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Carers UK Forum • Advice needed now.
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Advice needed now.

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:09 pm
by Elaine
Hi friends, I need your input please. You might have read my posts which mention my 99yr old Mum? Well, up to some months ago I could confidently tell carers etc. that although her sight was failing rapidly, as was her hearing and her mobility, she was still very clear mentally. Then I reported that she could get a bit confused when she was tired and now I'm pretty certain that she is suffering from dementia - or is it just old age? Is there such a thing as 'just old age?' I looked up that 7 stages of dementia mentioned on a post and I think she matches stage 4 at least. At certain times of the day, late morning usually, she seems pretty much her normal self but at others, evening especially, she seems to stop functioning. A lot of her problems I have put down to her deteriorating eyesight such as using the TV remote control, telephone, raising chair control, heat pad control etc., Now there are many more signs, alongside short term memory loss, such as finding it difficult to make simple choices, obsession with time, being very upset by changes in routine, forgetting the names of foodstuffs, flowers, and most certainly people.
What I need to know is what do I do next? Do I just privately accept and carry on? Do I need to get an assessment? How? GP? If I do, what advantage is it to Mum or me that the condition is diagnosed? (I don't want to put her through any unnecessary trauma). The bodily failings I've mentioned have been happening for a long time. Her mental capacity has been gradually declining but very recently it's as if Mum's 'spirit' is in decline. She's becoming withdrawn and makes noises and facial expressions as if she is in some pain or discomfort, but if I enquire she says she's fine. At the back of my mind I wonder if it's something to do with the cross words we exchanged a few days ago but she doesn't usually carry on a 'poor me' act for quite so long after being told off. (She yelled back too!)
Just called Mum, I do twice every evening. She said she was bored being alone all the time.
'What about all your visitors today?'
'What visitors?'
'Carers first thing, then me, then Mavis, then me again, then carers, then Sue, then me again, then carers and your last carer has only just left you.'
'Oh, I'd forgotten'.
OK folks, is this dementia?
'What to do or go fishing?' is a phrase I remember from long ago.
Looking forward to your advice. Please! Jenny, Bolingbun, Steph, Anne, everyone?
Elaine

Re: Advice needed now.

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:58 pm
by ladybird
Elaine, I didn't want to leave your post unanswered, I'm sure someone with more expert advice will be along soon. My late mum didn't have dementia but exhibited the same kind of behaviours that you mention as she was approaching the end of her life.
I think it's important that you are considering how much of an impact putting your mum through tests will have on her, and how much good they would do.
My mum was sharp of mind but this deteriorated as her physical state got worse, apparently this isn't unusual. Mum was 91 when she passed three years ago, it was hard for me to acknowledge that her life was coming to a close but it was something I had to do. Your mum is a great age and I'm guessing that what you mention maybe signs that she is starting the path that all the very elderly have to go down.
I hope this doesn't upset you at all, it's honestly not my intention. It's just how your situation appears to me (I'm also an only child, although my late uncle was like my brother), you may have to consider that mum is moving towards the end of her life.
Maybe others may see it differently, or have other viewpoints xx

Re: Advice needed now.

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 6:59 pm
by Elaine
Hi Ladybird, Thanks for that. No it doesn't upset me. I've been 'expecting' since she moved near me aged 90. My anxiety is not that she will pass away but that it be a kind passing. I would like to be there because when my Dad died I was travelling in haste down the motorway from Yorkshire to South Wales. I know and accept that Mum is 'failing' but of course no-one can give me a time scale so it's hard juggling 'being there' with 'I need some space to re-energise'. I do find the mental failure much, much harder to deal with than any of the physical deterioration. However, Mum has had a good life, she is very well looked after and is really very well. She's a fighter and will keep going and keep going. I'm not made of quite the same steely determination so I hope I can keep going too. She knows herself that her memory etc is not what it was but I don't want to 'test' her unless it really helps in some way as it would probably upset her. That's what I'm asking. Is it worth it?
Thanks again. Elaine.

Re: Advice needed now.

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:31 pm
by ladybird
No, I don't think it is xx