Symptoms

Dougie

Registered User
Aug 7, 2006
1
Epsom Surrey
My mother 73 has recently been admitted to hospital with what we are advised is vascular dementia.
Her behaviour has become very very agitated and confused - she is trying to escape all the time and cannot string a coherent sentence togther.
The symptoms came on very very quickly - although she was having memory loss
for some time - her decline over the past two months has been very severe.
Is this common ? and how long does this last and what is the next stage?
I know each case is different but if any one has similar experiences I would
very much like to hear from them.
thanks
 

Áine

Registered User
Feb 22, 2006
994
sort of north east ish
long as a piece of string

hi dougie

people seem to vary tremendously. my dad went downhill so fast I could hardly believe. when he went into the nursing home in march this year he was about the most able person on the unit. but he declined very rapidly, whilst many of the others remain (apparently) the same.

it's natural to want to know what next and how long it takes .... but unfortunately there just aren't any reliable answers. stay around TP and there will be support for you whatever is happening.

hugs
Áine
 

Kayla

Registered User
May 14, 2006
621
Kent
My Mum also has vascular dementia, but she was well enough to live in an ordinary Care Home until she broke her hip. The operation and trauma must have made things a lot worse. She is now in a Nursing Home, unable to walk. She is 81 and also has rheumatoid arthritis. She was living in her own home until the end of June last year, but was becoming unsteady on her feet. Over two or three years Mum has lost weight and generally gone downhill.
Kayla
 

drummer-john

Registered User
Apr 29, 2005
18
71
Leeds
Hi Dougie

My partner Brenda has got AD, not vascular dementia, but she went very rapidly downhill last month - confused and agitated, convinced I was trying to kill her, and asking everyone who'd listen to try to help her escape. She couldn't string a sentence together either, and her hands began to shake uncontrollably. She was prescribed a low dose of amisulpride a couple of weeks ago and the change has been miraculous - she's back to how she was 2 months ago and all the bad symptoms have gone.

It sounds like your mother may need her medication reviewing - maybe our experience can give you hope?

regards
John
 

dmc

Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
1,157
hi dougie,

my mum was diagnosed in february this year and from christmas till then she was like your mum it took a while to get medication that suited her but once they found the right combination things did improve enough for her to come home
like drummer-john said i would look at getting her medication reviewed as it may need adjusting
take care x
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
Dougie

My Mother is 90 although she tells everyone she is 100 but she has gone downhill rapidly since Xmas and even more so in last 6 weeks

She tried to hit me on Sunday and told all manner of lies
Its been a guessing game as to what she was talking about for months
She has forgotten the names / words for so many things

Gets really nasty if you say "sorry but I do not understand what you are talking about " and if you say Mother ,,,,,,,,,,,,,she gets really nasty and says in a crazy voice mother mother mother mother

she is like a decrepid old witch then
Yet in the next breath she seems "lucid" and you honestly start to wonder if you are dreaming it all
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Dougie said:
My mother 73 has recently been admitted to hospital with what we are advised is vascular dementia.
Hi, Dougie, my mum is 74 and 'suggested diagnosis' is primarily (for now) Vascular dementia.... AD, LBD mooted... 'mix' the latest thoughts.... I think the biggest lesson I've learnt through being on TP is to keep open minded - about any diagnosis - about prognosis (or perhaps, more importantly, the lack of it which makes this disease so distinct from so many others for both sufferers and carers, I believe) - it's a tough, tough call but there's an amazing amount of support here....

Love and best wishes, Karen, (TF), x
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
My Mother (89) also has vascular dementia (probably) caused by several strokes. As I understand it, Vascular Dementia does result in such downward lurches in capability, because it is the result of mini-strokes (that may not show up on scans). Other have mentioned medication, but I should point out that there are no medications licensed in the UK for vascular dementia (as opposed to AD). Do make sure, though, that they have checked her for underlying infections (particularly UTI's) since they can cause increased confusion in the elderly.

Jennifer
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Helena said:
she is like a decrepid old witch
Helena, you know I have many sympathies/empathies with you but I feel it is time to 'declare' publicly that your problems with your relationship with your mother are better suited to either private messaging to those of us who may understand or to other forums....

I have had a very up-lifting day today which I hoped to be able to share very positively here for others....

I am becoming tired of being 'assaulted' by your negativity about your own personal situation..... if you want help and to share help, fine, - if you are just out to broadcast doom and gloom then find a more appropriate channel for your anger, please!

There! I've said it - and may get booted off this forum myself, but it has to be said....

Most of all Helena, I am concerned for you .. to have so much unresolved anger and bitterness does not make for a carer............. for yourself, let alone anyone else who needs you....

Sorry, all, just had to say that.

Karen (TF), x
 

Áine

Registered User
Feb 22, 2006
994
sort of north east ish
Helena said:
she is like a decrepid old witch then
Yet in the next breath she seems "lucid" and you honestly start to wonder if you are dreaming it all
it's terribly confusing isn't it ........... never know what to expect or what to make of people from one minute to the next. it becomes the stuff of nightmares. it's so difficult to follow even for someone who comes neutral to the situation ..... but for those of us with whatever postive or negative baggage to start with it becomes even more twisted and skewed. :eek:
 

daughter

Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
824
Helena, I'm sorry your Mother tried to hit you, it sounds like yet another of those dementia-related behaviours that are so difficult to cope with.The nastiness and crazy voice too - it can all be very frightening for friends and relatives.
Helena said:
"sorry but I do not understand what you are talking about "
Following most of your posts, it sounds to me that your Mother, (whether you liked her in the past or not and whether she was a nice person or not), has gone beyond the point of being to blame for most of her actions, and cannot be reasoned with in the normal way. I would not think that she is 'lying', in the way that we think of lying - her reality has changed and what she says is probably what she believes to be true.

In your Additional Information, you say that your "Interest in Alzheimer's Talking Point" is "trying to make sense of my mothers problems".

If you try to make sense in the normal meaning of "sense", it will not make sense. Yes, I know that's double-dutch, but if you think about it, your Mother is actually 'just' another human being with dementia. Her personality may still be there, (good and/or bad), but most of her behaviours you describe here on TP seem typical to me of someone suffering, and not of someone deliberately trying to make life difficult for everyone else. This is only my opinion, of course, learnt through the experience of seeing my Dad behaving in similar ways, I am not at the 'sharp' end of course. I genuinely hope this helps in some way.
 

Áine

Registered User
Feb 22, 2006
994
sort of north east ish
daughter said:
Her personality may still be there, (good and/or bad), but most of her behaviours you describe here on TP seem typical to me of someone suffering, and not of someone deliberately trying to make life difficult for everyone else.
I can see what you're saying daughter, and I think it's an important point to make and to keep remembering in our relating to parents with dementia. However, I also think it's easier to keep in mind if they "symptoms" are very different from the previous "personality" ....... No doubt it's very painful to experience a parent who was previously very loving become aggressive, or one who was very interested and engaged in relationships with others become detached and indifferent to them. It's a different sort of struggle when the unpleasant "symptoms" of dementia are very similar to the person's previous personality.

Thankfully my father was never "nasty" to me either before or after dementia, so I haven't the experience that I think Helena is talking about. Nevertheless, my dad as I've experienced him all through my life has seemed quite unable to relate to others, unable to make sense of situations, unable to understand a different point of view. And his dementia made him more like that. He became increasingly narrow in his thinking, less able to relate to others, more lost in his own little world. Because in many ways the symptoms of dementia were so like he'd always been, he probably started having problems much sooner than I took notice of (and I'll always feel guilty for that, whilst realising too that hindsight is a wonderful thing). Which leaves us with a dilemma of what point it stops being personality and the person's responsibility, and what point it becomes symptoms of an illness that the person cannot be held responsible for. There were times when dad was quite paranoid, thinking the worst of everyone and everything, and i'm sure they were either symptoms of dementia, or reactions to the medication he was on. BUT some of that was so like how my mother had been and had sometimes influenced him to be, that I really really struggled on visits when he was being like that.

I think perhaps we need to be wary of being too negative about our loved ones/parents here, but at the same time I feel that TP should be a space where it's OK to express negative feelings about the people they are caring for.
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
Thanks all

When you are a person like me who sees things as either Black or White with no grey in between mainly because you have been jerked around by lies and half truths from another family member it is indeed exceptionally hard to deal with the way my Mother is now

I can always prove everything i say .........and the immense frustration in me having to hear all the rubbish she is spouting is just too much

To have her go to hit me because she did not like it because i said " I do not understand what you are saying " was equally too much

Its also exceptionally hard to decipher what is dementia talking and what is not when it comes to my Mother although reading Aines piece its highly likely that my Mothers strident , narrow , views and disinterest in other peoples problems has actually been the unrecognised start of dementia

In this regard I feel that even the Alzheimers Society pages on Vascular Dementia simply do not tell or recognise the full picture that so many of us can impart
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Helena, I couldn't agree more with Áine about being able to express our negative feelings here ... about our 'loved ones' (or sometimes 'not so loved ones'!) - our perceptions of failings in the government, the NHS whatever..... this IS a place to vent... surely? and what we all need to do from time to time..... and I have certainly done my fair share of that! (but there are times to celebrate and share too!!!)

What I loved about your last post on this thread was that you have shown publicly - some of your vulnerabilty and your struggles and some of your own self-perception .... I would never break 'confidences' given to me in PMs by anybody ... but I would urge you to share a little more of yourself in order for people to understand you - and therefore perhaps feel more able to help you - a little better - not just the 'angst' and anger that comes across so strongly..... (but could be so well understood).....

I love the 'black and white' :) ... me, more 'red' - as in rag to .......:eek: ;)

Right, this thread started out with Dougie asking for help/info.... I hope 'new people' here recognise that sometimes threads start off on one point and meander ... (took me a while to get the hang of THAT one!!!:rolleyes: ) but the help and answers (as far as there are any!) do come eventually....

Dougie, how are things today?

Love, Karen (TF), x

PS: Thanks Daughter! That double-dutch philosophy makes abolutely no sense at all - which makes perfect sense... if you get my double dutch meaning.....!!!:)
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
Oh I can be red with Anger too Tender Face especially when faced with downright stupidity and red tape from Government Departments and obstinate companies

I can run rings round their nonsense until they refuse to answer because to do so would land them with a law suit

You just watch me take on NHS if they deny my Mother continuing care funding if we ever get her into a home