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Think my mum might be getting forgetful

(3 Posts)
tushywush Wed 23-Nov-16 08:53:43

She's 66. My grandad (her dad) had Alzheimer's (though not til his 70s I believe) and I know she's petrified of getting it too.

There's been a couple of instances in the last few months where she's repeated herself or asked the same thing. For example she told my SIL (her DIL, who lives abroad with my DB) about an event that happened a couple of years ago. Went into full detail about it all. Completely forgetting that SIL was there at the time (and SIL didn't have the heart to remind her!).

She'll tell me something over the phone then tell me again the next day f2f. And there no sense of "have I told you this already?"

Thing is, dm can be very self-absorbed. So it's quite possible that because of this she doesn't always acknowledge other people properly (IMO) so it kind of aligns with that, in that she likes the kind of her own voice, likes attention and can be a complete martyr, so doesn't care whether she's saying the same old stuff again.

But DB has noticed it too. But then they only speak every couple of weeks so it is kind of hard to remember what news he's been told and what news he hasn't - even I forget!

what here on in? Do we just keep an eye on it? There's NO WAY we could raise it with her, it would not go down well at all and quite frankly I dont have the energy for the confrontation. i also don't want to "label" her and start looking for it when it could just be her personality and her age generally!

Needmoresleep Wed 23-Nov-16 10:55:49

Its hard to say. Self-absorbtion, and a lack of interest in others, often comes with a declining memory. As do angry denials, blaming others and accusations.

I would not confront but talk to your brother about positive steps that might be taken to help her preserve her independence longer.

1. Talk to her about a POA, or get someone like a friendly vicar, to do so. "Just in case something happens." Explain that if something did happen and there was no OA Social Services are essentially in charge till the lengthy and expensive Court of Protection process is complete.

2. Look at housing. Is she somewhere that will be suitable into the longer term? Are there nice sheltered options near you. Can she see the advantage in being in somewhere better located and part of a community? Her living in a suitable place will mean she is able to stay independent for longer.

3. Use whatever window you have to encourage new skills, for example cooking pre-bought frozen food (Cook! is nice) in a Microwave, or using a shower rather than a bath. The former means good food when her cooking skills decline, the latter will be easier when she gets older. And also encourage social interaction like groups, U3A and so on. People will declining memory can become less social so more dependent on their children. Inability to learn new skills, is also an indication of memory loss.

4. If you can encourage a trip to the GP. It takes a while before anything shows up on memory tests, to results could well prove reassuring. There are drugs, like Aricept, that can delay the progression of memory loss. The earlier they are taken the better, the more there is to preserve. (However the benefits are variable and the drugs will only work for so long, so it is not worth a big fight.)

5. Get her to explain finances etc if she will. Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to scammers, so encourage her to allow you to keep a watchful eye.

tushywush Wed 23-Nov-16 16:39:04

Self-absorbtion, and a lack of interest in others, often comes with a declining memory. As do angry denials, blaming others and accusations.

^^ this is all BAU for DM and has been for a looooong time.

Thank you for the tips though I feel a bit overwhelmed thinking about the potential extent of it all. There's no way I could have the POA conversation at this stage without her thinking I suspected it. And it feels waaaay to premature to start thinking about housing options. But good things to be mindful of for the future. god I'm dreading it

I am also going to be moving away soon so won't be close by to really keep close tabs <<guilt emoticon>>

I may think about mentioning it to my stepdad at some point though.

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