Alzheimers; a right bastard

#1
My old Mum's gone down with this at a rapid rate of knots.

Six years ago at age 72 she got a bit strange and forgetful. Yesterday my Dad rang to tell me she introduced him to a friend they'd known for 15 years as "her father" and seemed not to recognise him. She's taken to hiding things, has fantasies about people she knew in the 70's, talks about nothing except her early childhood in India in the '40s and some utter nonsense. She doesn't wash much and has toilet accidents. My Dad's very independent; he doesn't want any help, won't hear of anyone coming in but is obviously getting out of his depth.

If you've been through this, where might she go from here? Any thoughts or advice would be hugely appreciated. We had them over for Christmas and whilst she appeared happy and a bit barking, my poor old Dad is at his wits end.
 
#4
My sympathy , dad has to be convinced to get help it is not going to be easy for him, the older generation are fiercely independent as I'm sure you know, the social services are under massive pressure to provide adequate help but you have to ask, it varies around the country might be ok where your parents live, best of luck .
 
#5
It gets more complicated. My parents live in France, us kids live in the UK. I've persuaded him to put a nursing company on standby in case he has a fall or is otherwise out of the game. What concerns me is that if he does have fall(and he's 80 and they have a lot of stairs in the house), she is utterly incapable of using a phone and would make no sense to any neighbours even if she remembered what had happened. I think it entirely possible that if he tripped and fractured an ankle, he could die on the landing where he fell, and she would starve.
 
#7
contact Alzheimers Society as has been mentioned - my friend's mother has this and lives with her and on occasion got violent, medication has helped a little but she needs expert assessment and care.
sorry to hear you're going through this-it sounds like a really evil bugger to deal with
 
#8
can any of you speak french?

It seems to me that you have three options to begin with

1) find out what the French will do to help
2) Go out there yourself to help
3) Bring them back to blighty

If you can't check on them regularly then you are going to need somebody in france to do it, somebody to pop round every few days and help out a bit. It is possible to arrange that in the UK but I have no idea how to french deal with these things.
 
#9
Its a very very cruel condition for everyone involved. Its just as hard as those who have it as those around them who dont.

While forgettibg people, or where things are etc can be a real pain it also has to be remembered that an older person with altzheimers may well be grieving every day of their lives.

Example.
An older man/woman may have outlived their spouse. They may ask where the spouse is several times per day. If they are told the spouse has died each time they ask then they are finding out about the death of their spouse 'for the first time' several times per day.
With this in mind i dont see any harm in telling little white lies such as 'they are downstairs', or 'tehey have nipped to the shops etc'.

Many councils or GP surgeries can point you to free dimentia training, and there are charities who specialise in it too.

Its bloody hard work to deal with, ive dealt with it in a working role and with my own father. I hated lying to my dad when he asked to visit his family members who had dies, but it was easier than causing upset.

A positive thing to do is to make a memory book. Fill it with photos and wording from your mums past.
With things like family photos write the peoples names with labels but also write what relationship they are to your mum as well as each other.
Include photos of houses or important places. Many long term memories come back easier that what was eaten for breakfast etc.
 
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#10
Christ thats a minefield! Is it possible to get tham back near you?
Not a chance. They've lived abroad since 1963 (when I turned up) and hardly know the Uk at all. Mum knows her way around the house in France and would be totally lost in a new place. My Dad would rather not return ever.
contact Alzheimers Society as has been mentioned - my friend's mother has this and lives with her and on occasion got violent, medication has helped a little but she needs expert assessment and care.
sorry to hear you're going through this-it sounds like a really evil bugger to deal with
My Maternal grandmother had the same. She also became violent to the point where she and my Grandfather lived in separate nursing homes many miles apart having been married for over 65 years. An absolute tragedy. His needs, following a severe stroke, were utterly different to hers, and couldn't be catered for in the same place.
 
#12
It certainly is; Vence. In the hills just outside Nice. They live in the old town, the foundations are roman and the sixth floor is 19th century. They like it there; the sun shines a lot and they can see the sea in the distance. Idyllic really.

Bloody complicated now though. And getting more so I fear.
 
#13
Add on: just remember that your mother will genuinely belive most of what she says even if you know it to be untrue.
There will be times that she will/might deliberately lie about something as she will be aware she cant remember something but wont want to admit it.
Its a perfectly normal reaction.
There are some ultra easy steps you can take such as simply saying 'hello mum' when you see her, or something like 'mum the doctor is here to see you' if a doctor has called. You will have announced who you are (in relation to her) and who the other person with you is.
If your mum/dad say they didnt call the doctor just say you had bumped into the doctor and asked them to pop in.

When my dad had dimentia he would let any care workers or OAP staff chat to him but then call me over and whisper in my ear 'who is that with you'!
I soon learned to announce things in advance to ease his mind. :)
 
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greyfergie

MIA
Book Reviewer
#14
It certainly is; Vence. In the hills just outside Nice. They live in the old town, the foundations are roman and the sixth floor is 19th century. They like it there; the sun shines a lot and they can see the sea in the distance. Idyllic really.

Bloody complicated now though. And getting more so I fear.
Only if you could live there......
 
#15
Not a chance. They've lived abroad since 1963 (when I turned up) and hardly know the Uk at all. Mum knows her way around the house in France and would be totally lost in a new place. My Dad would rather not return ever.


My Maternal grandmother had the same. She also became violent to the point where she and my Grandfather lived in separate nursing homes many miles apart having been married for over 65 years. An absolute tragedy. His needs, following a severe stroke, were utterly different to hers, and couldn't be catered for in the same place.
Can't advise on the services available in France, but if they are to stay there and your family is constrained to live in UK you might consider the following -
- The family and/or your father could invest in a web linked security system allowing online viewing via webcams of their property in France.
- That could be linked to a smart alarm (notifying you via text), so if there is absolutely no movement detected or alternatively a Bluetooth / WiFi alert is activated, in the event your father has a fall, this may offer some reassurance.
- You could possibly tie this into an emergency response in France.
Starters for ten -
The best home security cameras: monitor your home from your phone, record evidence and get alerts
 
#16
An old aunty of mine spent the last eighteen months of her life counting from one to five continually whenever she was awake. Your Dad is going to need help sooner or later and should be prepared for at best a frustrating ride. Link below for some info sheets. :cool:

Factsheets - FTD Talk
 
#17
She certainly tries hard to hide her condition so she must be aware of it.
She claims that she must have "missed that in the news" when we talk of current affairs and joins in the laughter fractionally after everyone else when the punchline is reached.
If she has no stimulation she just switches off and stares into space, miles away, completely lost and she sometimes sings to herself.
She's not my mum anymore. I wonder how long she will last. And how long my Dad can keep going under this level of pressure, I see him losing patience with her and I think he believes that if she just tried bit harder she would be able to put matching socks on or sort cutlery into the right drawer.
 
#18
Alzheimer's is a real sod. One of my uncles and my father-in-law died of it.
Many on here will know, or know of, somebody with Alzheimer's.
I am trying to put together some information to present to the Alzheimer's society, which comes under the heading of a potential anomaly which might be worth researching.
Whenever anybody mentions Alzheimer's, I always ask whether they have come across any cases where both partners in a marriage have been afflicted.
To date I have had a nil return, i. e. no cases recorded of both partners.
We know that Alzheimer's is no respecter of anybody, and I find it odd that only one partner in a marriage is afflicted at a time.
Can anybody provide me with evidence to the contrary?
 
#19
Alzheimer's is a real sod. One of my uncles and my father-in-law died of it.
Many on here will know, or know of, somebody with Alzheimer's.
I am trying to put together some information to present to the Alzheimer's society, which comes under the heading of a potential anomaly which might be worth researching.
Whenever anybody mentions Alzheimer's, I always ask whether they have come across any cases where both partners in a marriage have been afflicted.
To date I have had a nil return, i. e. no cases recorded of both partners.
We know that Alzheimer's is no respecter of anybody, and I find it odd that only one partner in a marriage is afflicted at a time.
Can anybody provide me with evidence to the contrary?
Brother has in laws where one had Alzheimers and the other had Dementia, both shit conditions and very difficult to differentiate, although testing is far more vigorous nowadays.
 
#20
Should All Dementia Patients Move to France? | Alzheimer's Reading Room

My cursory google searches coming back as France being something of a leader in dementia care, you should receive a lot of support by the looks....

The best way to manage dementia at a country level is by developing national plans, comparable to nationwide management of HIV/AIDS or diabetes. This has been done in a limited number of countries, like Australia, South Korea, France, UK and USA.
Importance of national plans for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
 
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