• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Wondering how to bring up concerns with my mum

Dormouse95

New member
Oct 27, 2020
3
Hello,
I've started having some concerns about my mum but wondering about the best way to broach the subject and when. She's been mentioning worries about forgetting names and things a lot recently which wouldn't be too alarming but there have been a few weird things that make me more concerned. A couple of times she's momentarily mixed up people in my family, talking as if my cousin's Grandad was her Dad for instance. I know I should probably try and get her to discuss how worried she is herself and see if she will go to the Doctor. However, she's had quite a bit of stress recently moving to my city and leaving friends behind, and then the Covid situation. I have suffered badly from panic and anxiety myself so I know how awful that can be. I know Mum will be really alarmed and distressed to go through any diagnosis, although she is probably worrying a lot as it is. I know it is good to get an early diagnosis, but part of me wonders if it would be better to wait until it's spring/summer... Less gloomy and hopefully the Covid situation isn't so difficult so at least her brother and friends can visit to support her. She's completely normal most the time, still quite young (70) totally independent and very active.

Any advice on timing and how to discuss things sensitively would be really appreciated. I hate to think of my mum being really scared and feeling alone.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
760
I would discuss it as soon as possible.
There are conditions such as vitamin deficiency and thyroid that can cause dementia like symptoms. You need medical help to exclude them!

There are many people that have dementia themselves that use this site and I am sure they would defend their right to have the same choices as everyone else. I think it may be best to ask what your mum wants herself?

A brain scan is such a quick easy process, it may lead to being able to start medication earlier, if appropriate.

In huge parts of this planet they could only dream of the medical care we receive.
In my opinion the more dementia is able to take hold the more the chance of paranoia setting in or other barriers to diagnosis.
However if you do decide to take the slower route, then please consider getting a power of attorney ( both) done, it can make your life so much easier in the future.
 
Last edited:

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
881
Hello @Dormouse95 . As @Weasell has said, there are other conditions which can cause symptoms similar to those of dementia. Even stress itself can cause these sorts of symptoms. As your mum has already mentioned that she is worried about things, I would think it best to suggest she consults a doctor sooner rather than later. It's going to be a worry for her and for you otherwise, and that won't do either of you any good.

Perhaps you could go along to the doctor with your mum or be there on the call if it is a telephone consultation. I'm sure she will appreciate the support. Let us know how you get on.
 

Dormouse95

New member
Oct 27, 2020
3
Thanks @Weasell and @lemonbalm You're right, I should just get on with it. I've been trying to bury my head in the sand a bit. I'll try and have a low key chat and see if she's been thinking about checking things out with the Doctor.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
760
If you fail, then some people have been successful writing to the GP and listing their concerns. Then GP then asks them to attend a ‘well woman check up’.

Remember with no POA the GP must respect confidentiality.

Also beware of hostess syndrome , where the person turns into a model citizen for the duration of the interview. My mother turned into a temporary genius for the duration of the testing. I had to become persistent and annoying Weasell to progress things.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
3,034
Essex
Thanks @Weasell and @lemonbalm You're right, I should just get on with it. I've been trying to bury my head in the sand a bit. I'll try and have a low key chat and see if she's been thinking about checking things out with the Doctor.
Yes as others have said it could be something simple causing confusion such as deafness or a urine infection. However it could also be anaemia or diabetes or even a thyroid problem either you need to get it checked out the sooner the better.

MaNaAk
 

Purdybird

New member
Nov 4, 2020
2
Hi
Im jumping into this thread as its a similar situation to mine. My mum (64yrs) is causing my family some concerns.
She is forgetting words during conversation and seems to be finding it hard to describe situations and to tell a story. Its difficult to articulate but she just doesn't make sense anymore. She repeats sentences and you need to question her in order to establish what she is attempting to tell you. In addition , we have noticed that she is making unnecessary grocery purchases i.e. she had 10 tins of tuna in her cupboard and seven cans of coffee ! - she is not hoarding due to covid.
I really don't know how to broach the subject with her, to start the motions of getting her assessed and then helped. Her mum suffered with dementia and ( I think it started as a similar age) she always said to me, that if that ever happened to her she would rather die.

btw is dementia hereditary :-(???
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
881
Hello @Purdybird . I would agree, as mentioned above, that asking your Mum's doctor to arrange some kind of health check would be a good idea at first. There are other conditions which can mimic dementia and it's important to rule those out first. Does you mum perhaps have any other health issues or concerns that you could use as an excuse?

I don't think there is much evidence to suggest that dementia is hereditary, although I am sure it has crossed all our minds at one time or another. It's certainly not something to sit around worrying about!
 

Purdybird

New member
Nov 4, 2020
2
Hello @Purdybird . I would agree, as mentioned above, that asking your Mum's doctor to arrange some kind of health check would be a good idea at first. There are other conditions which can mimic dementia and it's important to rule those out first. Does you mum perhaps have any other health issues or concerns that you could use as an excuse?

I don't think there is much evidence to suggest that dementia is hereditary, although I am sure it has crossed all our minds at one time or another. It's certainly not something to sit around worrying about!
Thank you. I think we will go with that approach. It seems like a great place to start.
You are also, so absolutely, right. I should not be sitting around worrying about whether it is hereditary or not!
Thanks again for your response.
 

Dormouse95

New member
Oct 27, 2020
3
@Purdybird
Good luck hope things go well with your mum. It is really hard to broach when you know how frightening a diagnosis would be, and it seems like you could be stealing time from them of being able to live without the knowledge. Still, I guess my mum is already worrying anyway and it's her choice if she wants to find out for sure.