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Is this dementia?

(4 Posts)
2389Champ Wed 08-Aug-18 15:47:12

I guess I’m answering my own question here but I wondered if anyone else has had a similar experience?
My 86 mother lives on her own 1 1/2 hours away. She has an excellent group of neighbours who take her shopping, appointments etc. A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from one of them saying she had forgotten her PIN in the supermarket (we’ve all done that, I know) so he paid her bill and at her request, took her to the bank to sort it out. She drew out cash and five minutes later, had forgotten completely that she already had. She seems to be hoarding food and when I tried to bin it, she said that the previous owners must have left it - she’s been in the house 56 years! She recently starting asking me constantly how old her grandchildren are and when their birthdays fall - she was always meticulous about dates previously and even struggled to get mine right too. Her hearing is definitely deteriorating but she won’t have it, blaming others for mumbling or poor telephone reception!
However, she is keeping herself and her house clean and is still particular about her appearance but she has lost a load of weight.
I went with her to the doctors and he did some basic recall tests. She knew the time, almost to the minute, her own date of birth and age but couldn’t remember the PMs name or who the current monarch is. He’s done some blood tests as she has had an under active thyroid in the past and he intimated to me that brain-fog is sometimes a symptom of thyroid issues and also mentioned that he would check for a vit B12 deficiency. Sadly, she lost both of her closest friends in the last year and this seems to have started from then - could it be an undiagnosed depression thing so is it worth mentioning? I know until we get the results tomorrow, nothing can be diagnosed but it all seems to have come on so quickly.
Many thanks.

chrissie28 Sat 11-Aug-18 21:41:44

I think it would be a great idea to mention depression - stress and depression make a big impact on wellbeing. It could also be an urinary tract infection but it could be early dementia. Your doctor sounds excellent. I run a support group on facebook which you might find helpful @2389champ The group link is

2389Champ Sat 11-Aug-18 23:08:08

Hi Chrissie, thank you for your reply and link - much appreciated.

I went back to mum’s doctor with her yesterday to get the results. Her thyroid levels were normal so I mentioned the hearing and her bereavements and he suggested that it was firstly essential to get the hearing issue sorted as that will isolate her even more so she has been referred for more tests. He strongly believes it is possibly pseudodementia - which I’ve never heard of, but like you’ve suggested, apparently can display itself as the usual dementia symptoms.
She has finally admitted to be desperately lonely, which was heartbreaking. I’ve been in contact with the local U3A because she always loved to play card games and there is a group that meet regularly for sessions so I’ve encouraged her to sign up. It might not be as simple as that but I think it’s worth getting her back into a social group with more interaction with others to see if the stimulation will reenergise and focus her mind.

chrissie28 Sat 11-Aug-18 23:31:55

great idea - worth phoning Age UK locally too to find out what other groups there are - age uk run lunch club days in many places which are quite fun and fill up the day. I do hope things change for your mum - loneliness is devastating

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