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Strange behaviour/personality changes in 70-yr old parent - dementia?

8 replies

KookyNotOoky · 18/12/2022 22:09

Will keep this short. Basically my mother is 70, been retired 5 years now, and seems to be undergoing some sort of mental health issue, just I'm no sure what. For example:

. Impulse buying items she doesn't need.
. Snapping at people and going on angry rants about the neighbours, politicians etc. (very very rarely got angry growing up).
. Drinking a lot.
. Going on bizarre rambling monologues at length on random topics - past work drama, the strikes, people who've crossed her, random local ppl etc. No attempt to have a conversation - just an endless stream, and doesn't get the hint that you're not interested, bit like an autistic person. Borderline manic at times.
. This is then interspersed with period where she just mopes about the house.
. Misplacing things.

I thought initially dementia, but her memory is very accurate (down to minute details of minor incidents that happened 30 years ago. Her recent memory is good also, just seems to be misplacing things.
Thought it could be bipolar, but would be off for that to come on suddenly at her age.
Or possibly depression.
She has several psychological issues stemming from childhood and a dysfunctional marriage which she has spent her life ignoring, so I thought it could be all just be all that finally staring her in the face now that she hasn't got work to distract her.

Anyone have any ideas what this could be?

OP posts:
Fluffygoon · 18/12/2022 22:20

When my mum was 70 she became manic over a 5 week period and she became so bad my Dad and I got her to the GP (having phoned ahead to give him an overview of what was happening at home). She ended up in The Priory for 3 weeks. Prior to that her usual state was to be very quiet.

what you describe above is very similar to my mum- turned out she’d had bi-polar since she went through the menopause 30 years before. Perhaps work gave her focus and routine and without that she’s alone with her thoughts?

Would she go to the GP with you?

orangetriangle · 18/12/2022 22:23

water infection?

Elfholloway · 18/12/2022 22:24

There are many different types of dementia, and many different symptoms - and loss of memory may not always be that prominent a symptom in the early stages. Whatever it is though, it sounds like it would be worth trying to get her to see a GP, and trying to be at the appointment yourself if possible.

BreadInCaptivity · 18/12/2022 22:35

You need to get her to the GP.

There are multiple possibilities, including dementia and a water infection (which is the first thing to rule out).

Many people misunderstand dementia. It's an umbrella term and covers different diseases including vascular dementia and Alzheimer's.

They can present very differently.

The idea of people "forgetting" isn't always how it presents.

Tofuckwith2022 · 19/12/2022 18:49

Your post is somewhat similar to my situation. My mother is behaving strangely at times. She has taken, hidden and used items of my underwear. This is the most distressing behavior amongst other things here and there.

Basically there's something called a frontotemporal dementia. It effects language and behaviour and not so much memory until the later stages. That's from my research. I would put money on this onnmy mother having this. There is stuff that's jot quite right and it all came together so close together.

  • my mother got very angry easily. She was like this when I was younger but it's different now. And there was something not right. I remember one day her sister came to visit and as soon as she was gone, she went on a rant and it was so mindless. She was shouting about her sister flaunting her size 8 jeans. She wasn't flaunting anything by the way and she is definitely not a size 8. It was rotten. There were other angry outbursts too.

Then last winter, months went by where she hardly had any conversation from her to me. We weren't fighting or arguing and I was doing so much to help her like online groceries and ordering fuel. She just had no conversation.

Then I found that she had items of my underwear. Even though we are different sizes. It's so weird.

Then there's something else happening. Sometimes when we chat, she responds with something where it shows she's not with it. She is somewhere close by but judlst not quite therein in the conversation. It's so hard to describe.

Then there was an episode this summer that scared me so much.
Basically she told me a tale where when she was in the local shop, she saw the ex with his new girlfriend and they were buying alcohol. I had no reason not to believe this. Then a few weeks go by and she becomes stressed and angered about a situation where I was supposed to magic some accommodation out of thin air for some guests because she didn't want them in the spare room. She just expected me to find accommodation and for local air b+bs to be free. She didn't care what price. She was going to throw 1000s at it. None of it made sense. Then one day out of the blue she relayed that tale she told me before about the ex and the girlfriend in the shop together but not only that she claimed his other ex was also in the shop and the other ex and also my mother didn't see each other but they were both hiding behind shelves in the shop peering at the ex and the new girlfriend and my mother's conclusion was that the ex still has her eye on him.
It was so strange and to be honest it scared me so much because I knew St that stage it was nonsense and some sort of a tale that she told me but it was brought on by stress.

I brought my concerns to the gp but I have no idea how that appointment went and what the outcome of that appointment was.

There's definitely something happening and I would put money on dementia. It's so different every day though. She is more frazzled more easily.
BayCityTrollers · 19/12/2022 18:58

May well not be dementia, could well be a functional mental illness. I work in older peoples mental health and we do see a number of older people presenting with episodes of mania and or psychosis with no history of mental illness.

She needs to see the GP as first step. Would she go? You can always try to speak to her GP and raise your concerns.

Mumoftwo367743 · 03/05/2023 04:10

I am just so worried about my father.

So recently, he has been repeating himself a lot.. he repeats the same thing over and over again. He is 61 years old turning 62 this year. 

For example today he told me to make an appointment and he kept asking if I made the appointment when I told him that I can’t. He called me again at work and asked if I made the appointment and I told him again that I couldn’t make the appointment. I don’t know if it’s just age related or maybe something else. 

He also has been acting very out of character. He has been arguing a lot when he is not like this and has done things which is not even him. 

Sometimes we’d ask him if he would like some food he would say no I’m fine I’m not hungry then later he would say why didn’t you make me food? And we are all confused because he already has said he isn’t hungry. 

MereDintofPandiculation · 03/05/2023 09:33

I’ve responded on your two other threads

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