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Vascular dementia deterioation .

JeanT

New member
Jun 1, 2020
2
My mum was diagnosed in December last year, she lives with me and has done for just over 2 years since my dad passed away. Although she did not seem to have dementia then her memory has deterioated and I took her to be assessed last year Over Christmas was really he first time ever I accepted a little help with respite for a week in January and a sitting service once a week and also found a lovely day centre that she started going to about 3 weeks before the Coronavirus happened, my sister also took a day off once a fortnight to help and came round in the evenings now and again . Now everything has come to a stop and no-one can visit as my mum also shields due to COPD. This is having a terrible impact on her and me. I know that lack of stimulation is not helping,I try and get her doing things but she is limited as to what she can do. The last few nights have been a nightmare , trying to get out the house, shouting at me, calling for help, looking for her mum & dad. Does the dementia get worse as quick as this , the episodes seem to be getting more and more and are lasting for longer and longer. Mum used to be quite good in the mornings but is even confused when she gets up. I did take her out today for the first time in 10 weeks so I am hoping that helps.Anyone else having these problems, is it the dementia progressing.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
706
Hello @JeanT. Welcome to the forum. My mother has vascular dementia and I looked after her for two years while she was able to live in her own flat after Dad died. Firstly, well done for looking after your mum. It is really hard, so give yourself a pat on the back. When you say nights, do you mean nights or evenings? Your mum may be sun downing in the evening, which can cause a huge increase in agitation and there is lots of advice on here if you type in sundowning into the search bar. If your mum is getting very agitated during the night, she may be waking up not knowing where she is. Putting familiar things by the bed, perhaps a radio with music softly playing overnight, even a teddy bear can help comfort.

Is there any sign that your mum may have a urine infection? Is she clutching herself, needing to wee more? This can make confusion massively worse. My mum is delirious with urine infections. Not always easy to get a sample but worth getting one to your mum's GP as soon as you can if this change has come on suddenly. Keep posting. We are listening!
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,870
Hi @JeanT and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. You'll find lots of help, support and advice here.
It sounds like your mum is sundowning, wanting to go home to mum and dad is very common. Also with vascular dementia it tends to go in steps, so she could have had a bit of a downturn. Having said that, the current situation doesn't help, specially as she is not going out to her Day Centre or seeing your sister. Now things have eased a bit, can your sister at least come round and have a socially distanced chat, or would that just confuse your mum.
I don't know if you've seen this thread Compassionate Communication. It might help give you some ideas when your mum is getting very muddled and confused.
I'm sure someone else will be along with some more ideas shortly. My mother has vascular dementia, but she lived independently till she went into a home, so the issues I faced were not quite the same as those you are having.
 

JeanT

New member
Jun 1, 2020
2
Hello @JeanT. Welcome to the forum. My mother has vascular dementia and I looked after her for two years while she was able to live in her own flat after Dad died. Firstly, well done for looking after your mum. It is really hard, so give yourself a pat on the back. When you say nights, do you mean nights or evenings? Your mum may be sun downing in the evening, which can cause a huge increase in agitation and there is lots of advice on here if you type in sundowning into the search bar. If your mum is getting very agitated during the night, she may be waking up not knowing where she is. Putting familiar things by the bed, perhaps a radio with music softly playing overnight, even a teddy bear can help comfort.

Is there any sign that your mum may have a urine infection? Is she clutching herself, needing to wee more? This can make confusion massively worse. My mum is delirious with urine infections. Not always easy to get a sample but worth getting one to your mum's GP as soon as you can if this change has come on suddenly. Keep posting. We are listening!
HI She does start getting a little agitated around the 4pm-5pm time but not every day and if I can get her to do something like a puzzle or help with prepping dinner it can pass, not all the time. Seems the worst time now is after 8pm, she starts packing all her bits and pieces in her bags ready to go home, sometimes I can talk her round other times she is very loud, shouting and heading for the front door. When she does eventually go to bed after a little while the shouting and the walking around can start, I can be up 3 or 4 times in 2 hours to get her back to bed. Then she wakes at around 4.30am gets dressed ready to come downstairs. Sometimes I can get her to go back to bed other times no so I am up. No she doen't have a urine infection. This seems to be the pattern now. I can have a few days of normality as such but then she starts these episodes and each time they seem to be worse.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
706
I wonder if your mum's medication can be tweaked. My mum's medication has been changed many times over the past three years whilst in care. She has had a lots of unsettled periods, to put it mildly and I did have to move her two years ago to a specialist dementia home where they are experienced with "challenging behaviour". Have you mentioned it to her GP? Vascular dementia does seem to change in sudden steps. A low dose Mirtazapine may help if your mum is not already taking it at night.