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Carers UK Forum • Worried About Mum's Memory - Page 2
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Re: Worried About Mum's Memory

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:55 pm
by pamr1
hi
nurse from memory clinic visited monday as planned.
did the tests, similar to gp, but more of them. for the first time for about a year mum remembered what day it was, but did not managed the majority of answers.
she has been assessed as having Alzheimer type dementia. not a specific diagnosis as to give that would involve brain scans etc. and of course mum at nearly 98 is just too old to go through all of that.
she will make a referral for falls clinic. for o.t. to assess home and any help that they can put in for mum.
she has recommended a day centre, maybe 3 days a week for stimulation and a hot meal, and transport to and fro. but she will have to go on waiting list for this. surprisingly mum agreed to this, but of course, she will forget that she agreed. (already forgotten about the nurse coming.) also for carers to come in and help with washing and dressing.
she has assessed mum on the moderate level of dementia which as we all know means she will not get any financial help with the recommendations. have to say, i think she should be on the severe level, but what do i know.

She has also strongly recommended that i have mums cooker disconnected. this was because i said that a couple of times food had got burnt in the oven. now mum does not understand how to use a microwave and left food in there for 20 mins. once. kitchen filled with black smoke, so i got rid of microwave. i would happily get a new one, but i don't think thats a good idea. so how is mum or even carers or me, supposed to provide a hot meal for mum. any ideas on that would be welcome. no meals on wheels service of course, apart from frozen meals which would be no use with nothing to cook them with.
i am panicking about that one. i was with her again today, but could not get her to eat anything before i left. she was so exhausted and weepy, heartbreaking to leave her on her own.

i am thinking of requesting a carers assessment, maybe this will useful, i don't know.

good luck anne, i hope you don't have to wait too long for your mums appt.
pam xx

Re: Worried About Mum's Memory

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:45 pm
by susieq
Dear Pam

In the general scheme of things, 'moderate' on the '7 stages of dementia' scale is somewhere in the middle range - but 'moderate' to the professionals appears as 'severe' to us. 'Severe', as classified by the professionals, is the final stages.

Don't know what to suggest re the cooker, but if you think that, on the whole, your Mum can manage the cooker then I'd say leave it connected. (Is it gas ? if you're worried about her not remembering to light it and thereby causing a gas leak how about switching to an electric one ?) Or maybe consider one of those Baby Belling type cookers ? Or another microwave, but out of Mum's reach so that only you or the care assistants use it ?

The Day Centre is a good idea, but your Mum (at 98 - bless her Image ) may find 3 days a week too much for her to cope with. I'd certainly recommend care assistants coming in to help her with washing/dressing - apart from anything else it does mean that someone is checking in on her everyday. You can have a key safe fitted by the front door so that they can get in without Mum having to worry about being up to let them in.

A Carer's Assessment will highlight any issues you have with continuing to care for her to enable her to stay in her own home.

Re: Worried About Mum's Memory

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:02 pm
by pamr1
thank you so much Martyn. never thought about that, what a good idea. Even my husband did not think of that, only don't tell him i told everyone. thanks.

susie - yes i had the same thoughts re 3 days a week. will start at just 1 and see how it goes. Hopefully we will not have to wait too long, the nurse said she had a 'friend' who organises these things and will try and get her to bump mum up the list because of her age. the cooker is an electric oven with a gas hob.
as for the microwave, i had thought about tucking the plug behind when not in use, but she is a canny lady sometimes Image and i can imagine her digging it out and using it for about 40 mins!!! Not her fault, but her generation never had microwaves, so the concept of cooking for 2 or 3 mins. is completely off her radar.

She already has crossroads lady go in twice a week for two hours at a time for befriending, so will contact them tomorrow to discuss imput in a more practical way. x

Re: Worried About Mum's Memory

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:04 pm
by pamr1
p.s. key safe already in place susie, and link line which she refuses to wear most of the time. the box on the side frightens her with its red light to. x

Re: Worried About Mum's Memory

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:02 am
by Anne001
Hi Pam,

I was wondering how you got on? Well, I guess it is good news of sorts, especially as Martyn has come up with a good idea re cooker (I wouldn't have thought of that either!). Great that mum is so amenable to going to a day centre Image - mine would have to be taken kicking and screaming ... I agree that 1 day at first is probably best. 3 days might be too exhausting. Good news re carers as well; it will at least give you peace of mind that someone has visited and is checking up on her. One word of warning - don't expect too much from them. Mum has carers twice a day - to "prompt medication" and check all is OK. Timing and quality is unreliable and varies; it has taken a long time for mum to accept them and find ones she likes / tolerates. Have you also checked if Admiral Nurses work in your area? I understand that they are very good at keeping an eye on how people are getting on - not that I have had any experience (yet).

Still waiting on an appointment here. They did phone a couple of days ago to ask if they could visit her that afternoon but I said no as I couldn't get away from work that quickly. Still waiting for a call back.

Take care, and remember to look after yourself too! Anne

Re: Worried About Mum's Memory

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:50 pm
by jane5023
Pam sorry you are going through this, have also been there recently with mum.i found the carers assessment really good- for one thing you get someone To talk it through with who really knows how hard it is for the carer. In my case she set up a thing where you nominate two others who could take over the caring if you were suddenly ill or had an accident- you put a tag on your keyring. Somehow just lifted a little bit of responsibility from me- even though you probably won't need it.the assessment is r rally taking into consideration how much you as carer do and how much it affects you either work, relationships, health etc.took an hour in my house.re the careers coming in- its worth a go, they write in a book to tell you whether they have fed or washed mum etc and will prompt for pills.my mum wasn't keen but it takes some getting used to.

Re: Worried About Mum's Memory

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:46 pm
by pamr1
despite mum agreeing to go to day centre when nurse was with her, i feel that she will not go when push comes to shove. we will have to see what happens. She has never been a joiner or club goer.
afraid i had a big row with her today. i was going to take her out for lunch as i frequently do as i feel that this serves two purposes. gets her out of her flat for a change of scenery and also she has a hot meal. i think its about 3 weeks since i managed to get her to change at least her blouse and cardigan, (let alone her underwear). so i suggested that before we left her flat that she should change her clothes and i would take them home with me to wash. well, all hell was let loose. i.e. don't you tell me i am dirty. i will be the only one that touches my body. and on and on it went. unfortunately, when she shouted at me, i did shout at her back which did not help either her or me. in the end, i said to her that i was leaving and that was what i did. no hot lunch for her today, i am afraid.
i felt quite ill myself afterwards, all stress i know, but am seeing gp tomorrow just for a check.
I really have no confidence that she will go to day centre, or accept carers in the place, despite what she said to the mental health nurse that did the assessment. oh dear.

Re: Worried About Mum's Memory

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:34 pm
by susieq
No consolation I know Pam - but about par for the course !

Mine was exactly the same -

Day Centre - always said she wasn't a 'joiner'; went once a week for about 6 weeks and then refused to go any more unless I went with her and stayed (not exactly what I had in mind !!). But a lot of them say the same and then thoroughly enjoy the company.

Rows ? - I lost it on more than one occassion Image - but the upside of the dementia was that an hour later she had forgotten all about it, although I was still feeling guilty and sick.

Personal hygiene ? - was a bit easier for me as I was living with her and when she went to bed I'd take her clothes and put them in the laundry bin so at least she would have clean clothes on the following day. Hardly ever managed to get her to have a bath or shower, but most days she would have a 'wash down' standing at the bathroom sink.

If you do manage to arrange for care assistants to come in they might do better on the hygiene front - because ours used to come in 'uniform' Mum got it into her head that they were nurses and would let them help her when she wouldn't let me Image

Re: Worried About Mum's Memory

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:37 am
by pamr1
yes they were my thoughts susie. in fact i think it might be better if i am not there when they first come, as she seems to 'behave' herself in front of anybody with authority, and a uniform means authority to her, so i have decided once something is arranged, and i think it will have to be, then i am going to stand back and let them get on with that side of things. might not work, but i think thats our best chance.

and yes, i think she had forgotten our row within possibly 15 mins. its all about loss of independence with her, and i can fully understand it. she has always been an aggressively independent lady, if that makes sense. to be like this must be very difficult for her, and very sad to watch.

thanks for your support, it means a lot. x

Re: Worried About Mum's Memory

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:59 am
by Anne001
Pam, Just wanted to send a hug your way. It's dreadful to row with them, isn't it.

Not much consolation but I lost it last week as well. I had the same question about 30 times and just burst into tears. Apparently when mum wants to ask a perfectly sensible ( Image ) question, I just change the subject or walk away. I walk away because the question is normally unanswerable and I have already tried 20 times.

Will mum use wet wipes at least? Not as good as a normal wash but better than nothing. Perhaps she will go to the club if a "person in authority" picks her up? I feel I will have the same uphill battle as you, but frankly, there is only so much you can do to force another person to do something. Sometimes you just have to let them get on with it, if it is not dangerous.

Hope you can get some help from the GP. I am having counselling / anti-depressants and they do help a bit. Off for my visit to the gynae on Monday so will see what that brings ...

Hope weekend is OK, Anne x