VD - is this behaviour unusual

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by blackburn, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. blackburn

    blackburn Registered User

    Feb 20, 2007
    17
    North East
    #1 blackburn, Feb 21, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2007
    Hello Everybody

    I posted a reply to a different thread yesterday but it seems I should have started a new thread, so here goes. Hope somebody can help

    I have been aware for some time that my mother was suffering from dementia. However, I was officially informed last night that my mother is suffering from Vascular Dementia. I find it very difficult to understand how she must be feeling. She keeps saying she is confused, but she seems to understand she has a problem. She can read, tell the time, tell me what everything is in the room, she recognises everyone and everthing. In fact she seems her usual intelligent self. She just keeps saying things like if I am confused that is not ............ (she will point to something and tell me what it is). Her only problem is her memory. Some days she can remember what happened a few days ago, but then the next day that memory has gone.

    I now find that she has to be coaxed to do everything including taking her daily medication.

    Does anyone else share this experience.

    It helps to be able to share these questions with others.

    Isabel
     
  2. kazlou

    kazlou Registered User

    Feb 3, 2006
    75
    Surrey
    Hi Isabel,

    My Mother has mixed dementia Vascular & Alzheimer's She was finally diagnosed about 9 months ago, but had started approx 3-5 years ago.
    She is confused and forgets to take her medication, to wash, bathe, can't complete a task like making a cup of tea or a meal.
    She also imagines things which I find very difficult to handle.
    Some day's she is my old Mum but other day's she's a very confused, rude aggressive Mum.
    All I can say to you is to take each day as it comes.

    kazlou.
     
  3. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    18,972
    Derbyshire
    Is this unusual behaviour

    Hello: No I do not think it is unusual behaviour. My husband has mixed dementia and in many ways he is aware of his problem and confusions, although he is not aware of how bad he really is. Yes my husband reads, albeit the same books time and time again. His memory is dreadful and that varies between short term and long term. You say your mother tells the time, strangely my husband sees the clock differently - 10 to 4 may to him be 20 past 10!! That also proves he has no concept of the time of day. Along with his memory and confusion, his other problem is mobility.

    I am sure you will get other replies but you will find that although the underlying symptoms are similar, each case may follow a different pattern.. As I understand it with Vas.D it goes down in steps whereas with Alz. it tends to be a steady downhill slide.
    Best wishes Beckyjan :( :(
     
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,418
    Hi Isabel

    My mother has stroke induced dementia, which roughly comes under the vascular dementia heading (I cannot get used to saying "my mother has VD": it's fine, it's accurate, it's just not possible to get my head around it - I think I'm going to call it VID = vascular induced dementia). :)

    Anyway, there is no doubt that my mother has good parts and bad parts when it comes to remembering, and those can shift on a day to day basis. I would say she has no short term memory, and then suddenly, she can remember certain things. She can still hold an intelligent conversation, and the only reason that she doesn't always beat me at scrabble now is because 1) the stroke damaged her eyesight and 2) she'll doze off in the middle of a game. In fact, she is a master when it comes to hiding her deficeits, which can cause its own unique problems, particularly when dealing with health professionals. She has always been squeamish when it comes to her (or anyone elses) health issues, so she is unwilling to discuss how she feels. There have been occasions, however, when frustration has caused her to ask "why I am I like this?" at which point I explain that she's 89 and has had 3 strokes. Her response normally is "Really? Well no wonder". About the best description I've been able to get from her is "fuzzy", In fact, from the outside looking in, much of her life is spent in a "waking dream" (which bearing in mind how much she sleeps is not surprising), and those lucid periods she experiences are times when she is, in fact awake. Not scientific at all, I know.

    The problem I have seen with VID is that there are very specific parts of the brain damaged, with other parts essentially untouched: it's not as generalized as something like AD.

    I don't know if that's any help.

    Jennifer
     
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,656
    Kent
    Dear Isabel. My husband is thought to have Alzheimers, but it could poosibly be VID [thanks Jennifer] induced by diabetes, so we don`t really know.

    He still reads the papers every day, the Guardian and the Express, unless he`s having a really low day. He watches TV, political programmes and sport, mainly, and has no trouble telling the time. There is no way he would be able to organize his own medication. He even forgets he has eaten.

    But he complains of `wooly` heads , feeling dizzy or having a net curtain over his eyes. He repeatedly asks the same questions, and can`t find things.

    There are so many similarities and then many differences, that`s why it helps so much to have TP, to enable us to compare notes.

    Keep posting Isabel. Your experiences are valuable too. Love Sylvia x
     
  6. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    My Mum also has vascular dementia and complains of the "fog" in her room and how dark it is. She can have a reasonably lucid conversation and then talk about the "other people" in the room or the "other beds" in the room, which do not exist. Her perception is confused and she speaks about the curtains being ripped to pieces and the doors changing positions. I don't know whether she is dreaming, getting confused or hallucinating, but I find visiting her is a strange and surreal experience. Sometimes I feel as if I'm going mad!
    Mum knows she gets muddled, which makes everything seem worse and she actually relives her past memories as if she is in a different time zone. She remembers past events as if they happened yesterday and forgets present day incidents as if they happened years ago. She is sensitive to other people's moods and body language and is still the same person, not aggressive or selfish, but simply living in a parallel world to everyone else apart from her friend. They chatter away to each other and it all seems like nonsense to an outsider.
    At home, Mum had lost track of time and had meals at weird times, so her medication was taken incorrectly. She was better in a care home because of their routine, but after breaking her hip she had to go into a nursing home.Her decline is not gradual but stepped, so she can suddenly change for the worse and then improve a little. It is difficult to adjust quickly enough sometimes. I think she is reasonably content in the home.
    Kayla
     
  7. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    My Mother suffered from VD and died age 90 last Nov

    Its clear now her 1st mini stroke was 5 yrs ago but despite myself and sister and paramedics saying this the hospital doctors denied it

    She had more incidents none of which had any dramatic effect although 2 yrs ago she would say

    "oh my brain" but would be very very argumentative and varied dramatically from one day to the next
    This progressed to her being unable to remember names of plants etc ,having no interest in anything especially others

    She then stopped paying bills and lost all ability with money yet would swear it was the rest of the world that was mad not her

    She slept half the day and woke up at 10 pm and would phone up saying "its dark here is it dark where you are " or claiming the TV etc would not work

    All of this varied from day to day and week to week and what was realy scary was it was July 2006 before DVLA stopped her driving
     
  8. blackburn

    blackburn Registered User

    Feb 20, 2007
    17
    North East
    :) Thanks for all the helpful replies. I can certainly understand that you have to take each day at a time. I never know how she is going to be when I go to see her.

    She is presently in a centre for promoting independence to see how she can cope with everyday living, but I know in my heart of hearts that for her safety she is going to have to go into a care/nursing home. That is going to be my next big decision and as I have no experience of anything like this, I just don't know where to start.

    Once again thanks for the replies.

    Isabel:)
     
  9. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    Dear Blackburn,
    If you are having to consider residential care for your mother, one thing to look for would be a home which could cope with a variety of needs. My Mum settled down really well in a local family run Care Home and she was very happy there. Unfortunately, when she broke her hip and needed nursing care, they weren't registered for this and Mum had to move into a different Home for the Elderly with nursing and EMI. This really distressed her and it has taken months for her to settle down there.
    There are so many things to consider that ot os hard to know where to start, but the recommendation of other families is probably the most helpful. It is the unpredictability of vascular dementia that makes caring so difficult and distressing, and the transition from home to Care Home is very hard.
    Kayla
     
  10. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    542
    Hello Blackburn

    I'm with Jenniferpa on the VD :) VID front. My mum also has VaD and fits into a lot of the descriptions the others have mentioned. She sometimes feels dizzy, repeats a lot (on the phone or when anxious). Is sometimes her old self and then ... most definitely NOT!:mad: She lives on her own and although I've thought about the longer term, it's impossible to judge. Like Jenniferpa said, VaD isn't as generalised as AD. The problem I have with trying to obtain any help with/for mum - and I think this will apply when we reach a point when she can't cope - is that she presents very well to the professionals. And in her lucid moments is utterly convinced that there isn't anything wrong with her, so what am I trying to do, but, in her words: "interfere with her life?" !

    I hope you don't have to make your 'next big decision' too soon.

    With best wishes.
     

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