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Suspect dementia, potentially dangerous situation

Rachprey

Registered User
Nov 29, 2015
1
Hi, I'm very new here and joined to get advice. I have a relative who I very much suspect has dementia- she repeats herself frequently and can't process new information well (for example, she will call me twice within a 10 minute period and forget she just called), can no longer cook or follow recipes, gets lost going familiar places, and recently is having trouble getting dressed (walking around in her underwear in front of guests because she can't find her pants, wearing an inappropriately formal dress to a casual family function). My spouse is on denial and says it's all stress related, and I wholeheartedly disagree! The entire family refuses to accept something is wrong, but what really concerns me is that she watches her young grandchild on a daily basis! I'm really worried, some advice would be greatly appreciated
 

jeany123

Registered User
Mar 24, 2012
19,036
71
Durham
Hello and welcome to Talking point, I'm sure people who can help will answer when they get up later in the morning, everyone is so helpful here ,

Jeany x


Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
13,226
England
Hello and welcome to the site.

You really are fighting this one as no one wants to acknowledge there is a problem.

Do you think that it is being ignored because she is extremely valuable to some members of the family as she is their child care? If she is unable to cook or gets lost in places that should be very familiar then the children could be at risk. She too could be at risk and should be getting help.

Help will only be available if it is asked for and the first thing to do is get an appointment the her GP and get the ball rolling to get tests etc done to find out exactely what is causing these big changes in her behaviour. It is not dignified for her to be walking around partly undressed and not fair on her to put this down to stress. I am sure she would be mortified if she realised what was happening.

If it is stress then she needs help and maybe medication to sort this out for her and she certainly does not need the added stress of childminding whilst she is unwell. No one should be left to deal with stress.

As you seem to be the only one with concerns it is going to be difficult for you, if you try for help you will be going against the others and this could cause you problems but what ever is causing these symptoms she needs some help.

Please use the forum for help and advice, you are having a difficult time and well done for airing your concerns to the family, even if at the moment your concerns are falling on deaf ears.
 

Grable

Registered User
May 19, 2015
175
I agree with Jaymor wholeheartedly. Because you seem to be the only one accepting that this could be dementia (and from the sound of things, you could be right), I would actually tackle this from a 'stress' stance. Could you suggest to the lady that she should have a checkup with the doctor, particularly as she is a carer? Or maybe to the other family members that, as she is obviously under stress, she should have an interview about it with her doctor? When my mum first went to the doctor, I sent him an email beforehand outlining my concerns- but asked him, if possible, to keep the fact that I had done so under his hat, which he did. Could you do something similar?

Another thing you could do is to mention your concerns to Social Services, if you think the situation with the kids is dangerous. I think that kind of thing can be done confidentially, too, to prevent 'rocking the family boat'.

I feel for you and your family's situation. It may be that people rely on her for childcare - but how would everybody feel if the worst happened, be it caused by stress or dementia?
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,231
Yorkshire
Hi Rachprey
and a warm welcome to TP - glad you've found the forum as it's always a good place to come and chat things over
Thoughtful responses from Jaymor and Grable, so I don't have much to add really.
I wonder whether you are in the position to visit her when she is child minding her grandchild - as a relative, I don't suppose you'd need much of an excuse to pop in. Then you can sit with a coffee and just watch how things are - how she interacts with her grandchild, what she does and doesn't do around the house. It may set your mind at rest or show up specific concerns to chat over with your family.
Best wishes.
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,824
UK
Think you should spend an hour or two with her while she is child minding and observe what's going on, try not to offer help. If it is dementia something will be amiss while you are there and any potential danger to the child you will see and be able to report back to family. Sounds horrible, but seems like the only way you are going to get rest of family on side is to open their eyes to how dangerous the environment is for the child.