

    Lindy xx
     
  16. Fred Flintstone

    Fred Flintstone Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    133
    S. E. England
    #16 Fred Flintstone, Jun 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
    If he needs to stay in control, your brother might support your mother's making a Property and Financial Affairs LPA of the sort where both of you have to act together. The trouble is that it can be unwieldy, and would lapse if one of you were to die.

    There are quite a lot of variations, with the possibility of substitutes being appointed at the same time. Perhaps someone here will point you to a link which will explain some of the routes.

    The Health and Welfare LPA, which is a different legal document, is required if you are to have standing in dealing with your mother's doctors and other medical staff. If your brother is squeamish about ill health and such like, he might be quite prepared to allow you to handle those aspects of your mother's affairs.



    EDIT: Perhaps you and your brother could agree to split functions. He could hold the Property and Financial Affairs LPA with you as his substitute (in case he should he resign or die), and you could hold the Health and Welfare LPA with him as your substitute.

    Would that work, do you suppose?
     
  17. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,619
    USA
    Mrs Christmas, I just wanted to offer support around the idea that the Power of Attorney/legal stuff could work out for you. I tried for MANY years to get my mother to take care of her legal paperwork and she always refused. Some of her refusal was denial, a lot was being stubborn, and now I know, more recently, some of it was the dementia.

    So with no paperwork in place you can imagine how terrified I was when she went into hospital suddenly and unexpectedly earlier this year; I think in the UK you would say she was sectioned. It was clear she couldn't function on her own and I finally knew why-dementia. I was handed an opportunity out of the blue to get the paperwork done, and I did. If you had told me it would work out, I would never have believed you--but it did.

    So partly that's just by way of trying to give you hope. However, don't wait, like I did, for the crisis which caused me a LOT of sleepless nights and messy paperwork. Don't just assume that your mum would just not allow this to happen. Dealing with dementia requires a lot of flexibility, out of the box thinking, and especially thinking on your feet (and paperwork...lots of paperwork). You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your mother, and part of taking care of yourself is having what you need.

    Fred's suggestion (or perhaps I should say, Mr Flintstone, as we've not been introduced?) about splitting duties with your brother is a good one to consider.

    I hope you are able to work something out and please let us know how you get on if you get a chance.
     
  18. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue Registered User

    Nov 2, 2014
    23
    UK
    Hi Jimsbird,

    Welcome to TP. I'm sure you will find these forums a considerable resource for information and support. I've been dipping in and out since November.

    I'm a long-distance carer/advocate for my mother who is in her late 80s and lives alone. She received a diagnosis of mixed AD with some vascular involvement a couple of months ago.

    We are also encouraging my mother to put the setting up of LPA in motion, but there is resistance, here.

    Yesterday, it was "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it." She does not understand that by the time "that bridge" needs crossing, it may likely be too late to put the LPA in place. Very hard to keep her attention focused long enough to explain what the purpose of LPA is, why it's in her best interests and why it's so important to do it now.
     
  19. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    121
    Hi there

    Thank you for that brilliant suggestions and for all support from you diamonds in helping this complete newbie. When or if I hear from my brother I will suggest the 2 LPAs and see what happens then.

    I have also asked him to to get Mum to go to the GP so what with Mum's surgery being informed and my brother it will be pressure from both sides. I have read from another lovely 'threader' that stubbornness is another sign so Hey Ho....

    Once again thank you so much for your help it is very much appreciated.

    I shall feel an idiot if Mum has nothing wrong with her and it just Anno Domini. I just feel that I am making a lot of fuss over a few symptoms but, as you all say, at least we have something to fall back on.

    Mrs C
     
  20. Fred Flintstone

    Fred Flintstone Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    133
    S. E. England
    Wikipedia is no oracle, but it is often a good place to start:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lasting_power_of_attorney

    the article contains links which will enable you to download the forms (or view them on screen, or request hard copy) to familiarize yourself with them.


    Then this link is to the web pages of the Office of the Public Guardian:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-of-the-public-guardian

    which will seem crushingly dense.


    You can do all the forms without consulting a lawyer, but I suggest that lawyer be involved to make it water-tight. A certificate from a GP may be the best evidence of capacity, even if its only the capacity to understand well enough to sign the LPAs.

    One question is whether the donor wishes to give, or withhold, authority to refuse life-extending medical treatment on his/her behalf to the attorneys in the H&W one, and may specify circumstances. That may not be needed for your purposes.

    There is probably guidance for non-lawyers on the Age UK website or this one, and there are probably books available from Amazon which help to explain the facts to lay people.

    Good luck!
     

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