Affected by Dementia? We have a new Talk topic specifically for Dementia, please do pop over and take a look

Visit the Dementia Talk topic

62 years old

(27 Posts)
winkywinkola Sun 15-Jun-14 09:11:28

My mil is 62 this summer.

You would think she was 92.

She's always been helpless - can't pack her own suitcase, operate a shower etc.

She's also always been a poor eater.

She looks ancient. Eats like a doddery old lady. Goes to bed at 9. Sleeps in the early evening and gets up at 9am.

Zero energy or zest. The only thing she has energy for is talking about grudges! grin

What could be the problem? She says she's not ill. Or is this normal? I just compare her to my mum in her 80's and my dad, 76, and they are positively full of vim and vigour in comparison.

winkywinkola Sun 15-Jun-14 09:12:39

I mean yesterday she slept from 1-2 and again from 6-7.30pm.

Helpys Sun 15-Jun-14 09:14:37

That does sound strange. Has she changed? What does DH say she was like younger?
Does she smoke? Is she overweight?

winkywinkola Sun 15-Jun-14 09:34:21

Dh says he is shocked every time he sees her. We see them approx six times a year for a weekend.

She was never full of beans he says but she's just really enfeebled. Is that a word?

She's like a little bird - skinny, picks at food, thinks she's fat.

Iron deficiency? When pil are here, we can't really do much like even take the dogs out because it exhausts her. If we take dcs out she complains because she's come to visit them but they can't play board games all weekend!

Auntimatter Sun 15-Jun-14 09:36:05

Not normal. She needs to see a doctor.

because it will be so easy to get her there

duchesse Sun 15-Jun-14 09:40:56

I know people age at different rates but that is ridiculous. 62 used to be old but the people I know in their 60s are in the peak of health. As far as I can tell, 50 is the new 30, and 60 the new 40, etc... I know plenty of people in their mid to late 70s who are still travelling the world, even on adventurous and rambling holidays. So your MIL being wizened and helpless so young is very untypical.

JugglingChaotically Sun 15-Jun-14 09:41:05

Not normal. DB older than that and doing lots of rigourous hill walks (as in days, not hours).
Depressed?

wheretoyougonow Sun 15-Jun-14 09:43:46

Not normal. Most people I know at 62 are working full time.

duchesse Sun 15-Jun-14 09:46:41

My MIL is 77 and goes off on holiday halfway across the world about 5 times a year. She's doing a fall colours tour of New England with another very fit and racy friend who is in her late 60s (but could pass for 50). MIL could pass for 60.

duchesse Sun 15-Jun-14 09:49:27

My mum is 74 and goes to Thailand for several weeks every year to see my sister. Because she stays for longer than a month, she has to trek to Malaysia (alone) at least once during her stay to renew her visa. This involves catching a ferry at the crack of dawn, then a bus into Malaysia, then through customs, then back to my sister's island. She accidentally managed to do it barefoot a couple of years ago. She chops all her own firewood, plays sport several times a week, goes to an art class, sees friends several times a week and generally has a better social life than me.

CMOTDibbler Sun 15-Jun-14 09:55:09

I think its very unfair to compare what people over 60 can do tbh. It varies hugely, and is very dependent on existing medical conditions.

What age can bring is amplification of how people are already - so someone who is/has taken the role of being someone who can't do anything, will become more so. Sometimes its a bit of attention, esp when their spouse retires and they almost feel like its their turn for some attention and looking after.

winkywinkola Sun 15-Jun-14 10:20:54

When she was 60, we took her on holiday with us for her birthday.

Friends who were staying nearby said she behaved like a stroke victim. She was shuffling about, moving slowly and deliberately.

She's not had a stroke, I'm told.

They want the 4 dcs to go and stay with them. That is not happening!she couldn't cope.

I think it's partly liking people to do things for her. I don't oblige much. And partly because she doesn't do anything - not worked at all outside of family life, no hobbies or interests - and perhaps believes she can't do anything.

lljkk Sun 15-Jun-14 10:57:58

My mother turned "old" overnight in her 50s, she wanted to give up, i think. Could call it depression (she was being treated heavily for it). Smoking didn't help, either. My mother had been vigorous & energetic previously, so a bit of a shock. Please god I never want to just give up like that. Mom died age 63 (smoking a huge factor).

whataboutbob Sun 15-Jun-14 10:59:08

I agree with CMOT- old age and its anxieties can bring an amplification of pre existing problems.I wonder whether your MIL has had a long running "under the radar" eating disorder (I'm a dietitian and occasionally come across this problem in the hospital where I work. Women are admitted for some age related problem, it emerges they don't eat and have a battery of excuses not to, eventually the penny drops). As anorexia started to emerge in the fifties, and probably peaked in the 70s, there are a lot of ageing women out there who have suffered form the condition for decades.
At the least she could be very anaemic. maybe a call to the GP would be a place to start. At the very least they could do a blood test and look at iron and some vitamin levels.

snoggle Sun 15-Jun-14 11:05:56

Does she drink? Liver disease and associated vitamin deficiencies can start to show up, particularly in people who don't eat very well.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 15-Jun-14 11:09:41

The shuffling and movement issues could in fact be down to a stroke but a mini stroke - TIA. My Mum was affected like this after one but we didn't realise at the time and I will admit to feeling quite cross with her on occasion though never said it. She had memory problems and we had to go to the Memory Clinic. It was the mention of shuffling that triggered a CT scan referral.

throckenholt Sun 15-Jun-14 11:24:36

I have a friend in her 50s who is a bit like that and suffers from ME - totally exhausted very quickly.

Sounds very much like she has an undiagnosed medical condition.

hackneyLass Sun 15-Jun-14 12:23:51

OP - it does sound very much like she has an undiagnosed condition - and if it has been undiagnosed for a long time then it is likely to be a heady mix of physical, psychological and behavioural. At your MIL's age my youngest DC will still be in school so I hope I am not shuffling around and unable to pack a suitcase or use a shower...

winkywinkola Sun 15-Jun-14 14:15:07

I've spoken to fil. She's on pills "for her nerves and they slow her down."

Viviennemary Sun 15-Jun-14 14:19:00

Some people in middle age do get this I am old stuff. But your MIL should get checked out by a doctor to make sure there isn't a medical problem like thyroid or something.

CMP69 Sun 15-Jun-14 19:55:58

My mil is 75 but has decided she is old since she retired at 60. She is fit and well but has decided she can't do lots of things - travel, cook, drive in any traffic, eat out and loads more. It's really sad sad

LineRunner Sun 15-Jun-14 20:00:27

You say she thinks she's fat, but is thin and eats poorly. Has anyone ever dared to explore that?

BerniceBroadside Sun 15-Jun-14 20:06:22

Her nerves? I had several older relatives who were put on Valium and similar years and years ago and were on them until they ended up in hospital in recent years for unrelated issues, and a check was done of which medications they were on. Might be worth asking exactly what pills she's on?

BerniceBroadside Sun 15-Jun-14 20:07:59

But yes, a thorough health MOT sounds like a good idea.

That said, some people seem eldery from about 40 - and manage to stay that way for another 50 years.

CMOTDibbler Sun 15-Jun-14 20:15:22

I wonder then if the 'pills for her nerves' could be antipsychotics.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now