My bloody mother!!!! <again>(89 Posts)
She is driving me nuts and i just don't know what to do to help.
She has the long running, what can only be described as obsession that her sister (who lives in australia) has damaged her property. I have posted about it lots im sure. Anyway, the latest thing is her cooker - her BRAND NEW
30 years old cooker, that is irreplacable apparently . Firstly she said that she had put chewing gum on the halogen hob and had basically spent entire nights (im not joking) scouring it off, thus destroying the hob - but this is only because her sister had covered it in acid never mind all the shit my mother has put on it to CLEAN it. It has now expanded to the inside of the BRAND NEW cooker that the woman has painted with acid - to what ends? maybe she was trying to poison her?? All this will have been done about 7 years ago, when she stole my mums photos (actually, she did do this and this is how it all started), pegs, duvet covers - if not stolen, swapped for lesser quality items for the charity shop, damaged her bedroom suit, which my mother has subsequently destroyed by scrubbing with bleach, rubbing with chisels etc because it had a few fade marks on it - its a fecking antique!
It has been a nightmare and gone on for years - most of the time I try to humour her as disagreeing with her just results in her a) not talking to me (now don't get me wrong, this would be a blessing) and i have to worry about her physical health and im an only child. b) causing scenes at my house etc and quite frankly my own mental health isn't up to it.
Her latest thing is that she is going to get the money together to go to australia and hope that the very sight of her standing there will cause her sister to have a heart attack and if that doesn't work, she will jump on her head I know it just sounds like a weird sort of comedy doesn't it, but she is deadly serious.
That is where my question is - she is 76 and in bad health (her sister is 85). Would that prevent her from flying? She reckons she will go one day, come back the next. I don't believe for one minute she would be allowed into australia on that basis, but what i AM worried that a flight company would still take her money.
No point in going to doctor, my mum wont have any of it, and wouldnt take ADs if she was dying.
How would she book a flight though - is she internet-savvy or would she be fit enough to go into a travel agents, for example?
I think she should go to the doctors tbh. AD's wouldn't necessarily be what the doc would prescribe, but she doesn't sound well.
Oh goodness. has she had a recent mental health assessment, LEM?
She sounds scarily like my father who had sub cortical vascular dementia which included paranoia symptoms. They were masked in his case by the fact that he'd always been paranoid so it was hard to pinpoint when the dementia kicked in.
I second what others have said, she needs to see her GP and be referred. Ideally speak to the doc yourself beforehand so they know what to expect.
Altzheimers society, Admiral Nurses and other organisations should be able to offer support and advice - they were a lifeline to me.
Sorry you're having to go through this.
She really needs specialist intervention. You realise this is all a very long way from normal behaviour, don't you? Call the crisis mental health team.
OP I'm really sorry but it sounds to me like your DM may have a serious mental health issue that needs to be addressed. Is there no way you could get the doctor to go to her house and see what he thinks? Her behaviour that you've described isn't normal at all...
As for the airlines taking her money if she bought tickets-they would,my nan is 80 and still flies once or twice a year with no issue or questions asked and my other set of grandparents are in their 70s (grandad has a history of heart problems) and they fly several times a year. Albeit neither grandparents have ever gone to Australia,only ever various parts of Europe and USA so not sure if it would be different for people wishing to go to Oz but FWIW I know a friend of mine bought his ticket to Oz months before he got the visa he needed to go there...
I think you need to speak to her GP and ask for some advice.
She is exhibiting signs of distinctly worrying mental problems, and dementia springs very strongly to mind. I have recent experience of a 72 yr old who thought her daughter was stealing from her, called the police repeatedly, accusing the poor woman of all sorts - current and historic.
I am so sorry that your mother is unwell OP, as this is very hard to cope with, but the first step is to get some good advice from professionals. Whether your mother approves or not.
...whoops, meant to say that the accused woman lived over 100 miles away from her mother at the time!
You really must get some help for your Mum. She is ill. My Mum is like this after having had lots of different infections. She needs help and quickly.
Sounds like dementia. She needs to be seen by her doctor to be referred for an assessment.
My sil took her dad to the doctor and sat in on the appointment. She explained why she would be doing this when she called to make the appointment. He was convinced his neighbors were talking to him through the walls and coming into his house. He would go and shout at them. Luckily they were very understanding. He is in supported accommodation now.
It sounds very similar to a relative of mine who is in her 90's & has dementia.
I am so sorry for you, but I think you do need to get her some help.
Paranoia and delusions are definitely something that need assessing by a psychiatrist. Could be the start of dementia or paraphrenia. The mental health services are well used to assessing people who don't want to see them! Speak to her GP as your first port of call. Sorry you are coping with this alone. I'm an only child too (since my brother died), it is a big responsibility.
Forgot to add, I am a GP and have done extra specialist training in old age psychiatry.
LEM she sounds ill. I think you may need to step in and get some help. It sounds really hard work. I'm so sorry.
Sorry to post and run, a friend came round - To those of you who have mentioned dementia, i really don't think it is this. This is because this is the sort of unreasonable behaviour that has been going on for YEARS with my mother, its always something and always has been. However i think it has got more pronounced. If i had to put my unqualified bet on it i would say that she is suffering from depression (i am too, but thats neither here nor there).
Gin - my mum also has addissons syndrome as a result of a bilateral adrenalectomy to treat cushings disease 50 years ago. This of course has affected her temper and ability to react to things rationally, but this is so convoluted if you see what i mean.
I know i need to talk to her doctor, who is also my mum's doctor, i have hinted in the past to the doctor as there have been some issues with her too, she is a brilliant doctor and i have a lot of faith in her but my mum isn't keen (she is new to my mum) as she plays by the rules regarding medication etc (my mum wants to stockpile her steriods as sometimes she has to double the dose but doesn't understand that they can't prescribe six months supply) the doctor has put it down to old age cantankerousness. I haven't mentioned any of the completely irrational behaviour though.
I just feel ike i am betraying her to be honest. I feel so sorry for her - i try to involve her with us, we only live in the next street but she is fiercely independent, yet dependent as well. The problem is that once she has this bee in her bonnet - this is ongoing and not a sudden behaviour change, she wont let it go. The other day we went to the town with her, me and DD (8) and she was talking about how she hoped her sister would have a heart attack and die in agony in front of my DD, i can't have that, plus the constant talking about it gets me down. She also wont come when invited out with us.
Gin - what will the doctor do if i go and talk to her? I thoguht she would have to wait until my mum made a request? My mum certainly wouldnt agree to a home visit or anything like that, she would hit the roof, cut contact and refuse the let the doctor see her.
I agree she sounds very ill and needs help. Could you speak to her doctors about how you can get her seen to if she refuses to go in? Would they do a home visit? Are they any people/organisations they can recommend to help support you and her?
Also, do i need to make an appointment in my mums name or one in my own name? I will need some new ADs in the next week or so (my mental health is very shite just now) so i can bring that appointment forward.
Would she actually go though? if you think she wont just say fine mum have a good flight, could she organise visa , flight ect? sometimes its better just to humour them, she sounds a bit like my nan my mantra now is don't argue just agree.
I have spoken to DP and he thinks that i should just leave it to blow over I know why he thinks this becuase, like me to a certain extent, he knows she has pretty much always been this unreasonable. The sad thing is that her sister has now took the bull by the horns on the other side of the world (poor cow i dont blame her) and is retalliating with nasty letters etc.
cross posts there with you teenage! To a degree i do just humour (we actually call my mum nana as in catherine tates nana!) her as if i dare to disagree with her she gets nasty. I find myself saying some horrible things about her sister and how that she will get punished etc and how lonely and sad she is so can't my mum just satisfy herself with that. The problem is that although there is no way she could organise the flights herself, she would be able to walk to the travel agents and let them do it for her. But its not just that is it, its the thought of her being up cleaning that fucking oven all night, all day - every time i go round there she is doing it, and being so sad and miserable and lonely when you know what, im miserable and lonely too, DD and I would love to have days out with her, but she wont come.
I agree on the dementia. My own mother has never been madly reasonable, but there was a big shift at one point, and years later when she had a major stroke they discovered she had already had a prior one, I am certain this was around the time she became less reasonable. She now has some level of dementia due to the stroke damage, but so far not enough that you would notice unless you knew her well. Your mother's paranoia and delusions sound very typical of certain forms of dementia, Lewy body for instance, and people with dementia can get more extreme versions of their existing difficult traits. How you get an assessment is another matter, and a diagnosis may not make any difference, my Mum is not on any meds, even though she may also be showing signs of lewy body.
This sounds so similar to an elderly relative who has dementia/delusions. Hers is all about burglary from her flat & there is one (lovely, kind) neighbour that she was always accusing. She took to ringing the police about this & they came round, to discover that she was complaining about her remote being stolen. When it was found she accused the burglar of bringing it back. She has paranoid delusions & dementia, she was assessed by a geriatric psychiatrist. I am no expert but the two are not necessarily related - the delusions are, on the whole, worse than the dementia.
Looking back, she's always been a bit paranoid about things but it has got worse with age - may be this trait of your mother's is being exacerbated by age?
I would certainly go & chat to your doctor - especially as you get on with her & respect her. I had to do the same when my Mum was ill & as my then GP said he was happy to talk about things as it impacted on my health as well as my mum's.
for you - It's bloody tough.
Can you tell your aunt that her sister is unwell and she is saying things that everyone knows cannot be true, and therefore not to retaliate? (or any cousins etc who you can tell so they can get message to aunt/not post the letters/whatever?)
Even if has been going on for years that doesn't mean it's not a problem to be glossed over now! I'd make a double appointment when you go for your appointment and explain you'd like to talk about your concerns about your mother. If that's not the way to handle it, the doctor can explain what to do
as to the oven, can you afford just to replace the bloody thing and tell her that her sister sent a new one? it does sound like a mental health issue, I do feel for you and your family, its not easy.
teenage, if i did that she'd burn it but actually i can't afford to, otherwise i would.
My mum just gave us £300 for my DDs birthday treat and presents - the original plan was that we were going halves on it, £300 was more than it all cost but you know what, i took the bloody money just so that was £300 less towards any flights!! I haven't spent it though. See, this is the thing, she would give me anything money wise but has alway been toxic. It makes it so difficult.
Another thing i am scared of is if i go the GP i am going to set ball rolling that once it starts could lead to a whole load of trouble. The rest of the family think its hysterical though, and instead of keeping quiet about letters etc they feed it all back to my mum who of course gets more and more insenced. Talk about bloody dysfunctional.
I don't know if this offers any reassurance LEM but when I worked as a travel agent (albeit many years ago) I have refused bookings from elderly customers who didn't appear to be 'safe' to travel un-aided. I have also phoned social services when an elderly lady tried to give me 20k for a round the world cruise to meet up with her husband who I knew had passed away. We also prevented a lady wiring money to a scam in Nigeria.
How many years does she have on her passport? Can you take it?
She'd be very unlikely to get travel insurance and there is no way an airline would accept someone of that age travelling to the other side of the world without it. She'd need permission from her doctor to give to an insurer
LEM - does she have (and use) credit cards and bank cards or does she deal with things by cheque and cash?
That was what i was hoping to hear hopas because aside from the terrible waste of money that she cannot afford, I am genuinely worried she would do somethind drastic if she did manage to get there. Or i'd worry she'd end up stuck somewhere and I'd be unable to help. She has high blood pressure and other needs that make travel insurance unlikely although she did manage it before.
she has bank cards but cannot use them without my help to be fair, although i think she can now manage to pay for things in shops with her bank card.
Your mum very much needs to be seen by a Dr. It sounds like paraphrenia - a form of old age schizophrenia.
If your mum is actually delusional - then replacing her cooker is not going to make an iota of difference. She needs medical help.
It's clearly a difficult situation. You need to see her GP asap to get their help.
LEM you are so not betraying her by going to the gp. In fact you sound like a lovely caring daughter. Good luck x
Firstly, I think you should definitely follow the advice above and arrange an early appointment with your GP to include a discussion of your Mum's problems. I'd write it all down in advance to act as an aide memoire so that you don't get there and decide not to go into detail about things. I really do think she has mental heath problems other than just being cantankerous with age.
Secondly, I was wondering whether you could review her finances and in the process, put everything, as far as possible, onto direct debit/standing order online to avoid her having to deal with money. Online accounts are something you could check on for her and not only would they probably save money and hassle but you could keep a weather eye on her spending.
I think that you don't need to face immediately the prospect of her being institutionalized but as long as your family can control spending for the time being, you would know she hasn't bought a trip to Oz or done something equally awful. Maybe you could aim to achieve that in-between position at the moment as a result of talking to your/her medical adviser and perhaps taking over control of her financial affairs.
(I'm thinking of prohibiting all purchases/withdrawals of more than - say - £500. I don't know whether that's possible with a bank account/bank card (by arrangement with the bank) although it's certainly easily achieved with a credit card.)
So sorry you're having to deal with this, especially when your own health is indifferent. I've been thereabouts so know what it's like.
LEM keep your appt for yourself and book a telephone consultation about your mum. You aren't betraying her at all! you are helping her stay safe. Your GP will have dealt with similar situations in the past. Stealth is sometimes needed...
Your GP might want to do some bloods in the first instance, do you think she would agree to that? With her medical problems she should probably have regular blood anyway. Blood tests would rule out a physical cause. Eg a low vitamin B12 can cause confusion and odd behaviour in the elderly and is easily sorted.
there won't be an inevitable chain of events set into action, things might move quite slowly if your mum doesn't agree to anything.
I'm sorry you are not getting much support from the rest of your family with your mum who is very much delusional. She really does need medical assessment, as everyone has said. I think it has got worse over the years and I understand your resistance to wanting things to change but I think they are coming to a crisis anyway and she can't really be allowed to board a flight whilst in this state.
......Stealth is sometimes needed.......
Oh yes indeed. When you have someone who is genuinely acting in the older person's best interests that's a true thing.
Have you got power of attorney in place? would your mum agree to that??
In terms of acting in her best interests it depends if she has capacity to make her own decisions. Capacity assessments can be done by GP or psychiatrist. Although I'm guessing she won't agree to that either...
It's the in-between bit that's difficult, Ginformation as you probably well know. An older person might present as quite capable (at the relevant times) but in reality be immensely vulnerable.
Another thing i am scared of is if i go the GP i am going to set ball rolling that once it starts could lead to a whole load of trouble.
What trouble exactly are you worried about OP? Do you mean trouble from the rest of your family?
Gin, i tried to get this but she wouldn't have it. She doesn't have much in terms of money so not much to protect, her house is council owned. She does have the capacity to make her own decisions but it is fogged by this how irrational behaviour.
I think i would prefer to talk to GP face to face so will make appointment in the morning - if i make a prebookable i'll have to book 2 weeks in advance . I can just get her to write my script for citalopram while im there. Will she actually be able to talk to me about it though?
Thankyou so much for your advice, everyone x
Xiaoxiaong - no, "trouble" from my mum, she only really has me and she will just cut me off, which of course will prevent me from being able to help her, i also don't want trouble FOR her if you see what i mean. I just want her to be happy
cozie - that is my concern, she would fly through an assesment for alzheimers im sure - she is very lucid and with it, just utterly delusional.
Can you arrange to 'lose' her bank card and move her over onto a credit card which has a low (say £500) limit (a second card to one of your own perhaps) or a pre-paid cc which never has more than than a set amount on it? That way, she could still happily spend in the shops on normal messages but couldn't go for any Big Bertha purchases.
Your GP will be able too talk in general terms about the situation and advise you about tyred next step. Must importantly your dr can listen too all your concerns. They won't be able to release any info to you, unless your mum consents to that. It helps that you are registered at the same practice and they know you. I have had cases where 'concerned' family members have wanted to fraudulently get control of finances
Hence my comment about 'genuinely acting in the person's best interests'. There are some powerfully self centred people out there. Luckily, LEM doesn't sound like one of them.
What a sad situation to be in, I am sorry. I feel a bit errrr about using a dear friend's experience here but her mum was disturbed/paranoid for decades (think writing to the UN Sec-Gen about the local bin collections, global plots against her hanging baskets) and then had early-onset Alzheimer's. The changes in what she said and did were subtle at first but looking back it's awful for my friend who wonders if it could have been spotted earlier. From where I stand, I don't think it would have made a big difference for her mum but it's still a question that will never be answered. The "jump on her head" thing seems different from the rest ("I have been wronged") to me - it seems a very "childish" plan or fantasy, IYSWIM? I would also suggest talking to her GP, because of this new "plan"..
Absolutely cozie, some real prize fuckers out there.
The inbetween stages can be exceptionally tricky as you say. sometimes, unfortunately, you have to wait for a big incident before things can progress. Sorry LEM. Can't believe the rest of the family are acting that way though . Could it be they don't realise the full situation?
its ok Gin, my mums "fortune" consists of some dodgy paper mache ornaments and moth bitten fur coats
The problem is the rest of the family aren't really that close to my mum now, due to her behaviour more than anything and they see it as a bit of a joke Without wanting to sound unkind they are pretty uneducted and really don't get it.
Oh yes - families are a bitch some of the time. It can be a mix of eg not realizing the truth of a situation to actively enjoying a bit of drama in their lives (a la soap opera) to leaning back on previous relationships without seeing that a person may have changed. And so on....
Ha ha LEM, I have heard the value of papier mache had gone up recently
Let us know how you get on.
LEM older people can become delusional as a result of infections, usually urinary iiuc. On top of a pre-existing conditions, who knows what this may manifest as.
I think you need to talk to her GP, as she certainly sounds like she needs an assessment. If it results in SS, do not scruple to make the most of your own health condition to insist that you cannot
do their job for them provide the level of care needed.
She sounds like she is suffering with dementia. My father had it got years and his paranoia and behaviour deteriorated so badly that he actually bolted everything he owned to the floor. Your mum sounds like she needs some sort of intervention. Sorry you are having to go through this OP. xxx
My fathers irrational and erratic behaviour started in his 30's. I would say like you it started as depression but it got worse with every passing year. By the time he was put into care he was in his late 60's and had ruined everything good in his life. It can start early like that and your description of it getting more 'pronounced' us exactly how it happens. Get her assessed. Even if you are right and it's a form of depression she still sounds like she needs some sort of medication.
I'm an older people's psychiatrist and I'm sure she needs to see someone like me!
These are very bizarre ideas and she is acting on the ideas eg by cleaning the oven non-stop. When people get very fixated on these delusional ideas they do sometimes do risky, impulsive things like trying to get a flight to Aus.
You say that you have to help her with money and cashcard etc so perhaps her abilities have declined and there is a degree of cognitive impairment or early dementia.
There is also a separate condition which is a kind of late onset schizophrenia which could cause these symptoms. Just from what you've said I doubt that depression would account for all of it. Although I should emphasise that no-one can really diagnose stuff on the Internet!
You should certainly tell the GP about your concerns at least to have it on record if nothing else. She might allow blood tests or a brain scan and the GP can refer to old age psych. We are quite used to people who don't want to see us and can be gently persistent. You could ask that the GP doesn't disclose it was you who raised concerns if you are worried about her reaction.
If she really won't have it maybe nothing can be done. If there are real risks to a person we are sometimes able to act against their will under the mental health act or mental capacity act. I doubt it would come to that but there are ways of stopping her getting on a plane if it was really needed.
Hi Silvery If she is suffering from and infection shes had it a long time In all seriousness though i am gong to go to the doctor tomorrow and see what she suggests, specifically with regards stopping her from buying tickets to australia.
At the very least, LEM - does she have a current passport and if so, can you find and confiscate it? It wouldn't stop a purchase but having no passport should stop the actual travel.
mama - the cashcard/money thing is mostly because she doesn't have good vision and refuses to have the cataract operation because mrs x got laser treatment on the nhs so why shouldnt she have it (even though its a completely diferent procedure and she is not suitable for laser!).
She has recently had an MRI as she he has a tumour on the pituitary, this is benign though and has been there some 50 odd years and luckily not changed in size (much).
that's why I said on top of a pre-existing condition...
i had forgotten this one - the other week i went round there and there was a big pile of stones on the path, these were apparently put in my mums garden by her sister as she didn't like to have stones in her own garden or garden of the house she ws staying in at the time - It goes on and on, but its getting worse and i can't help but wonder about the schizophrenia thing mama as I had a friend who was schizophrenic and had the same sort of weirdness about her
I don't feel (but who am i to say) that its dementia because my father had this and she is nothing like he was.I know it manifests differently in different people depending on the extent, cause and part of the brain that is affected. I actually don't think i could cope if it turned out to be that
A recent brain scan will be really helpful. they can look if there is any vascular damage eg tiny strokes that can cause these kind of symptoms.
She may not have dementia but the ideas you describe are paranoid delusions which can be associated with dementia or occur separately.
There are medications that can help and also just having a diagnosis and being in touch with specialist services can be really reassuring for you and for her.
You might be surprised that she may agree to have some help. Often people are just keen to have someone listen to their ideas and take them seriously and I might suggest that they have something 'to help with the worry this must be causing you'.
Steroids can actually cause or worsen psychosis so that might be another contributory factor.
You are doing entirely the right thing in trying to get some help for her even if she may never thank you for it.
Thanks mama, i know its the right thing to do but i just feel so shit. What gets me is she is so "lucid" in her delusions, I haven't been brave enough to call her on it, i have to agree with her that her sister is an evil person who was jealous of her and this makes me sad because her sister is an overbearing pain in the arse but im actually very fond of her I wonder what would happen if i said to her "ffs, listen to what you are saying, can you not see how insane it sounds". but i never would because she would go mad!
She will not agree to "help" though, i know that Ironically she did say that she was going to go to the doctors and ask her to write a letter to her sister saying not to call her again as she is making her ill. Like an idiot i played it down - i should have told her to go and do just that, then it would have given the doctor some angle to introduce it <<plonker>>
I read your post earlier today and then didn't post a reply. I have a similary awful dm. The problem is they are not yet ready for someone else to take over their affairs. Yes her sister is a lifelong PITA. But it's how you react to it that makes you appear sane.
A few years ago my siblings and I decided to detach and stop worrying. There is nothing we can do to control our dm. We will just wait for it to happen and then we will pick up the pieces.
This has meant my DM has foolishly squandered thousands of pounds and alienated most of her extended family.
But we sleep well in our beds because we've stopped worrying.
There is a limit to what you can do to save her. But what you can do is be there when it happens.
LEM, I just wanted to say that my mother (in her 80s now) went through a period of similar delusional thinking. It turned out to be related to medications she was on (for her RA) and when those were changed, she went back to (her) 'normal' - slightly forgetful but essentially lucid - self. So might be something medical but 'reversible'.
That is your way in LEM! try telling her you have thought about it and you do think she should get a letter from her gp after all. And here, let me make that appt for you mum .
After a briefing from you (and you can ask for yor name to be kept out of it) the gp can try to persuade her to get some bloods done under the guise of it being a health check, or monitoring her medical condition.
If you call her on it it will make no difference. A delusional idea is by definition not amenable to reason. She will just get cross. OTOH it's not ideal to actually agree with it as then you reinforce it and she can say ,'well LEM thinks so too.' The best idea is to try to distract away from the whole topic. Make some non-committal response and then try to change the subject.
Phoned for an appointment - her doctor is away for two weeks hmmmphh, a doctor, having a holiday?? How very dare she!! My DP thinks i shouldn't do it anyway, thinks it will cause all sorts of trouble but its not the point, shes not well and it can't continue. Saying that i have to say i was half relieved when the doctor wasn't there as i feel like a shit
I hope you made an appointment nonetheless? (For after the two weeks, to discuss your mother.) You have to make one for yourself sooner, don't you?
cozie - the receptionist wouldn't make the appointment as its two weeks away and can only pre-book two weeks in advance But yes, i do have to see a doctor for more meds myself before then. I will wait until our own doctor comes back to discuss it. Obviously if there is a drastic change in the meantime i will see another doctor.
Well done, LEM. Hope you feel a bit better yourself in due course - all this can't be helping.
You say you will feel bad by asking the dr for an assessment but how much worse will you feel if it is something that can be treated. Dementia affects different people in different ways. It is cruel not to get help for your Mum. If it was an illness you could see like shingles or heart attack; or a broken are you would get help. This is no different.
We had a good day today, i called her and asked her to come out with me and DD and she came! miracle - no mention of ovengate either (phew). The reason for her improvement of mood is because someone had asked her to do something for them i think. I don't kid myself that this will be an improvement, just a good day.
LEM you should read this article concerning Addisons disease and comorbidity with psychiatric conditions. I think a lot of it applies to your mum and you should get professional help for her.
OP, just because she has always been 'difficult' like this, doesn't mean she doesn't also now have a MH problem,be it age-related or not. It could also be that she has always had MH issues that have managed to make her look 'odd' within the realms of unpleasant but acceptable eccentricity, and of course that everyone who knows her has just accepted that 'this is just how she is', which is turning a blind eye to her problems. And dementia, like all MH conditions, is unique to each individual,and, until it is severe, doesn't mean that the person will be consistently troubled.
If she genuinely believes that someone who lives on another continent is messing with her cooker, or placing stones on her drive, etc., then she is clearly mentally ill, regardless of how and why. I know you don't want to face up to her having serious problems because of your exoerience with your father's dementia, but you are really doing your mother, and all of you, a real disservice to try to excuse this away. It is really alarming and scary to read what she believes, and perhaps because you've lived with her being a difficult woman all or most of your life, you might not fully comprehend how bad it sounds.
pointy, thanks so much for that reference, its really interesting. I am going to print it out and show it to her doctor. She has had several addisonian crises in the past and she will be totally delerious, etc, I can usually tell when she is going to have this and fortunately she now knows how to recognise the symptoms and double up on her meds so recently in terms of these she has been better. This i don't think is what is happening now, however it does make sense for the more chronic disturbances to be taking place and I honestly think this is the root of it. Like i say, its been going on for years - worse now, i think because she has so much time on her hands etc . She is of course under an endocrinologist (who i have to say is the most arrogant shit i have ever met and never bloody adresses my questions) and is due to see him again in November, the problem is that last time she saw him she wouldn't let me go with her, also i was working anyway, hopefully she will allow me to go with her next time. She certainly does go totally fruit loop when she has one of these - one time she told the ambulance driver she wanted to have sex with him.
I am certainly not excusing her behaviour, but she does have a complex medical condition which i am sure goes some way to explaining a lot of it and having lived with it all my life i suppose you are right, its easy for it to seem normal. I know that it isn't, i am willing to bet money that this is a complication of her addison's syndrome and hopefully they can help her with some further medication.
I will wait until her GP comes back from holiday though as her medical history is clearly important here so its best i think to talk with someone aware of the history. Although she is pretty open about it being in the realms of the specialist really.
My Mum has been paranoid for the best part of 20 years. She turned against her sister about 12 years ago as she didn't believe she had cancer and it was a ploy to get her to accept a low offer on a house they jointly owned at that time.
Somewhere along the line it turned into Dementia and I am now the focus of her paranoia, thinks I am evil , plotting against me and told the SW she doesn't me involved in her care. She's in a flat in a carehome pending a case conference to see if she stays there or goes home to try live in care as she claims she wants (some if the time) and which my Brother says we must do as it is her wishes. He hasn't seen her for over 4 years though and doesn't fully understand the concept of not having Capacity.
She blames me for being in the CH which I kind of am I guess but the paranoia towards me has been gearing up for a bit eg. Thinking I am ripping her off financially as a list of money she owed me with only a few items (expensive ones like a washing machine ) was for more than a long one. The council tax exemption went to her address by accident which said she is exempt due to Severe Mental Impairment, she thought I had told them. Last visit she thought I had poisoned the cake I took in which really upset my 14 year old DD. She's told me not to go in again until she's at home again.
For ages she seemed very lucid and presented well so we have ended up with her losing capacity less than 4 months after diagnosis but in reality she has been ill for years. DH and I worked for my Brother who after she ended up in Ch has fired me and cut DH's hour (though decided to pay us for now ) and told the SW i am trying to 'protect my inheritance' It has been a nightmare but I know everything I have done has been in her Best Interests as she was becoming a danger to herself and live in care is likely to break down quickly due to her previous history with Carers.
I know it's hard and must be even worse if you've already had one very I'll parent but getting her seen by her GP to get to the bottom of what is going on is definitely the way forward.
Can you find her passport and take it? No passport - no flight...
Regardless of passport and ticketing issues, wouldn't she need to apply for a visa in advance to get into Australia? This isn't very likely to happen is it?
I have an elderly relative with a history of depression. She had a period of psychosis about 15 years ago and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. With the benefit of hindsight, this is what she has had for most of her adult life. Her treatment has revolutionised her life and she has been able to think clearly since then.
feesh you are right about the visa, however my worry is that this wouldn't necessarily stop her from purchasing the tickets - to be fair, its more the obsessive inclination to do so rather than the actual carrying out of the threats as there are plenty of things that would probably prevent it from happening.
Fortunately she has been ok the past few days.
How are you doing amidst all this?
Different types of dementia take very different forms. My father had Lewy Body, as a consequence of Parkinson's disease, and that has paranoia and delusions as the main part of the picture. Dad had no memory issues when he died for instance. His memory was fine. Often people imagine dementia to be mainly an issue of gradual memory loss but that isn't true of all types.
Please can you watch this two you tube clips! I don't know how to do link but you won't regret! We sometimes need reminder !!!
I know it's not easy , we all have rough time sometimes with DM or DF but PLEASE watch this! I can't do links sorry!!!
Sorry- three you tube clips!!!
Sorry, I haven't read all the replies (my eyes are very sore this morning, I need to get off the computer!!).
Apart from all of the medical help that you need, why not go to any travel agents within walking distance, take a photo of her with you for each of the places and tell them she is suffering from mental health problems and there is a chance she might come in to book a trip to Australia, but that she is certainly not up to going there Tell them that you would appreciate them going along with her plans but not actually booking anything - but to call you. Tell them if it comes to it you can get a letter from her Dr confirming this, but clearly you don't want to until happens. It's worth a go.
Also, see if you can find her passport, if you do, take it to your house.
I'm concerned that your DP thinks you should just leave it.
I am a student nurse and I agree that it sounds very much like dementia to me. You say that you don't think it is but dementia can present so differently in so many different people. For example, I've just finished a community placement and one patient we had that we were visiting you would just never know as she appeared to have capacity and was lucid all the time. We just visited to promt her meds every day.
Yet on the other end of the spectum, i've cared for a patient who wasn't bed bound (and was able to walk) but in hospital refused to walk or get out of bed. When we tried to care for her at all, like clean her up when she was incontinent, she would be voilent with staff and shout and scream. But she didn't have capacity so we had to do it in her own best interests.
Capacity with demetia can fluctuate and as I mentioned some people are so lucid you would just never know. Your mother really needs to go to the GP and get a dementia screen.
If it is dementia, the obsession with the cooker and her sister sound to me like she is 'locked' into a time in the past when her and her sister where not getting on and so she can't see the reason in the situation whereas you can. You know the cooker is fine but she can't and nothing you can do will be able to convice her of that. You have to enter their world and see it from their viewpoint or you will continue to have those clashes.
With regards to the cataract operation, it may be deemed in her best interest to have it done. I've seen it being done on 2 dementia patients in my day surgery placement and they had it under general anaestetic whereas they are normally done under local. So that may be an option but of course you need to get her there first.
One other thing, tread very carefully with regards to finances and witholding of passports at this stage. It's all a legal minefield. If she is diagnosed you will need to gain a power of attourney and whether she needs to sign that depends on her capacity. But don't try and withhold money as that is deprivation of liberty and could be deemed as you trying to benefit financially.
Update i have FINALLY been able to secure an appointment with our doctor, although only a phone consultation.
She has been quite good over the past few weeks, i have managed to get her to come out with me and DD etc and she has been quite chipper, although still going on about the cooker - it has now been "poisoned" with acid and all the screws removed - my mum has dismantled it now and is insisting she will put it back together I tried to ask her when she would have done this, and she just said that her sister had a key (but she still meant it was when he was here 8 years ago now)
Im not entirely sure what the doctor will make of it or what i want them to do tbh.
LEM that's great!! Be careful not to 'play it down' though just because she has been a bit better of late. She needs help, make sure they are left in no doubt about how bad she is
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