My mother and memory loss :((6 Posts)
This is a really tricky one as I honestly don’t really know what to do. My mother is 86 and all of sudden lost her memory. She has always been very sharp and on the ball (if not a particularly fabulous mother but that’s another story!). Anyway, long story short, uti diagnosed, antib’s given, then a sudden ‘moment’ when she completely lost her mind and had to be rushed to the hospital for a brain scan; doctor there gave her different anti b’s and said it wasn’t a stroke and all would be well. Since then (two weeks ago) she has finished the antib’s and is worse. Her doctor told her it was ‘old age’ and will only get worse and we have noticed a real deterioration. She has had the memory test and not done very well and is forgetting a lot already. I really don’t know where to turn and am very concerned. She lives in a flat in a small block with a warden but they are all very independent ‘elderly ladies’ , none of whom speak to each other (!) and she has no real other friends. My sister hasn’t spoken to her for years and will not ever speak to her again, but ‘helpfully’ says things like ‘well, keep me updated’, which is beginning to get me down a bit. She has no relatives and so it is down to me. I don’t know what to do., I really don’t. Will it be quick? Will we have to get power of attorney? All these questions and I have no idea who to ask. My father died many years ago and it is literally me and dh now. Sorry for the essay, I could really do with some advice. Thanks!
Sounds like your mum may have short term confusion due to infection & dehydration if her GP thinks it may improve. If it continues or gets worse your mum needs to be referred to a specialist who can diagnose dementia or not.
Once you have a diagnosis there is support and help out there.
In the mean time get on to social services to see if they can arrange for a care package to help her while she is in her flat - the GP may be able to help you with that.
My DM is 83 and has vascular dementia and is in sheltered housing with a care package -I'm now starting to look at care homes as this will be the next stage in the journey.
Good luck over the next few weeks
An awful lot of us here have had the sudden realisation that we're responsible for an elderly deteriorating parent - it's tough, you have my sympathy.
In no particular order:
Get a diagnosis out of the doctor - if she's had a memory test and is 'not doing very well' what does that mean? Does she have dementia? What sort of things is she forgetting? Ask the surgery if there is a local carer's group you can get information/support from.
Get power of attorney right now, assuming she still has capacity to agree it for herself. Phone a solicitor for advice. Does she have a will, and if so do you know where it is? Do you know how much income she has, savings, anything else?
Get 3rd party access to her bank accounts (phone the bank) and ensure she's told her doctor he can share information with you.
Thanks very much. We were sure it was short term due to the UTI but she is getting worse and her doctor told her it would get worse. I think I need to call him (not keen on him myself but she loves him!!) I did say to her yesterday that we need to set up some direct debits for her bills, but she got a bit nasty and said 'don't upset me more'. She is forgetting names - worse than usual; that she gave me some money for shopping etc five minutes ago; when I brought her to ours last week, she asked who lived there.. that kind of thing.
She does have a will - I know where it is as well as her building society books etc. I will speak to her about PoA too this week. Thanks so much.
It's awful isn't it?
It is worth talking to her Family Doctor about the Power of Attorney. There are various procedures depending on how many Attorneys are appointed - if you are to be the only one it really simplifies matters if her Family Doctor is able to complete the necessary section. As far as I remember from doing DH's and then my own if there are more then one Attorney the Doctor section is not needed.
Everything you need is on line at the Office of the Public Guardian and you do not need to pay anyone to do it for you if Mother does have the mental capacity. There is a fee payable when you submit the application.
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