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Should I worry? I'm worried.

(11 Posts)
SmallSherryforMedicinal Wed 06-Jul-11 17:39:08

My mum is 62. We don't live near each other but we'd talk daily. Lately I've noticed her repeating info/little stories to me on the phone, just little things, things you could write off as thinking she'd told someone else but not me. Today though she told me that last evening, she cooked two evening meals, unintentionally. She laughed it off, but I know she would be worried as her own mum died with Alzheimer's. What if anything should I do? I'm scared to talk to

Nobdie Wed 06-Jul-11 17:56:16

Hi I've no experience of this, but think you should mention it to the rest of your family so they are all aware. We all do stupid things sometimes, so I wouldn't worry too much at this stage, but keep an eye on the situation. It will make you feel better to tell everyone I think smile

SuburbanDream Wed 06-Jul-11 17:56:17

Does your mum live alone? Are there any relatives/neighbours who live closer to her who you could talk to about how she seems? My mum has Alzheimer's - she's only 68 but she developed early-onset Alzheimer's in her 50's. In her case, we noticed that she lost interest in reading the paper etc, then couldn't tell the time any more or write properly. There were gradual changes, forgetfulness etc, but these can be linked to other disorders too so it's quite hard to diagnose in the early stages. Could you go and visit her and take her to the GP? If she's worried it might help to have some moral support and also help answer questions you might have

It is scary and I do sympathise - contact the Alzheimer's society too, they are extremely helpful and have lots of information on the various forms of dementia (there are a few!). She's still young though and dementia is not that common in people of her age. IIRC not all types of dementia are hereditary so if your grandmother had it, it doesn't mean your mum will.

Good luck x

SmallSherryforMedicinal Wed 06-Jul-11 18:32:24

Thanks for replies, very much appreciated. I feel a bit sick with worry this evening. My dad is a bit flaky and self absorbed at the best of times so he'd freak if this was mentioned. My sister who sees her every day has just gone thru a bad break up and is fragile, I don't want to burden her right now. And my brother, well, don't know how much use he'd be tbh. I'll talk it over with dh when he gets back. He's 1000s of miles away for past fortnight working.

HappyDoll Wed 06-Jul-11 18:39:49

Tell her you're worried. Explain you're drawing perhaps (hopefully) unnecessary comparisons between her and your grandmother and you're getting scared. Ask her to go to the GP to calm you down a bit. Tell your sister the same and tell her strongly that she needs to go to the GP with her so that you can stop worrying.

If you are about to start this journey, don't for gods sake start it with only you, miles away, bearing the burden.

SuburbanDream Wed 06-Jul-11 18:44:57

Could you ask her outright if she is worried about dementia? It still has a kind of stigma attached doesn't it - "losing your marbles" and all that so I think many people are afraid to talk about it. My mum was absolutely in denial, she insisted she'd had a stroke and that was why she couldn't write/kept forgetting things. We can't communicate now so that's why I'd really urge you to talk about it with your mum. As I said before, it may be something else, it may be nothing but a "senior" moment.

suzikettles Wed 06-Jul-11 18:51:04

There are types of dementia (vascular dementia for example) that can be treated, but any damage tends to be irreversible so it's important to seek medical help sooner rather than later.

It could be nothing, it could be something completely different like depression or stress, or it could be something, but you'll be doing your mum a favour by bringing the issue up and encouraging her to see the doctor.

SmallSherryforMedicinal Thu 07-Jul-11 00:18:34

Again, thanks for replies. I called her back tonight, and she sounded great. I know alzheimers or dementia is her deepest fear so I have to tread gently. She spends a lot of time alone in the summer months, has high bp, and I know she's worried about my sister as it is so I don't want to stress her when I'm not on the ground to back her up.

It feels good to voice the fear. I joked with her about the memory lapse, leaving the door open (I hope) to talk more in person.
She's the oak of our family.

HappyDoll Thu 07-Jul-11 00:36:10

I want to give you a hug, but this is MN so I'm not allowed, a small encouraging thumbs uppy type shoulder rub will have to do.

What a beautiful sentiment (oak), I hope all is fine. smile

smee Thu 07-Jul-11 13:09:42

If it's her biggest fear, then I'd guess she's already ahead of you and worrying about it herself. My mum was the same and Alzheimers was the elephant in the room for years. In the end I sat her down one night with a glass of wine and asked her if she was worried. She was incredibly relieved and we talked it through for hours. Sadly she has now been diagnosed with early stage Alzheimers. She sometimes says she wishes she didn't know, but the good thing now is that she talks to me, and also that she's on drugs which though they can't cure it, can slow the progress down. It's terrifying and I'm very upset for her, but on balance I think it's better that she/ we know. Hope that helps. It's horrible having to watch your mum get old. sad

SmallSherryforMedicinal Fri 08-Jul-11 13:39:37

Thank you HappyDoll. Smee, I have painful visions of doing similar, down the road. I think I'll hang on for a bit, let my sister come around a little, and talk with her first. Yes indeed it is very painful to watch parents grow old. Very.

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