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to suggest DGM is ill?

10 replies

codenameduchess · 26/12/2019 14:59

More for traffic but I many be bu...

I'm concerned my GM has the early signs of dementia, I've tried to broach it before but she's dismissed it or acted like she didn't hear me. We spent a lot of time with her the last couple of days and the signs are getting more obvious.

The signs im concerned about are:

Decreased motor functions- struggling to do simple tasks

Unable to follow or hold a conversation, mostly unaware of what is happening or being said

Memory loss, can't remember recent events eg. Told me something that happened a few days before, I was there and she had got details wrong but she carried on claiming I wasn't there and her version was correct or completely gutting and cleaning her whole house from top to bottom every 3/4 days saying it hasn't been done for weeks.

Increased illness rates (probably not dementia related but concerning) and general declining health and mobility, suddenly gone from an active 80 something to shuffling around hardly able to walk.

Dramatic weight loss, she claims she is eating but I'm not convinced, in 2 days I saw her eat a few mouthfuls and drink 1 or 2 cups of tea and one small baileys and saying she was stuffed and hadnt eaten that much in weeks. I know appetite can decrease, but I'm talking literally 3 bites of Christmas dinner (I did the clearing up so saw how much was left on the plate) and nothing else all day, other than 1 cup of tea and a small baileys. No snacks, water/juice.

WIBU to push and try to get her to go to her gp (and let me go along) based on this? I don't even know if much can be done but if she is likely to need support I want to be able to get it in place, or if there's another cause it needs to be identified.

OP posts:

MereDintofPandiculation · 26/12/2019 15:03

The prognosis if dementia is horrendous, no wonder she's in denial. You might have more success attacking it from the point of view of another problem, eg the walking difficulties/


GoodBoyPeachGoodBoy · 26/12/2019 15:06

I agree, prime her GP that he needs to do the cognitive function test on her but get her there on the pretext of her mobility and getting her 'more help'. Once diagnosed you can get her the help she needs.


Welshmaenad · 26/12/2019 15:17

It could be early dementia, it could be age related memory loss and general loss of function. The thing that would concern me most is the nutrition/hydration. Is she otherwise generally self caring? Does she drive or perform any other activity that would put her at especial risk if her mental function is declining? Is this decline rapid or gradual?

You can't force her to the GP but you could gently encourage her, maybe on the grounds of being concerned she has a UTI (these can cause confusion in older people) and if she agrees to go, contact the gp ahead of time to ask him to perform a cognitive function test to assess her.


Youtoldme · 26/12/2019 15:39

I got my DM to the GPs on the pretence of an annual check up ( had spoken to them before hand) .I would be very concerned at how little your DGM is drinking, I believe this can bring on water infections which can really affect older people health.


FLOrenze · 26/12/2019 15:47

Sadly it is often the case that relatives notice the signs before the dementia sufferer. Neither the Local Authority or the Doctor will see her, unless she agrees. If she refused their help then it is just a waiting game, usually until some crisis happens.

In the meantime I can suggest some steps to keep her safe. First is to get POA in place. Find out it she will let you change her address to yours. This way you can check her bills, prevent scams, keep up to date with appointments. Give her home a once over and move any trip hazards on unsafe electrical equipment. . Try to persuade her to Install a care line and also a key safe, for emergencies.


AskingQuestionsAllTheTime · 26/12/2019 20:53

Start with a UTI check, though: they can cause all the symptoms of dementia, sometimes.


codenameduchess · 26/12/2019 21:07

It could be a UTI I suppose, although she'd never accept that (and claims doctors don't know anything so why bother... 🤦‍♀️).

I think I'll mention going to see her gp about her walking and take it from there. I don't want to push it too far with her and get her back up but at the same time can't just ignore it all and let her get worse with no support in place.

OP posts:

TARSCOUT · 26/12/2019 21:13

Yes, you are right to be concerned. I have seen GM with UTI which gave same symptoms and latterly dementia. She wont thank you but that's because she wont be aware. My DG was 88 and still talking about all the old ladies she visits with the church group Smile


Lolimax · 26/12/2019 21:20

Thing that struck me was how little fluids she's having. Dehydration could lead to a UTI or an Acute Kidney Injury (AKI).
It might be the signs of dementia and a referral to memory clinic will help but it could also be something like a nasty infection or delirium.
Could you get her to see some one?


codenameduchess · 27/12/2019 08:28

I'm working on getting her to see someone, I'll speak to my mum about it too and get her onboard. If there's two of us she might take it seriously.

OP posts:
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