1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Hi everyone

    Mum has had another 'bad turn' this evening in the care home. One of the staff arriving for duty did apparently comment to the others that 'Jackie doesn't seem quite herself', but given that she has off days - like everyone! - it wasn't thought to be particularly alarming. Then at 8-ish, one of the staff took her a snack and cup of tea, and found her clinging to the door handle saying she couldn't move. Next minute she collapsed on the floor and complained of feeling very sick. Given this was a near repeat of an episode in December when she wound up in hospital for a week), the paramedics were summoned - they can find nothing wrong, and have made her comfy and put her to bed. One of the staff is staying with her overnight to monitor and we're on standby on the phone if need be.

    Could these episodes - collapses and nausea - be further TIAs? Hospital tests in December found no physical problems at all (she was tested for *everything*), but she has definitely been 'a step or two down' since then, although her mood has slowly perked up. She also seems to be much more confused, sleeping much more, and much more forgetful of the outside world (my Dad and her former house and neighbours seemed to have escaped her altogether now). She's also noticeably struggling to put sentences together and getting a lot of the words wrong, although her mood seems generally fairly calm.

    Any experiences or insights welcome - I'm not feeling particularly distressed (I'm now able to accept that we are probably at 'the beginning of the final chapter(s)') - but interested in others have similar experiences they have observed.

    Dave
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417
    Dave, my mother occasionally had bad days but for her they normally involved sleeping for 23 out of 24 hours. We never (with one exception) saw whatever precipitated these but speculated that it was either a TIA or a seizure. There was certainly something because after a day or so she would be fine (well fine as she ever was).
     
  3. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    1,314
    Hi Dave,

    My mum has episodes that cause her to fall asleep at anytime, during meals under the shower etc. I have being told that these are TIA's each time this happens when mum wakes she is quite clueless and her speech is incoherent.

    I also noticed that after each episode mum is left with less ability. Mum also has problems with her words and at times they just seem to run into each other.

    This is very reassuring where mum is the best you could hope for is a two hourly check.

    Regards Taffy.
     
  4. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    Hi Dave

    I hate to say it but these sound suspisciously like some of Mum's incidents which are put down to TIAs. The only way to tell for sure is for repeated brain scans but given that we know from her first scan that this is what is happening we have not bothered.

    She is currently having them at least 2-3 times a week, but generally in the fall asleep format and slurring and tilting when she comes too. She has fallen, been sick, lost consciousness, and appears at times to have lost sensation but she cannot tell us any longer.

    In the beginning her TIAs were so mild that they caused damage before anyone realised that they were happening. Looking back she generally got a headache (mild) and a runny nose!!!!

    It jsut depends where in the brain they happen.

    However viruses can mimic the symptoms of illness followed by recovery but you would be unlikely to see a permanent deficit as the TIAs cause.

    The damage caused by them becomes more apparent over time as the brain's capacity for dealing with them and re-routing messages reduces.

    Mameeskye
     
  5. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Dear Dave, sorry to read about mum's recent decline, and it does sound as if it could be down to TIAs.

    I, too, have adopted the same thinking:
    and I hope that you can stay as balanced.

    Think Mammenskye has given the best description I have read, about effects of TIAs:

    The damage caused by them becomes more apparent over time as the brain's capacity for dealing with them and re-routing messages reduces

    Take care now,
     
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Excellent description

    Hi Connie - lovely to 'see you'

    And that is a very good description. David, my partner, said after a recent visit it was like visiting a little girl who wanted to stay up and talk with us but was just too tired to focus or get the words out straight, which described Mum very well too. Without wishing to sound rude or cruel, it's almost like watching a toy whose clockwork or batteries are almost out of juice and whose functions get more limited and erratic as the power fades away.

    Spoke to the home this morning, and Mum slept peacefully in a chair last night and has eaten a little breakfast this morning - she seems tired and a bit groggy, but otherwise ok, so they're going to let her rest as much as possible.

    I'm so glad that, while she's declining, she's declining into a peaceful mood and state: even when she's at her most confused (and she was utterly out to lunch while she was in hospital, talking about having walked to France in the night, and all the gypsies who came into the room and played football at night), she doesn't seem agitated about things, just quietly mystified by them. The rages and distress of the earlier stages were so much harder to bear than this, as there was nothing you could do to quieten them. Now, though it's so sad to see her as she now is, I'm enjoying visiting. She mostly knows who we are - some days she only knows she knows us, but that'll do for me - and she's always glad to see us. (If only she'd been like that for more of the previous 76 years, eh? :))

    Staying calm, and taking good care (and being taken good care of) - I hope you are too.

    Dave
     
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,677
    Kent
    Hello Dave,
    You don`t know how reassuring it is to hear that a peaceful state is possible in the later stages of dementia.
    Thank you.
    Love xx
     
  8. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Peacefulness?

    Hi Sylvia

    glad it was reassuring to read/hear. It wasn't what I would have predicted - peaceful would never have been a good adjective for her till the illness started, but it is what seems to be happening. That we've been able to 'manage' her life to minimise distress probably helps - or is that self-flattery? - but it does seem to be partly the current stage, and maybe partly at some unspoken level a degree of acceptance by her. As with so many things, it's so very hard to tell.

    But I always remember the assistant manager at Mum's home saying, when we were first visiting it to sound it out, that that stage was 'the hardest for us - and it does get easier'. We've had heart stopping moments, distressing and depressing visits like everyone else, but the mood has become slowly more peaceful and settled. It's like a turbulent sea subsiding slowly.

    If your life is as fraught as mine's been sometimes, I hope there will be more peaceful periods ahead.

    Dave
     
  9. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Graceful And Full Of Grace .... Throughout!

    Hello, Dave

    We haven't met until now, so hello to you and yours first of all.

    I just wanted to say that I like the way you describe your experiences with your Mum and your feelings about it all.

    Your David's way of talking about your visit sounds very similar to our understanding of it all: my Aunt throughout her life was the Duracell-Battery Advert Woman - go, go, go, full of energy, until slowly the battery just couldn't do it any more. She too wanted to stay up and talk and laugh and entertain and well, just ... do whatever she wanted to do ... normally walk, talk, walk, talk, walk as she always loved walking and talking!!

    But, the battery just wouldn't allow her to do it any more.

    It helped me to keep that simple thought in my mind as she slowly slowly slowly just couldn't fight any more. Much as she wanted to, and much as she tried to.

    So, you will be ok. Am certain of that. And, yes, our life too was as fraught as yours has been/may still be ... and we are just beginning to find ourselves "HEADING FOR THE LIGHT". A different light from the one we had always anticipated, but nevertheless a light.

    As you will have surmised, my Aunt is no longer with us. She was a great lady - my surrogate Mum since my own Mum died young - and she left our world as gracefully as she adorned it while alive. What more could anyone ask?

    Best wishes to you and yours,

    Love
    Katie
     
  10. jillikins

    jillikins Registered User

    Feb 25, 2008
    11
    Hi Dave,
    We`ve not spoken before, but I think my mum may have had a tia,only thought about it a few days ago,she couldn`t remember living at her previos address,even when dad took her past,a few days ago I found a home video of the kids and took it round,mum coulndn`t remember any of the children from that age and kept asking where it was taken,not even her garden could jog her memory,dad got quite upset.
    Does this happen often,we didn`t notice anything,and my sister is a speach therapist so she would have picked it up straight away.
    Something to ask the specialist about next time.
     
  11. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Hi hun.no alrm intended but,could mum be having absent seizures?does she remember asnything?it could be a possible explanation.love elainex
     
  12. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Definitely taken a step down

    Mum remembers the 'turn', although the description of is variable (as is everything else!), as it was the previous time.

    She's definitely taken a step down: we visited today and she's very tired and weak (she had to have a dozen attempts to get out of the chair to say goodbye), and even more confused (she went to ask the staff to make us a cup of tea, and couldn't remember which way to go down the corridor her room as it the end of).

    Most noticeable was her speech/language: I think she managed one actual complete, intelligible sentence in the hour ror so we were with her, and a lot of the time she was using completely the wrong words. Even what she was trying to say seemed to bear precious little relation to even her limited reality. I could tell jus trying to talk to us was wearing her out, so we stayed less long that I'd intended to. Mercifully, the staff are being extra watchful and keeping us posted every day or so.

    If the turns are going to become more frequent (she had episodes like this while in hospital two years ago), I suspect she may not survive too many more of them.

    Dave
     
  13. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Dear Dave, so sorry to read this latest news.

    What can I say - except enjoy what time you have together. She does sound as if 'life' is begining to become wearying.

    Maybe less conversation (if that tires her) and more hand massages.
    I am so glad to hear that.
    Chin up, thinking of you. Take care now.
     
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Hi Connie

    and thanks as ever for kind words. I don't think of my and Mum's tempestuous history anymore - she's a sweet, frail, vulnerable old lady who enjoys Dave and my visits, and it's a pleasure to be able to bring her some happiness.

    I hadn't thought of the hand massages, but thinksfor a great tip for the next visit (she has some nice lavendar handcream I bought her recently, and loves lavendar).

    She asked today if we could take her out sometime soon - if the weather's warm enough soon, we're going to take her to a beautiful park near the home. No need for strenuous strolling (she's agonisingly slow on her feet - 50-60 feet to the door to say goodbye took about 3 minutes), as we can sit by the lake and throw bread for the geese. Let's all pray for some spring sunshine, eh?

    And I'm ok - my chin's aloft: like I said in an earlier posting, I'm ready emotionally for whatever may come next now. Hope you - and everyone else on TP - are keeping theirs aloft too, no matter how difficult it might be some days.

    Dave
     
  15. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Dave

    Glad you're managing to keep your chin up. I'm afraid mine is uncharacteristically down at the moment.

    I'm finding this end stage so hard to deal with, possibly because I have no-one who understands -- apart from my lovely friends on TP, without whom......

    You and Dave are lucky to have each other. Together, you can face whatever may come -- as will I.

    Love,
     
  16. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    All the best Hazel

    and I hope your chin is slightly higher than when you posted (sorry, I had an early night last night and gave myself an evening off the PC too.)

    I'm not sure why I'm finding things not as hard as I did - Mum is a pretty poorly way now - except perhaps that I have become so much more used to the situation, and know that there is little more that I can do now beyond visiting, making sure everything is ok and that has everything she needs. (There doesn;t seem a lot of point trying to work out what she might want rather than need, as she no longer really has the power to think that through or communicate it). I guess I'm prepared myself for 'letting go' - if there can be a benefit to 'the long goodbye' then that is probably it.

    We bring a spot of pleasure by visiting - even though she's increasingly less sure who we are (we were both introduced to staff who know us full well anyway yesterday as 'these are my sons') - and we can check on her immediate welfare at any time and make sure that anything that can reasonably be done is actually happening.

    Don't beat yourself up in the meantime - we are all only human, and that's a strength not a failing.

    All the best, and keep posting - the great thing about TP is that we were are always here.

    Dave
     
  17. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london

    I know you say she was tested for everything , but am just wondering does * everything * included dehydration ?

    As my mother keep feeling collapsing & nausea after a fall , they done tests even thought she may has a blood clot in her brain so they done brain scan , but all was OK . Then they found out it was all down to dehydration
     
  18. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417
    Oo Maggie's reminded me of something. In their efforts to remove the fluid build up in her legs they upped my mother's diuretics with the result that her potassium and sodium levels plummeted - now that caused an increase in confusion until it was sorted out.
     
  19. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #19 Margarita, Mar 3, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
    Not sure what
    is it to do with water levels in the body ?

    As nurse doctor in hospital told me that lack of fluid intake can course confusion in the brain even with someone that does not have dementia .

    so with someone with dementia who forgets to drink , it can be worse so those symptoms of more confusion collapsing & nausea and sleeping appear more .

    I said yes and they I was thinking that it was the dementia processing , this all happen in 06 . When mum collapsed back wards in the street hitting the back of her head very bad , she was taken to hospital for check ups sent home . but keep being sick so had to take her back to the hospital that same day of sending her home , as they where worried that she may have a clot on the brain . but like I said before it turn out to be because she was very dehydrated. that why she collapsed in the first place .

    Am not saying Dave that is what happen to your mother , but am just wondering
     
  20. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417
    Because when you increase water output artificially (via diuretics) you can end up removing a disproportionate amount of soluble things like sodium and potassium.
     

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