1. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    542
    My 74-yr old mum is showing signs of dementia. I first noticed it in March this year and since then she has deteriorated. She lives 170 miles away and I'm finding it difficult to know what to do. I wrote to her GP who eventually called me back at work but couldn't say much (understandably) because of confidentiality and spoke in very general terms. I've been with her to the doctor's about other health problems which she had to ensure that she was clear about what tablets she needed to take and when. I touched on her forgetfulness but mum got very prickly about this. In the past she's blamed me for her forgetting and became quite aggressive. She's fairly independent. She has a partner, but doesn't live with him and he too is finding it a strain to cope with her. I speak to her every day, some days she sounds OK and others depressed and fed up. I become very emotional when trying to articulate all this to her doctor and on first appearances, mum comes over very well, which makes it even more difficult! I suppose the hardest thing is me accepting that my mum is getting older and the once vibrant woman is disappearing before my eyes. Anybody any ideas, suggestions about what I should do next? :)
     
  2. Rosalind

    Rosalind Registered User

    Jul 2, 2005
    203
    Wiltshire
    Welcome Natalie

    It would probably help if you wrote down all your concerns, with examples of behaviour and forgetfulness, perhaps in conjunction with your mum's partner, and got that to her GP, as that way it will get on her file. She probably behaves like my husband, who 'presents well' in medic speak, so people do not immediately realise there is a problem. Then next time you have a reason to go with her to the doctor they should, if warned, be able to come up with some story about doing a general check up, and get some memory testing in without you seeming to raise it.

    Good luck

    Rosalind
     
  3. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    542
    #3 Lucille, Sep 10, 2005
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2007
    Thank you, Rosalind, that's useful. One of the doctor's she saw put it down to old age and brushed it aside. Perhaps cold hard facts are what's needed now.
     
  4. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    391
    Hello Natalie, We were in very similar circumstances with my Mum, 72, with very poor memory and unable to cope when Dad died late 2004. Mum was insisting there was no need to see her GP, and also became very prickly at the mere mention of it. I wrote to the GP, with examples of what was happening,and the GP phoned me to say there was little he could do without her going in to see him. To please me, Mum finally agreed (though we had to bully her a little, and perhaps told her a little white lie here and there) and we saw the GP together who ran through a short memory test with her. This was sufficiently low for her to be referred on and it all went from there. I felt awful at the time, bullying Mum into doing things she didn't want, or seeing people she didn't want to, but found that Mum always quickly forgot what was happening day to day, so there was never any problem. Looking back, I don't think that she was fully understanding what was happening. Like your Mum, she comes across as very normal to the casual observer, so it was very difficult. Now, I am pleased we insisted that she see the GP because she has been prescribed Aricept for her early stage dementia, and this has really helped her to manage better.
    I know what you mean, watching someone disappear in front of your very eyes, and really feel for you. I shall think of you. The people on this site are wonderful.
     
  5. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    542
    Thank you, Lulu. You sound like your mum was at the same stage as my mum is now. I have just been talking to her and she sounded fine (albeit repeating things a few times), but it's the longer term situation I worry about and, the fact I'm so far away. People take advantage of others when they are sound in mind and body and I just want to look out for now she's becoming more vulnerable. I will draft a letter to the doctor and take it from there. Thanks so much, I am finding this site a great comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one having to deal with this. I will post again when I have some news (or if I need some reassurance!). I guess the worse thing is I feel like I'm going behind her back; she's a feisty old bird and would give me a right tongue lashing if she knew ... that's why I love her, I suppose! :)
     
  6. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    391
    Natalie, I know exactly how you feel because I too felt like a traitor, letting her down when I should have been protecting her, but now I realise that writing to her GP and all that followed was protecting her as she was fortunate that the tablets helped her function better. From the position we're in now, I can tell you that you're doing the right things. Shall think of you. Good luck.
     

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