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curious123
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/26/2012 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I am having some concerns about my MIL and i dont know too much about alzheimers disease and i would like opinions on if you think i need to have her checked out or not. She is 71 yrs old. She has always been somewhat forgetful and temperamental but to me she seems to be getting worse. I have discussed this with my husband but he does not seem concerned about it. She repeats herself all the time and when we try to explain something to her it takes forever to get her to understand and most times i dont think she really understands it. Example.. she bought a television and it is supposed to be delivered. She has forgotten that she ordered it and it was only a couple of days ago she asked 3 times the other night if she ordered it or not. if her computer is not working the way she thinks it should she throws a fit like a 3 yr old and i mean literally she screams pounds tables and stomps around. she gets mad and upset very easily. she doesnt drive anymore because her car broke down and it has been a yr since she has driven but when she did drive she got lost in her own neighborhood twice and she has lived her over 30 yrs. sometimes she seems fine other times not. I know there is no way we will get her to the dr to be examined and she would be very mad if we told her we thought she might have this so i dont know what to do. any advice anyone can give me is very much appreciated.

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 12/27/2012 8:37 AM (GMT -6)   
You need to get your husband to understand that his mother is changing. He may be in denial. But it does sound like she is having some memory issues....not necessarily Alzheimer's but perhaps a form of dementia. She really needs to see a doctor and be assessed and/or put on medication to help. But in order to do that, you are going to need the assistance of your husband. You can also contact her family doc (if she has one) and ask for guidance.

You're in a rough spot because you are the "in-law" and there is only so much you can do. Does your husband spend any one on one time with his mother? If not, maybe he is just not seeing the other side of his mother. Is there anyone else in the family that you can talk to? Does your husband have any siblings?
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC '92 - meds: Colazal, Remicade (6mp discontinued due to neuropathy)*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, IBS, Diverticuliar Disease, Fibro, Sacroiilitis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular

curious123
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/27/2012 11:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your response, He does spend time with her because she lives with us however i am the one home all day with her but he sees how she is and how he has to explain things over and over again but he thinks its just normal aging. Ive seen it get worse through the yrs and notices it a couple of yrs ago but he just doesnt see what i do. He had a brother but his brother had a stroke and passed away a few yrs ago so it is mainly just him. All of his other aunts uncles and relatives live in another state. How do we get her to the Dr about this without telling her why she gets angry very easily and would be very angry if she knew why she was going. One other thing i forgot to mention, she does play games online on a sight called Pogo she does the puzzle games and although ive not watched her play them I assume she does well or she probably wouldnt keep playing. She doesnt like to be bothered by anyone most of the time except for us and sometimes not even us she is in her bedroom mostly all day and all night and her sleeping patterns are strang he. She is usually up all night and sleeps at different times during the day i dont think she ever gets a full 8 hours.

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 12/27/2012 11:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Perhaps you can tell her that she is going in for a wellness exam at the doctors but let the doctor know the real reason you are bringing her in. You can ask the dr. to be discreet in his assessment, perhaps discuss this with him/her beforehand.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC '92 - meds: Colazal, Remicade (6mp discontinued due to neuropathy)*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, IBS, Diverticuliar Disease, Fibro, Sacroiilitis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular

PattyLatty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2606
   Posted 1/3/2013 8:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I've recently learned that I had a small stroke and also suffer from small vessel disease, all which translates into memory loss. A few years ago I heard of a website called Lumosity which was designed by a neurologist (or neuropsychologist - I don't remember) to help people exercise their brains. Your MIL might really enjoy it while also benefitting from the memory help she will gain.

The site recommends that you work the games & puzzles once a day (it takes about 5 to 10 minutes) and it keeps track of your progress. It also compares you to other people of your sex and age. The first day I tried it, I scored a 17 percentile, which means that 83 percent of women my age scored better than I. Within a couple of days I was up to 50 percent.

It costs to join, but she can try it at no cost for a month. I highly recommend it to everyone, whether or not they have memory problems.

Your biggest issue, however, is how to get her to the doctor, and I sympathize with you, as I had similar experience with my dad. Perhaps if you kept a journal of her behavior, memory problems, etc, for a couple of weeks and showed it to your husband. You're an angel for taking care of her - it's a huge and difficult responsibility. Good luck.

Post Edited (PattyLatty) : 1/3/2013 7:50:33 AM (GMT-7)


SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 1/8/2013 7:44 PM (GMT -6)   
A wellness appointment sounds like the proper course of action. However, The doctor can't talk with you if you do not have Power of Attorney. You can send a message to your Mother's Primary Doctor saying you are her daughter, and you live with her so you see her daily behavior and suspect a form of dementia and would like her evaluated. Whether or not the doctor acts on it, is a different thing if you don't have the Power of Attorney.
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma, Alzheimer's

"The Walking Medical Mystery"

Many Allergies / Many RXs & DXs
~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 1/8/2013 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Smurfy, I'm not sure if it varies by state but you do not always need a Power of Attorney to talk with the dr. about the course of action for a family member. I had to do this with my father just recently...he developed stage 4 throat cancer but the doctors have been contacting me about his health needs and I don't have POA.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma, Alzheimer's, IBS, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC '92 - meds: Colazal, Remicade (6mp discontinued due to neuropathy)*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, IBS, Diverticuliar Disease, Fibro, Sacroiilitis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular

Post Edited (Red_34) : 1/8/2013 7:23:20 PM (GMT-7)


SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 1/8/2013 8:58 PM (GMT -6)   
That is good to know Sherry. In Oregon you need Power of Attorney. With Gma we couldn't do anything about it at first, we had to declare her unfit to get the power of attorney. The lawyer had to observe her to make sure she really was unfit. The doctor wouldn't listen to us until we had the Power of Attorney.
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma, Alzheimer's

"The Walking Medical Mystery"

Many Allergies / Many RXs & DXs
~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~

DavidEG
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/10/2013 12:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Curious, It is a tough position you're in, but there may be more options than you realize. One thing to keep in mind is that there are many conditions, besides Alzheimer's, that could be causing your MIL's memory, and other, problems. Some of those cause may be treatable - it is POSSIBLE that there is something she can do/take that will help her. SO... if you can make it clear to her, and to her son, that the doctor may be able to help her, maybe even help her do better on her computer games!, the wellness exam you spoke of may not seem so scary. She really should be checked out to rule out lots of possibly treatable conditions.

In some sense, I always found w/my mom when she had dementia, it always came down to trying to respect her, and her wishes, as much as possible. Letting her know we were doing things to make it better for her, not just imposing our will on her. Sometimes we had to enter into her world, rather than try to get her into ours. Speak in terms of what made sense to her. And often there are ways to accomodate a loved one's wishes that you might not think of at first. Maybe you could get a Nurse Practitioner or someone else to come out and do some assessment of you MIL at home. There are many memory tests you can get online and do at home. And along the lines of the Lumosity game, there are many natural therapies that have been found to be helpful with memory, and that are safe to try. Like vitamin B, coconut oil, curcumin, even just getting some exercise, taking a walk, has been shown to be very good for memory.
Don't give up hope, goood luck!
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