Suspected Dementia? Late 40s

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by Jamie94, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. Jamie94

    Jamie94 New member

    Apr 4, 2018

    My name is Jamie, I’m 24 and looking for some advice.

    My family and I are becoming increasingly concerned with the signs my mother seems to be displaying at the age of 47. Her mother (my Nan) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s around the age of 55 and lived with it until until she died in 2016 at the age of 77. My mother is showing some of the same signs her mother did before she was diagnosed and during the last year we’ve all noticed these signs are displaying themselves more frequently.

    She has became quite distant from conversation and doesn’t seem to be reigestering things we’re talking about. We’ll often be talking about one topic and she’ll start rambling about something completely different, then switch back to the previous topic after we’ve moved on. She’s also on a few occasions started walking past the house and forgetting where we live, as well as walking past the car. It’s also become increasingly common for her to blank anyone calling her, for example, if I’m calling “Mam” from the other room, she just doesn’t register it. I have to physically go in the other room and stand next to her for her to register me.

    She’s also started having trouble spelling some of the common things she’d normally write on a shopping list and spelling people’s names correctly. Recently, she was also at a cash point and after withdrawing her money out she just stood there. My Dad asked her what the problem was from a distance and she just said “I don’t know, I was in a world of my own”. We’ve also had to start going with her to pay for things to make sure she doesn’t get flustered. Her communication with people, both out and about and to family and friends has declined. She doesn’t seem to be greeting people as she used to, she just starts off a conversation in the middle of a story and we have to work out what the conversation is about. She’s also started doing this shaking with her body when she’s watching tv. She just seems to become so fixated on what she’s watching and then sits there and rubs the palms of her hands back and forth whilst shaking her upper body from side to side. It’s something that I’m told my Nan did once she was diagnosed and its not something that she has always done.

    Today, my Dad and her cooked everyone Sunday lunch and she put out a plate for my brother, my Dad explained that my brother wasn’t going to be here for dinner and was going round to his girlfriends house. She still proceeded to put out a dinner for him and my dad said my brother won’t end up eating it so there’s no point in doing one. She ignored him and did it anyway. As we sat down to dinner she said “who’s the other plate for?” and my Dad has to explain that she did it for my brother.

    It’s all these things and her recent snappy behaviour that has made us think she may have early onset dementia just like my Nan did. Do these things sound like dementia? We want to try and talk to her about it all and try and convince her to take the step and go and see her GP. Does anyone have any advice on how to do this? What is normally the first step a GP will take?

    Sorry for rambling on, I just wanted to give an overview of some the things my mother does that is making us so concerned.

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    Welcome to TP, Jamie. Sorry your mum is giving your family cause for concern. There can be many causes of memory and cognitive problems including stress and vitamin B12 deficiency, but it is always best to get it checked and know what you are dealing with. My OH was diagnosed as part of routine follow up to a stroke, so can't comment from personal experience. These links may help you understand the process and how to get diagnosis, but others will always be around to give you better guidance.
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Hello @Jamie94 and welcome to Talking Point.

    I think the best thing is if you write a letter to your mums GP outlining your concerns - just as you have done on here. Be sure to mention about her mum being diagnosed with Alzheimers at the age of 55. The GP would want to check for other things (like vitamin deficiency) with blood tests and then probably refer your mum on to the memory clinic. The memory would probably want to do an MRI scan before making a diagnosis. Lots of people with dementia are resistant to having check ups, so you might have to get her there by stealth. Some GPs are open to the idea of inviting them to a "well woman" clinic ;) and just doing the other things as part of it.
  4. Daffy123

    Daffy123 Registered User

    Feb 1, 2018
    It is also worth googling menopause and memory fog. Women can get terrible memory issues towards the change.
  5. El31

    El31 Registered User

    May 21, 2018
    Hi Jamie, I’m sorry to hear you’re going through all of this.
    I’m 32 and my mum is 69 but I have noticed all these changes in her as well,not necessarily memory loss but behaviour, she comes across rude and will often walk away from people mid conversation., we will be out for dinner and everyone is laughing and she is just sat there looking blankly. she can’t sequence tasks like she used to so I have to always take over cooking if I’m there and she has weird obsessions over things.. anyway the docs think she has vascular dementia but we are off to memory clinic on Thursday for more tests.
    Your mum is so young, it must be really tough.. is it worth you telling her you are concerned, she will have been through the same with her mum and will probably mum went through blood tests first to rule everything else out.. worth getting her to her GP x
  6. SaraKate

    SaraKate Registered User

    Dec 29, 2018
    Hi Jamie, Im glad you've found your way to this site where there are some very experienced carers and site hosts. I'm new here too but all I would say is your first point of call is your Mum's GP, who is almost certain to consider one of the many many forms of dementia in a diagnosis of the behaviours your Mum is presenting. A short list of all the things you've observed with dates of when they developed will help ensure the GP sees the seriousness of these issues. If her GP does not discuss tests for dementias you can make sure she sees another one in the practice, or gets a second opinion. Hopefully she will know that something is wrong and agree to see a doctor, if she does not, many carers on this site talk of 'white lies' to make sure that people whose judgement is impaired still get the help they need. The wellness clinic would be a good one.
    Personally, this is very hard for you, I am so sorry that you should have to face this when you are so young yourself. Obviously you are thoughtful and caring, I hope you can learn to be resilient too. This is a hard knock, very best of luck, and do stay in touch.

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