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Parkinsons vs possible dementia

(4 Posts)
deefer70 Fri 06-Jun-14 19:17:00

I did do a search to see if this topic had been covered already, but nothing came up. So I apologise if I'm repeating stuff, but we really need a little help here.
Basic scenario is 83 yr old father with diagnosed Parkinsons, symptoms are limited mobility etc and multiple falls. Father is now in the care system and we are awaiting referral. My worry is more for my 78 year old mum. Physically there is nothing wrong. She is my father's main carer, and we are watching her deterioration with increasing concern. She has high anxiety, takes no interest in personal appearance, rapidly losing weight, and cannot hold a conversation. I'm not sure if it's a sign of dementia, or that she has now chronic depression, which would be totally acceptable given her life currently. Unfortunately, she won't accept that anything is wrong. I am in contact with social services, yet I am equally aware that I don't want to go behind my parents' back.
I have visited the Age UK site, but in doing so, found this site.
All the medical advice in the world will never be as helpful as people experiencing similar situations in the here and now.
If I have come to the wrong place, I apologise wholeheartedly, in the meantime, any help would be hugely appreciated.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 06-Jun-14 19:39:33

I think it would be ok to talk to her doctor about your concerns. If it is the same doctor as your father sees, he will know probably her. I think depression sounds quite likely. Getting older is n't easy at the best of times without the added worry she has. Best wishes and flowers to her.

suebailey1 Fri 06-Jun-14 19:51:53

Age UK are an enormously helpful organisation why not have a chat with them as well as seeing the GP.

Mishap Fri 06-Jun-14 20:31:53

I have an OH with PD, and my mother had Lewy Body Disease - a particularly nasty variant of PD with dementia - so it is a subject close to my heart.

Your poor Mum could indeed have depression or the beginning of dementia. One thing that happens to people with PD is that they gradually become more anxious and their lives close in - and their partner is dragged into that whether they wish it or not. Equally, ceasing to care about her appearance could be an early sign of dementia, but in the absence of any other symptoms it may well not be.

Can you discuss it with their GP? - it is not going behind their back, but simply trying to clarify what you might best be able to do to help them, and expressing your concerns. She/he will be very used to that sort of discussion.

This is a very difficult situation - I used to be a SW with elderly people for pat of my career and know the scenario well. Sometimes it is just not possible to intervene if the elderly person does not wish for help. But it is important to establish whether she has a clinical depression that might be treatable first. I do think the GP would be a good first port of call. Good luck with this very difficult situation.