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Worried daughter

Jess456

New member
Nov 24, 2021
4
0
Hi everyone,

I'm worried about my mam (65 in December), she has been very repetitive, forgetting some words and asking questions numerous times for the last couple of years. Nothing major but I am finding that every day she forgets something that was said the previous day. I've recently had some serious medical issues and she can't remember what I have told her about my appointments and asks the same thing over and over. We went on holiday recently and the whole lead up to it she asked me what date we were going many many times and then when telling others we were going away she was telling them the wrong date. She keeps giving out my phone number instead of hers (we have both had tbe same numbers for 20+ years).

So we have spoken to her GP who didn't seem concerned but we pushed for blood tests (no concerns), she was referred to a memory clinic, she had a brief conversation with someone about her memory, they referred her to "memory protection", they had a more in depth telephone conversation with her but have discharged her with no concerns. Is this usual protocol? I wasn't present for either of the conversations with the memory clinics but mam said they asked her if she was remembering to eat, if she went out and left the oven on, how she was sleeping and what her concerns were with her memory. Surely they should be asking those closest to her what she is forgetting? Should I call them and give them specific examples of what she's forgetting or am I over reacting? I don't want to leave it for it to get worse and feel guilty that I didn't push for further tests at this stage. Sorry for rambling on but I'm so worried.

Any advice welcome.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
5,868
0
Nottinghamshire
Welcome to DTP @Jess456

It must be very frustrating for you and your mum to be faced with these memory problems and not have a reason for them (could it be stress for example) but dementia is very difficult to diagnose in the early stages. Dementia causes much more than just memory problems and if you have a read around the forum you'll see what I mean.

You're obviously looking out for your mum and I'm not sure that anyone at the memory clinic would speak to you about your mum without her permission if you don't have LPA.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,891
0
Hi @Jess456 , it might be worth sending a bullet pointed list of the things you've noticed with your mum that concern you and ask the GP to ask your mum in for a thorough check-up. There are things other than dementia that can cause the sort of problems you've mentioned, though I guess the blood tests may have ruled those out.
Asking people with dementia if they have problems is usually not very successful as they are likely not to consider that they do have problems and will say that they are OK.
 

Jess456

New member
Nov 24, 2021
4
0
Thank you @Bunpoots . I rang and spoke to the nurse who mam did the more in depth conversation with and told her about my concerns, she has agreed to assess her further but said the next appointment will be March time. My mam has got a bit annoyed with me tonight as she thought them discharging her was the end of it. I tried to explain that I was doing it with the right intentions and that I was worried etc and also that if there is anything going on that it is best to diagnose it sooner rather than later. She has agreed to the further tests but she was quite unhappy that the matter hadn't been dropped.
 

Jess456

New member
Nov 24, 2021
4
0
Hi @Jess456 , it might be worth sending a bullet pointed list of the things you've noticed with your mum that concern you and ask the GP to ask your mum in for a thorough check-up. There are things other than dementia that can cause the sort of problems you've mentioned, though I guess the blood tests may have ruled those out.
Asking people with dementia if they have problems is usually not very successful as they are likely not to consider that they do have problems and will say that they are OK.
Thank you Sarasa, I'm going to do that for the next stage of her assessment. I have spoken with the nurse who assessed her and she has agreed to do the next stage of the assessment with her. She did suggest that it could be Mild Cognitive Impairment which is what I suspect but I want her to have all the help she can get if it means it won't develop into dementia.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,891
0
Hi @Jess456, I'm not sure that there is anything that can prevent dementia happening if that is what is starting with your mum, but there are lots of things you can put in place to support her. Do you have Lasting Power of Attorney for instance, as this will be helpful to manage things for your mum as she gets older even if she doesn't develop dementia.
It is probably a good idea not to mention the possibility of dementia over the next few months until you see the nurse again, but just keep and eye on things. Your mum is quite young (younger than me). Is she still going out and doing her usual things, and have her friends noticed anything? I was concerned about my mum who was a good twenty years older than yours for some time, but it was when people who didn't know her as well as I did started being concerned about her that I knew I had to start getting support into place for her.
These two courses from the Wicking Dementia Centre in Tasmania are really good at explaining what dementia is and ways to possibly prevent it. I really recommend them if you want to find out more.
 

Jess456

New member
Nov 24, 2021
4
0
Thank you @Sarasa I don't have LPA, she lives with my dad so presumably he would need to get that?
That's what I thought, I won't mention it again unless she brings it up. The last thing I want to do is upset her any further.
She is totally fine with day to day things, none of her friends have mentioned anything but my aunty has said she has noticed she isn't as sharp as she used to be.
How long did you have concerns about your mum? I'm starting to question if I should have just left it and not said anything so she could live in ignorance of it all.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
3,158
0
Dorset
Give it a few weeks then start to suggest arranging LPAs for both your parents, making sure that you are on both of them, not that they just nominate each other. There are plenty of good reasons for them to be in place, not just dementia. All older people should have them - younger people too, I had my first Enduring Power of Attorney (predecessor to LPA) over twenty years ago when I was in my early fifties!
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,891
0
Agree about everyone needing an LPA @Banjomansmate. I really must get them sorted for my husband and I. It might be worth having a general discussion with both your parents and any siblings in a few weeks about it and get it sorted for both parents at the same time. It's a good idea to have a couple of attorneys. My brother and I are both attorneys for my mum with our respective spouses as deputies. As my brother is far from well I do most of the stuff, but run major decisions past him.
I first became a bit concerned about my mum when she was in her early to med eighties. At the time I was more worried about her failing eyesight, though I'd noticed she'd become very self-centred and really didn't engage in any conversation unless it revolved around her. She was fine with day to day stuff and her memory was pretty good. Mum was happy to do the LPA ,as by then she really needed help with forms etc as she just couldn't see well enough. Things really started to fall off a cliff from the age of 90, which was when I started looking for a diagnosis and came across this wonderful site.
 

HelenMcI

New member
Sep 15, 2021
3
0
I think you should push for a professional assessment.

My mum had two GP "basic" memory tests (initiated by herself) and was classified as normal (over a three years period). But the tests are quite poor and failed to pick up the early stages of Alzheimer's.

When we then went for a dementia assessment, the consultant (a psychiatrist specialising in the elderly) got mum to do various tests.
1. Name as many things as you can starting with P in a minute (mum could only name 1-2)
2. Name as many animals as you can in a minute (no alphabetic restriction) (mum could name 1)
3. Basic maths test = 100 minus 7 (she couldn't do this)

There were various other tests for:
- Attention
- Memory
- Fluency
- Language
- Visual/spatial awareness

Our mum has degenerated very rapidly (going out without trousers on, being picked up by police, strangers and paramedics when wandering). I wonder if we could have delayed the rapid progression of the disease with earlier medication.

We only got the test because mum was classed as vulnerable by the police after a major attempted case of fraud picked up by the bank.

Push for a test rather than allowing her to be financially abused or put in danger in general.
 

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