Not so elderly odd behaviour

#1
Visiting a relative for a few weeks and I'm a bit concerned about her. She's in her mid sixties retired ex academic. usually fun and friendly, we have been very close since I was young.
Conversations have become a bit strained, where she would be free and easy now she will argue black is white before admitting she is mistaken. Also you will get an answer not related to the question you have put, when pointing this out I get a tenuous link to the subject. (she is very clever).
The other day she swore blind that she had not visited my wife and I last summer even when we got the pictures out.
Doing things seems to take her ages and she will concentrate on one part of the task rather than ensuring the thing gets done. Decisions don't come easy either.

Anyone with similar experiences? I don't want to make an appointment with her GP with out her knowledge. She says she is fine But?

Posting on Arrse because of the breadth of experience out there.
 
#2
My late grandmother was exactly the same due to the onset of Alzheimer's.

Without sounding cruel, I'd have rather seen my grandmother euthanized at that point than see the mad woman she became in later years.
 
#3
My wifes grandmother and great aunt also have Alzheimer's/dementia, and this is exactly how they started.
 
#5
Needs to see a GP.
What help will that be if she is coming down with Alzheimers? There is no cure and little pallative care so why bother?
 
#6
What help will that be if she is coming down with Alzheimers? There is no cure and little pallative care so why bother?
My father in law has it. I believe they can give medication to stop it getting worse.
 
#7
What help will that be if she is coming down with Alzheimers? There is no cure and little pallative care so why bother?
It may not be Alzheimers though, and tests can be carried out to determine if it is. Whilst there is no cure, if it is something else, then treatment may be available which could reverse whatever it is. By not going, with the attitude of whats the point, it could potentially prevent a cure of something very simple.
 
#8
It may not be Alzheimers though, and tests can be carried out to determine if it is. Whilst there is no cure, if it is something else, then treatment may be available which could reverse whatever it is. By not going, with the attitude of whats the point, it could potentially prevent a cure of something very simple.
Too true - could be something as simple as dehydration.


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#9
My father in law has it. I believe they can give medication to stop it getting worse.
My MiL has it, all six of her sisters has it, her mother and all 4 Aunts had it as well.
My wife is shit scared that she will be getting it.

Nothing the doctors did helped in any way what so ever.

Still I suppose going and making sure you actually do have it instead of just a cold or something is probably a good idea.
 
#10
My MiL has it, all six of her sisters has it, her mother and all 4 Aunts had it as well.
My wife is shit scared that she will be getting it.

Nothing the doctors did helped in any way what so ever.

Still I suppose going and making sure you actually do have it instead of just a cold or something is probably a good idea.
Steven, my bad,

Apparently the old boy has Vascular Dementia which is not the same.
 
#12
What help will that be if she is coming down with Alzheimers? There is no cure and little pallative care so why bother?
If she is, which is something for a Doctor to decide upon, methinks.
 
#13
It may not be Alzheimers though, and tests can be carried out to determine if it is. Whilst there is no cure, if it is something else, then treatment may be available which could reverse whatever it is. By not going, with the attitude of whats the point, it could potentially prevent a cure of something very simple.
I agree it could be any number of things, including things that are reversible such as stress, depression etc (especially after having had such a stimulating occupation before retirement). Get her to see a GP, and at this stage I would not assume the worst case scenario.
 
#14
Visiting a relative for a few weeks and I'm a bit concerned about her. She's in her mid sixties retired ex academic. usually fun and friendly, we have been very close since I was young.
Conversations have become a bit strained, where she would be free and easy now she will argue black is white before admitting she is mistaken. Also you will get an answer not related to the question you have put, when pointing this out I get a tenuous link to the subject. (she is very clever).
The other day she swore blind that she had not visited my wife and I last summer even when we got the pictures out.
Doing things seems to take her ages and she will concentrate on one part of the task rather than ensuring the thing gets done. Decisions don't come easy either.

Anyone with similar experiences? I don't want to make an appointment with her GP with out her knowledge. She says she is fine But?

Posting on Arrse because of the breadth of experience out there.
What you describe is very similar to my mother, same age, same behaviour, same demeanour. Eventually diagnosed as Alzheimer about 3-4 years later. Get her to a GP and make sure you have enough time during the consult to explain the situation. After that they can conduct tests to verify.

The hard part is getting them to the GP; don't let her go alone. My mother was in denial although I'm sure she knew that there was something wrong. She was never one for going to the doctor always preferring 2 bruffen. After diagnosis she held out till she was 80 but the last couple of years were not happy ones. Unfortunately its called the long goodbye for a good reason.
 
#15
Thanks all. Keeping my fingers crossed. As Amazing-Lobster said after such a stimulating career she may be just a bit down (apologies to anyone with depression just generalising).
I'm here for another few weeks so I will have a go at getting her to the doctors. Hoping it's other stuff but her gran suffered with dementia and her mum (an exceptionally bright woman) had her moments.
 
#16
What you describe is very similar to my mother, same age, same behaviour, same demeanour. Eventually diagnosed as Alzheimer about 3-4 years later. Get her to a GP and make sure you have enough time during the consult to explain the situation. After that they can conduct tests to verify.

The hard part is getting them to the GP; don't let her go alone. My mother was in denial although I'm sure she knew that there was something wrong. She was never one for going to the doctor always preferring 2 bruffen. After diagnosis she held out till she was 80 but the last couple of years were not happy ones. Unfortunately its called the long goodbye for a good reason.
My father died in June at the age of 90. He had been in a care home since Jan 2011 suffering from Alzheimer's. In retrospect he had been showing some symptoms (memory loss, spatial confusion, etc) for the last two decades, but this had been gradual and to some extent the family just put it down to general aging and him being him. In autumn 2010 his condition worsened rapidly and he became paranoid (mostly about my mother's fidelity), aggressive towards the rest of the family, and generally 'impossible'. The paranoia and aggression were medicated out and his last 18 months were generally happy and tranquil (thanks it part to a pretty wonderful care home) until he entered a rapid physical decline in late May.

None of this was pleasant for the family.

My mother is also 90 and shows some of the same symptoms (very mildly) as described by the OP - she is still physically capable of looking after herself, does crossowrds and jigsaws, keeps up with current affairs, converses sensibly, manages money, etc. but I think a trip to the GP is on the horizon.

Medical matters aside I would urge anybody faced with this situation to encourage the individual to get their affairs in order (in particular if there is business interests or property involved) and, if you can do it tactfully, get a power of attorney in place. The misery of dealing with my father was compounded by the fact that our belief that his affairs were in order was mistaken, and that his descent into incapacity was too rapid to allow for us getting a POA.
 
#17
Visiting a relative for a few weeks and I'm a bit concerned about her. She's in her mid sixties retired ex academic. usually fun and friendly, we have been very close since I was young.
Conversations have become a bit strained, where she would be free and easy now she will argue black is white before admitting she is mistaken. Also you will get an answer not related to the question you have put, when pointing this out I get a tenuous link to the subject. (she is very clever).
The other day she swore blind that she had not visited my wife and I last summer even when we got the pictures out.
Doing things seems to take her ages and she will concentrate on one part of the task rather than ensuring the thing gets done. Decisions don't come easy either.

Anyone with similar experiences? I don't want to make an appointment with her GP with out her knowledge. She says she is fine But?

Posting on Arrse because of the breadth of experience out there.

Even if you cannot physically get her to attend the doctors, there is nothing stopping you informing her GP by letter or even just leaving a message by phone, that way the GP can take the appropriate action to get her checked out.

You can even do the above anonymously if you feel it necessary to do so.

Her symptomology could suggest dementia. but likewise there are a great many other conditions that present similarly and are rectifiable.

It can be difficult/feel odd taking action regarding this situation, but imagine how you would feel if you did nothing and you later learned the ladys situation deteriorated, she became risk to self or worse.

Good on you for recognising there is a issue and wishing to do something to help.
 
#18
Snip... Medical matters aside I would urge anybody faced with this situation to encourage the individual to get their affairs in order (in particular if there is business interests or property involved) and, if you can do it tactfully, get a power of attorney in place. The misery of dealing with my father was compounded by the fact that our belief that his affairs were in order was mistaken, and that his descent into incapacity was too rapid to allow for us getting a POA.
Oh jeez, POA, we left that too late. When my Mum had the odd moment of being seemingly compos mentis she flatly refused to look at the paperwork saying that she'd look at it later. Eventually it was too late and when it was needed it became a nightmare, especially as I was abroad and the designated person for POA over her affairs. Well worth having it arranged when somebody can clearly state their wishes re POA.
 
#19
Oh jeez, POA, we left that too late. When my Mum had the odd moment of being seemingly compos mentis she flatly refused to look at the paperwork saying that she'd look at it later. Eventually it was too late and when it was needed it became a nightmare, especially as I was abroad and the designated person for POA over her affairs. Well worth having it arranged when somebody can clearly state their wishes re POA.
Yup. My brother and I had to get guardianship of my father which was a lot more complicated (and profitable for the lawyers) than a POA. In fact, rather than yapping on ARRSE I should be preparing the final set of accounts to show that I have discharged my role as a guardian honestly. Mother has done a POA, thank goodness.
 
#20
Yup. My brother and I had to get guardianship of my father which was a lot more complicated (and profitable for the lawyers) than a POA. In fact, rather than yapping on ARRSE I should be preparing the final set of accounts to show that I have discharged my role as a guardian honestly. Mother has done a POA, thank goodness.
I'd forgotten about the guardianship part, I suspect my mind is still trying to block that out. Hours of writing letters to lawyers and endless forms. In the end it had to be a joint guardianship with social services who were responsible for immediate care. Although I do have to give the girl at social services a lot of credit for being a sight more understanding of the situation compared to the jobsworths involved in the process.
 

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