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Elderly parents

Old age or start of something

8 replies

Stressmess · 30/04/2023 08:45

I have noticed some changes in my Mum, 72 recently and am just a bit concerned and am not sure if this is just her getting older or is the start of something. She worked in a professional job for 40 years and was always very sharp and switched on.

I have just noticed recently that she has stopped asking any questions or taking an interest in anything. We were out for a meal recently and I was sitting beside her having not seen her for a while and she just didn't seem to have anything to say. Even basic things like asking how I was or taking a bit of interest in the GC. I was asking questions like how is your meal? And asking about family members, how is this one and how is that one and getting yes fine and then just sitting eating her meal and not really engaging with close family.

I have noticed recently too that when phoning her she doesn't really have much to say and it is me trying to fill the conversation about our lives which sometimes she doesn't really seem to be that interested in. Also slow to pick up on things. My Dad in contast is older but very engaged and switched on and you could have a chat with him and it doesn't seem that long ago she was like that too, filling me in about neighbour's and cousins and people I knew years ago.

Physical health for her is good. This is all new to me and I just don't know if this is normal and to be expected or if this is the start of something. Has anyone experienced similar?

OP posts:
Chowtime · 30/04/2023 08:48

Aww its so difficult isn't it. Could it be that she genuinely feels that she has nothing to say because so much of her identity was about her work and now thats gone she's floundering a bit.

What interests does she have?

IthinkIsawahairbrushbackthere · 30/04/2023 08:54

I apologise if it is something you have already considered and dismissed but could she be losing her hearing? One of the first things that I noticed with my mum who was always the life and soul of the party was that she started to zone out when she was surrounded by the family. We are a large family and she was always at the center of everything we did but the last few times we were all together she didn't seem to be a part of things - answering questions if they were directly asked to her but not contributing anything more. It was also true that following the pandemic her world shrank considerably. We went from regular day trips to staying at home, visitors were at a minimum and most social interaction was over the phone.

How does your dad see her? Has he seen a change?

YouNeverSeeTheRealMe · 30/04/2023 08:55

Could she be depressed? If she's now retired, she perhaps has lost her purpose in life (it happens). She's been a mum, granny, wife, housewife, had a career - always done things to fit a role. Does she see friends, have hobbies, go out much anywhere?

LadyGardenersQuestionTime · 30/04/2023 08:56

I was going to say hearing/eyesight first too. Have you spoken to your dad about it?

Chowtime · 30/04/2023 09:00

Yes, hearings a common one. Not hearing stops you engaging. And then it's a slow gradual decline.

Is she looking after hereself? Having regular teeth/eye/hearing checks etc?

Stressmess · 30/04/2023 09:15

Thanks for your replies. She has been retired now for over a decade and this just seems to be a recent thing. She used to be much more active with hobbies and interests but Covid stopped everything. When the world was back to normal her and my Dad were still overly cautious and still didn't want to go anywhere or do anything. Hobbies now limited, more based around home rather than actual outside clubs or activities.

I never really thought about hearing or depression. Unfortunately we are not the type of family that can broach difficult subjects easily.

OP posts:
MereDintofPandiculation · 30/04/2023 09:42

Sounds more like depression than dementia.

If hearing, likely to be loss of higher frequencies.. She won’t know about it because she’ll be hearing lower frequency noises as loud as ever, but speech will sound mumbled without the s and t sounds, and it’s just too much effort to keep asking for repetitions.

You can find hearing screening tests on the internet, might encourage a visit to the GP.

Dropping out of social interaction due to deafness hastens dementia, so worth sorting

KnickerlessParsons · 30/04/2023 10:09

She's probably going deaf. One of the signs is not being engaged in conversation.

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