Hi My mother is 89 and really really hates me driving her to a chiropodist. Does anyone live in the Dorset/South Someset area and know of a chiropodist who does home visits? I can't neglect her but the arguments are getting me down!
Not so good. I don't understand the whole thing - she appears perfectly rational, can talk about education policy, history, etc, but not remember to clean her teeth or go to the toilet in time. She frets and frets because she can't understand why she feels so 'far away and twice removed', then doesn't want to see the homeopath because 'there's nothing wrong'. (We have given up on the NHS; her GP said there wasn't any point in finding out what was wrong as there is nothing that can be done. I don't necessarily disagree, but see no point in taking it further.)
Her GP said there was no point, as these drugs don't work very well and have bad side effects. She did have a blood test with low vit B12, but GP said that wouldn't make much difference. Maybe a supplement?
Well I'm not a Dr but my MiL has those drugs and we can't notice any side effects particularly. Saying that, her memory is getting steadily worse.
The memory clinic told us that if the drugs were stopped (we said, not in front of her, that we wondered if they did anything at all) she would revert to being how she would have been without them i.e. worse. They slow the progress of the memory loss apparently.
She does take B12 and a statin drug too (the carers ensure that she remembers to take them). The memory drug is in a patch on her back.
Your GP might be right about them not working well but as to side effects I disagree.
I know that the drugs only work for Alzheimers, not the many other types of dementia/cognitive impairments, and there may not be much they can medically do, but that doesn't mean that the memory clinic can't offer a lot of practical support and advice.
I'd def go back and say that you and your mum need to know whats going on, and more importantly need some help
My father had vascular dementia, and was Vitamin B12 deficient. Deficiency is apparently quite common in the very old. It has to be given by injection, and was one of the few things that made a real difference to his mental state. Mum had to push hard to get his GP to do it at first, but it was worth it.
Dad's surgery seemed to have pretty much given up very early on - they missed anemia that was so severe that he needed a blood transfusion. Which was only discovered when my parents moved to be closer to us, at which point they had done no blood tests for 4 years. There does seem to be an underlying assumption in parts of the NHS that the elderly should meekly accept what few crumbs of medical help they are offered, and not make a fuss. Not acceptable for the person concerned, or their families.
Because it was vascular dementia, he was never offered any treatment to help his memory, so can't comment there.
Good luck with getting your Mum the help she needs.