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Feeling a bit helpless - Carers UK Forum

Feeling a bit helpless

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Forgive me if this is a little confused but it's been that type of day! My mum, who is 89 and has vascular dementia, went to her regular daycare centre yesterday and seemed to have had an ok time. She always moans about it when she gets home but the photos on Facebook showed her joining in with the chair zumba. This morning when I went up to see if she was ok, as it was 10.00 am and I hadn't heard a peep from her, she was very concerned and frightened and sure she was going to die. She wasn't focusing very well but that didn't last long.
We have at least two days a week when she takes to her bed and is frightened and constantly wondering what life is all about. This has been going on for over a year, in fact a couple of days is an improvement; at one time she was only getting up to use the toilet. We have had blood tests done regularly,  the most recent ones were only last week and came back normal. 
Is the weakness part of old age/dementia? The feeling today that she was going to die is a new one and she was worried I would be alone, as my husband works shifts, when I found her! She has eaten all her meals today and does every day, she doesn't drink enough but we make sure she has drinks with all her meals and as often as we can in-between. 
I have no idea how to deal with this, she is too frightened to come downstairs but I can't spend all day upstairs, today she was saying she couldn't get out of bed although in the end she had to! I can't lift or support her as I used to as I have been diagnosed with gout (which was a bit of a shock as I've been teetotal for over 30 Years! ) which makes it painful and I don't want to drop her.
Is there anyone I can contact who can tell me if this is normal behaviour for someone with dementia?  I don't want her to be frightened and on her own but she won't engage at all on her days in bed and doesn't want the TV on or the radio. We go through the same conversations over and over which is only to be expected, I've been doing it for over five years but these days the questions have no answers and when she is left  unsatisfied she asks far more often than she used to.
I feel out of my depth, I can't answer her questions, alleviate her frightened feeling, or even get her out of her room. Last week she had the blood test on the Monday then spent the next three days in her pj's.  She got dressed to go to daycare but she is far less mobile than she was even a month ago.
I realise that all I've really done here is moan but I do really want to know who I can speak to to get some information about dementia and whether this is how it should be.
Hi Tracy and welcome

I've found the Alzheimers Society's web site Talking point very helpful They discuss all types and stages of dementia not just Alzheimers. There are plenty of archived threads you can access through the search facility
I would also recommend to you their information leaflets and downloads. Have a look at all the links - they have info on loads and loads of things - take a good look and either download or order a paper copy.
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/downloads ... factsheets
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/2003 ... factsheets
They also have an advice line
Thank you, Henri estate, off to look now.

Henri estate? For goodness sake!
Hello Tracy. Welcome.
It may not be much help to you but here goes...
My lovely husband is in a nursing home because of strokes and vascular dementia. Whilst he is not at a stage of being frightened, as far as I am aware, other residents can be. One gentleman approached me, crying. When I said oh dear what's the matter, R, he said he was frightened, and didn't know what to do. I took him to a member of staff. I've actually held my breath, when my husband has been in a deep deep sleep, awaiting the next breath! My daughter was so anxious one day last week, she asked the nurse to check him. The next day he was as bright as a button! Confabulating, but happy.Your anxieties are perfectly normal. Do look at the links our lovely Henrietta has sent to you. I'm sure they will help. Each person is unique in their dementia world, and it's very painful and difficult for their loved ones. ((( Hugs)))
This is only a thought, but my MIL with dementia, when she moved into her current home, was quite anxious and confused, and so was put on a low dose of Diazapam to 'take the edge off' for her anxiety. If you speak to your mum's GP and describe her 'fear days', he might think that something similar might be helpful? It's the kind of calming down drug that needn't be taken 'constantly' but simply 'as and when'. That said, it is used cautiously in the elderly as it is 'so relaxing' (!) that it can relax muscles as well, so they are wary about falls.
Ladies, thank you. This morning she is up and at 'em or as up and at 'em as she gets! I hate to think of her being frightened in what is her own home. She has been here almost five years.
I will look at diazapam but we have had problems with medication in the past. Anti depressants turned her into a zombie, then it was me who was frightened!
Waiting for the supposedly weekly Skype from my sister in Australia at the moment, which last week mum refused to stay downstairs for; her personality seems different every day and the old her is almost gone now. It did give me a chance to have a good chat though. She is over in June so we can discuss thing face to face.