Starting to worry about my Mum (Dad died of dementia)

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by DaisyFrench, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. DaisyFrench

    DaisyFrench Registered User

    Oct 25, 2011
    5
    Hello everyone. :)

    My Dad died at the age of 86 four years ago. His cause of death was end-stage dementia and hospital acquired pneumonia. My mum was a lot younger than my Dad. She's now 76. She's very active, outgoing and independent. She was Dad's main carer when he was diagnosed with dementia.

    However, my sister and I have both increasingly noticed memory loss. She'll tell us things she's already told us (several times) and, whilst I know that we can all be guilty of this, it's happening a little too often. I have had a nagging feeling that this is more than just 'old age' for a while now, but I guess I've been burying my head in the sand a bit as I remember how things were with Dad and I don't want to think of my Mum suffering in the same way.

    The thing that has brought me on here this morning is the phone call I had with her earlier. She is writing out a cheque and couldn't remember that in the box on the right-hand side of the cheque she needs to just put the amount in numbers i.e. £1196.40. She thought she had to put £1000, £100, £96, 40p. I really didn't understand what she was trying to do initially and had to get one of my own cheque books out to see what she was trying to achieve. Now, it could be that, like she says, she's not written a cheque for a while and had a bit of a mental block, but this is not a difficult thing to do and she has done it before.

    I rang my sister and she said she'd noticed the frequency of forgetfulness has increased and she thinks that we should encourage her to see a GP (and one of us should go with her). I agree, but I think a dementia diagnosis will devastate her. She's usually really positive and upbeat but, having nursed Dad through it, she will be able to see everything that will potentially be coming her way.

    I'm also feeling really scared now. Whilst Dad's dementia and the road to end-stage dementia with him was horrible, he still knew who we all were and knew our names. I'm scared that my Mum might not be like that and might end up not knowing us at all. I don't know how I will cope with this. I'm so close to her and even yesterday was giving me advice and comfort about perimenopause. I know I'm not a kid anymore, but I don't want to lose my Mum before she's even left this life....

    I didn't come on here for answers. I think I know that we have to get her to the GP and support her as best we can. I think I just felt that I needed to write down how I'm feeling.
     
  2. grove

    grove Registered User

    Aug 24, 2010
    7,724
    North Yorkshire
    Morning.....................

    Daisy ( love the name :) ) , am sorry you & your Sister have memory concerns etc about your Mum & especially hard after helping care for your Dad Am glad tho you are in agreement with your Sister about making a GP appointment for your Mum & guess her *mental block* etc could be a number of things not just dementia ( have read similar comments from other's on TP )



    Thinking of you all & lots of positive vibes for the appointment



    Lots of supportive hugs & Kind thoughts


    Grove x
     
  3. Mollygoose

    Mollygoose Registered User

    Dec 19, 2014
    52
    Lincolnshire
    Wait and see

    All you can do is keep a eye on things and go with the flow I'm afraid ! My mother is 90yrs old with end stage dementia and I'm her primary carer ! Best of luck and fingers crossed for you that all will be ok x x
     
  4. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,935
    Yorkshire
    Hi DaisyFrench
    I'm glad you thought to come back to TP and get this all off your chest
    You know your posts will always be read with sympathy so do keep 'chatting'
    best wishes to you, your mum and your sister
     
  5. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,790
    Female
    Scotland
    One positive thing in your post. You have a sister and are in regular touch with her. When my mother was very ill and housebound my sister was kind, supportive and a stalwart. My brother worked abroad and though he loved our Mum was unable to do much. When there are two of you sharing then it is so much easier. Yes, she needs to see a GP to start the ball rolling on possible medication and all the things that go along with a diagnosis.

    Remember to get the practical stuff out of the way eg POA for both finance and health and welfare. Make sure her basic bills are paid by direct debit so she doesn't need to sign cheques. Take a look at her phone to see if you can block unwanted calls so she is not at risk of scammers.

    Good wishes.
     
  6. Rich PCA Carer

    Rich PCA Carer Registered User

    Hi Daisy, it's great that you and your sister are looking out for your Mum. The first thing is not to jump to conclusions too quickly. If the onset of the symptoms has been slow you need to take a judgment on when to notify her Doctor of your concerns and get her to go along for a 'health check'. If the onset has been quick, you need to get the check done as soon as possible as it may well be something other than Dementia.

    The major thing to address is safety concerns primarily physical safety, such as leaving cooker rings on, but also financial safety so that she doesn't get scammed, ripped of by unscrupulous scumbags or simply give loads of money to every charity that makes a request (as happened to a friend of mine).

    As has already been mentioned, whether Dementia is looming or not, getting POA sorted for both finance and health could save a lot of trouble later. You need to introduce the idea to your Mum as prudent long term planning, which it is. Why not do your own at the same time?

    All the Best and enjoy the Good Times still to come,
    Rich


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  7. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,067
    Female
    Chester
    My mum is 86 now and still lives relatively independently, I am certain she had dementia when she was 80 but there are little things from 3 or 4 years earlier, so I suspect mid 70s, and she was certainly getting muddled up with things she didn't do all the time. I didn't know much about the illness then but I do wish I could have persuaded her to take Aricept earlier as she has Alzheimers and that would have slowed progression more. She does take it now, and she has not changed a lot in 2 years, but I do always wonder. I've told my daughter to make me go to DR so I can get meds if they are available and work.

    My mum was always very good at making plausible excuses which I took at face value. She suddenly started keeping a rigorous diary of what she was doing, which I just took to her being organised.

    You need to weigh up whether you think getting Aricept if you think it is Alz is of benefit compared to the upset and potential falling out of going to Drs at this stage. There are other things that can cause issues which can be found with blood tests and it may not be dementia.(I think a vitamin B deficiency)

    As others have said get LPA sorted so that you can take over when needed, I think this should be done for all of us anyway. Make sure she can't be scammed as this often happens before it is fully realised the problem. If she is struggling with her cheque book she may need help sooner than later with finances.

    Your mum may well be able to manage independently for a good few years yet before you need to do anything significant, but make sure you are ready as and when she needs support at each stage.
     

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