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Start of the Journey Lots of questions.

dragonflyuk

New member
Feb 21, 2021
6
0
I am just starting the journey with my mum, I along with most of the family, think that my mother is starting with dementia. First problem is that our doctors won't discuss her with, either myself (her son), or her husband. Which I understand, and I actually completely agree with. My mother completely denys there is an issue, and will hide or deny any mistakes or errors on her part, so getting permission to talk to the doctor is impossible. I have discovered, that if I get an email contact for the doctor, they can take on board my concerns without been seen to "discuss" a patient. i.e. they are unlikely to respond, but it prompts action. For anyone less willing to use email, I am told a letter will have the same effect.

As a result of me raising my concerns, the doctor rang her and did a sort of quiz over the phone, then called her in for blood tests. Which I assume is the start of getting a diagnosis. We are currently waiting to hear the results.

In the meantime, I have chosen to spend as much time as I can at home, at least for the next few months, possibly longer, depending on covid (I usually work abroad) and how I feel about leaving when it's possible.

So my first question, is mum used to love cooking and her garden, the garden has pretty much been forgotten over the last year or so, and cooking is now ready-meals, which 2 years ago would have been a naughty word. I quite enjoy cooking, but got out of the habit, with fussy teenage kids, and a vegetarian missus, so I've stepped into the breach, am enjoying the process. Today is slow-cooked pork, with a cider and honey glaze, roast parsnips, potatoes and cauliflower cheese. :) However I am concerned that by taking over, I am actually making things worse and possibly causing a problem if I do need to go abroad again, dad is more than capable of cooking but he gets barked at, and interference when cooking, I don't.

Secondly mum was convinced that yesterday was Sunday, all day, right up to me putting Casualty on for her, just after 8pm. We spent most of the time correcting her, all day, but really does it matter. If we let it slide, does is it just lowering the bar, so the things get progressively worse, or by constantly correcting are we causing inevitable frustration. Dad errs towards constant correction, and questioning. I err towards does it matter, but step in when it causes a problem, i.e. gas left on, missing an appointment, that sort of thing.

Regards

Dave.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
72,663
0
Kent
Hello @dragonflyuk.. Welcome to Dementia Talking Point. I hope you will find it helpful and supportive and even though all progression of dementia is different in different people there is still a lot to learn from those who have been here before you.

Your mother`s doctor did listen to you even though they were unable to discuss with you and has taken action. I hope this will lead to a diagnosis or not, so at least you will know where you stand.

If your mother is losing her skills, doing tasks for her will not harm her or quicken her progression. You could perhaps cook alongside her, if you have the patience.

My husband was the cook in our house and it was really hard watching him lose the skills which were part of his make up and pleasure.

Initially we did share some of the chores and it worked for a while. He would prepare vegetables or something akin to that.

Dad errs towards constant correction, and questioning

I hope the following helps your dad.


PS Your dinner sounds delicious.
 

dragonflyuk

New member
Feb 21, 2021
6
0
Thank you for your comments, so glad I've found somewhere to discuss and advise, and in due course pass on what I learn. I'll read your link, and pass it on to dad.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
5,211
0
Nottinghamshire
Welcome from me too @dragonflyuk

Your dinner does sound delicious 😋.

I wonder if you made a habit of cooking alongside your dad your mum would accept him carrying on without interfering after you’ve left? Perhaps your dad could then distract your mum by asking her to “help” him by doing something simple she is still capable of.

The compassionate communication link @Grannie G has given you is very useful for keeping things calm so I hope your dad can manage it - it’s not always easy!
 
Last edited:

Oswy

New member
Feb 21, 2021
1
0
Thank you for your comments, so glad I've found somewhere to discuss and advise, and in due course pass on what I learn. I'll read your link, and pass it on to dad.
Being Dad in this case. I will contribute when and where I can. At least we have found a point of contact with those of common cause. ...and to you, Sylvia, I can vouch that lunch sounds delicious, it certainly smells delicious. As a result of advice found hereabouts, we have set Mum (aka wife) off doing some vegetables.
It seems as though I have quite a bit to learn. Not least quelling my instinct to rectify small indiscretions. A lifetime of precise statements of fact is not easily set aside.
 

dragonflyuk

New member
Feb 21, 2021
6
0
I have to say, the link @Grannie G has given is spot on, I have forwarded it to Dad, hopefully he might join us here. (edit: I see he has @Oswy )

Having immediately taken onboard the comments, mum has kindly peeled the potatoes for me (I get eczema so the starch can make them sore), I helped dad yesterday with tea, and he help with the prep for the pork last night, and mum just stayed out of the way. Not sure if that's progress or not, but atleast it's non-confrontational.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,632
0
South coast
Yes @dragonflyuk and @Oswy , it is hard to resist the temptation to correct them, but honestly, unless it really matters, its best not to.

Taking over tasks as they find them difficult will not result in making it worse or hasten the decline. Ive had people say to me that I shoulnt take over things that OH is struggling with because he must "use it or lose it", but with dementia you will lose it anyway, whether or not you use it. I still do try and get him to do what he can, and for a long time we did things together, but I found I was having to do more and more and there isnt much left now.....
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,226
0
High Peak
Whether or not you let/force your mum to do things, the skills will still be lost.

I'm afraid with dementia, there's a lot to be said for 'anything for an easy life' and 'if it keeps her calm and happy, so be it...', even if behaving that way doesn't come easily! I spent a lot of time with my mum gritting my teeth and saying, 'Yes, that's fine!' whilst thinking, 'No, no, stop it! You can't do that! Are you completely mad?'

Her reality is no longer your reality and you can't change that. There is no self-awareness so no point saying, 'Can't you see what you're doing?' because she simply can't. You can't say, 'I've just found the front door key under your pillow - why on earth did you put it there?' or 'Why on earth didn't you tell me the sheets were wet - I could have changed them straightaway!' because she won't remember doing these things, will deny it was her or just get angry.

Welcome to dementia world :)

And don't worry about what outsiders say. They are not living with your mum and don't have a clue.

I hope you will both continue to post. The help I have received here on the forum vastly exceeds any help you will get elsewhere!
 

dragonflyuk

New member
Feb 21, 2021
6
0
I hope you will both continue to post. The help I have received here on the forum vastly exceeds any help you will get elsewhere!

I think we both will, I think it 's going to be easier for me, to "let things slide", than Dad, he spent the last 40 odd years correcting me, so I know it's in his blood lol.

But the difference from having a group, is this morning I was banging my head against a brick wall, not knowing if I was doing right or wrong, to now I know where to ask, from people either in the same boat, or been there before. It is a world of difference.
 

St. Lucia

Registered User
Feb 21, 2021
11
0
I am just starting the journey with my mum, I along with most of the family, think that my mother is starting with dementia. First problem is that our doctors won't discuss her with, either myself (her son), or her husband. Which I understand, and I actually completely agree with. My mother completely denys there is an issue, and will hide or deny any mistakes or errors on her part, so getting permission to talk to the doctor is impossible. I have discovered, that if I get an email contact for the doctor, they can take on board my concerns without been seen to "discuss" a patient. i.e. they are unlikely to respond, but it prompts action. For anyone less willing to use email, I am told a letter will have the same effect.

As a result of me raising my concerns, the doctor rang her and did a sort of quiz over the phone, then called her in for blood tests. Which I assume is the start of getting a diagnosis. We are currently waiting to hear the results.

In the meantime, I have chosen to spend as much time as I can at home, at least for the next few months, possibly longer, depending on covid (I usually work abroad) and how I feel about leaving when it's possible.

So my first question, is mum used to love cooking and her garden, the garden has pretty much been forgotten over the last year or so, and cooking is now ready-meals, which 2 years ago would have been a naughty word. I quite enjoy cooking, but got out of the habit, with fussy teenage kids, and a vegetarian missus, so I've stepped into the breach, am enjoying the process. Today is slow-cooked pork, with a cider and honey glaze, roast parsnips, potatoes and cauliflower cheese. :) However I am concerned that by taking over, I am actually making things worse and possibly causing a problem if I do need to go abroad again, dad is more than capable of cooking but he gets barked at, and interference when cooking, I don't.

Secondly mum was convinced that yesterday was Sunday, all day, right up to me putting Casualty on for her, just after 8pm. We spent most of the time correcting her, all day, but really does it matter. If we let it slide, does is it just lowering the bar, so the things get progressively worse, or by constantly correcting are we causing inevitable frustration. Dad errs towards constant correction, and questioning. I err towards does it matter, but step in when it causes a problem, i.e. gas left on, missing an appointment, that sort of thing.

Regards

Dave
It is a difficult journey. Do not argue with her as it will make her more frustrated. Unfortunately, you will have to be behind her always. She may forget to turn off gas, water, light, etc. Hopefully her Doctor will eventually reach out to family member when the decline is concerning.
 

dragonflyuk

New member
Feb 21, 2021
6
0
Today's dilemma - Washing Pods.

Mum always has been an early riser, on a Monday/Tuesday she gets up and does the washing. For a while I've had a suspicion about the number of washing pods been used, so over the last couple of weeks have monitored the number of pods left, before and after washing day. And I have concluded, that she is currently using 4 pods per wash. I have already started keeping my washing separate, as my eczema loves this. I initially thought maybe it was the Tesco Bio pods, that didn't like me, but I now know its' the quantity that doesn't like me lol. Ofcourse Dad has questioned her on usage (and been told off for doing so, he WILL learn) in her mind she is using 1, so it is pointless reasoning, and questioning.

My gut reaction is to hide the pods, and dispense them into the old box, one at a time, the night before. Does anyone have any other suggestions?
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,632
0
South coast
My gut reaction is to hide the pods, and dispense them into the old box, one at a time, the night before.
Sounds like a good plan.
You wont be able to stop the repetition. They do something, forget and do it again and again........... Its commonly seen when getting dressed. Mum regularly wore multiple pairs of knickers and I once found her wearing 7 T-shirts! Limiting the supply is the best solution.
 

dragonflyuk

New member
Feb 21, 2021
6
0
Yes I agree, that in her mind there is only one gone in, which is I think what Dad isn't seeing, because he knows 4 have gone in, it's four, even though mum has only put 1 in (4 times) , strangely though if you are in the kitchen washing up, or even helping, only 1 goes in, but if you aren't in the room, it is several.