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Let sleeping dogs lie.

(19 Posts)
sparkygran Thu 07-Aug-14 18:51:28

I learned the hard way with my DM that when she was prescribed new drugs for her dementia and then Alzheimers that other drugs she had been on were still continuing to be prescribed. So it`s important to get a review of all medications to make sure some of them are not "fighting" with each other.

Stansgran Thu 07-Aug-14 17:35:13

Thank you mini. It was put in place in 2005 so I will have to do something about the health part. Hadn't really thought about it for ages.

FlicketyB Wed 06-Aug-14 13:00:49

It might be an idea to get her medecines reviewed. Many elderly people hqve been diagnosed with dementia only to find that it is the side effects of their drugs causing the problem. Doctors seem to prescribe drugs for different conditions without ever considering how they interreact and a prescription review might help.

Kiora Wed 06-Aug-14 07:02:53

Thanks for your advice. I will mull things over and speak to the rest of the family. MiL has always been contackerous and difficult. I'v known her for amost 40 years, from the beginning I thought she was a bit eccentric. Her home has always been full of shite stuff. Of course this has become much worse over the last 4/5 years. Because she's always been like this we hardly noticed. I posted a while back about her buying chocolate/cakes/biscuits, tons and tons of the stuff ( she a diabetic) on the promise of winning a big cheque. Then it was coins/model trucks/ miniature eggs/ books and don't even talk about the hundreds of dolls all looking down on you from every corner of every room. We just thought it was her and it may have been who can tell. She has always repeated stories over and over but normally with a few weeks between the telling not in the same hour. It's all very sad. She's having a horrible time with dry mouth syndrome, her hands are in a terrible state all cracked and bleeding. We think it's the side effect of the mountain of drugs she has to take. She is out of breath just answering the door. She can still criticise and cause a row though!

rubylady Tue 05-Aug-14 01:14:08

My dad has dementia and I don't think the medical staff have told him. I haven't said anything either as he hates the thought of illness and is in fear of dying. He just thinks he is forgetting things a bit. He too tells me the same story over and can ask the same question withing ten minutes. I just answer him and carry on. I haven't yet got round to the discussion of his will (and I didn't even think of POA). I will have to broach the subject because I am the only next of kin who visits him. How do you bring it up without looking like you're after his money, which I am most definitely not. He can leave it to the cat's home for me, I just don't want it going into the wrong hands. It's a difficult one and a conversation I am not looking forward to.

FlicketyB Mon 04-Aug-14 11:43:29

I have twice had to deal with relatives who refused to arrange POAs and it was a real hassle. Fortunately one was in his right mind although suffering from deep depression at the time and he was able to set it up a year later when he had recovered but the other two, married and both with dementia were a nightmare..

It was just after the new law came in and the system was in chaos with long delays. We got them both into the solicitors office and we then tried to get them to concentrate for seconds at a time and make decisions about attorneys. One was OK but the other named different attorneys every few minutes. We did finally get it done only to discover that a few months previously that, at the recommendation of teir bank manager, they had made both their individually held bank accounts joint accounts. This meant the only attorney who could access the bank account was one who had been made an attorney by both of them. Fortunately they did have one attorney in common and he had to deal with all the money affairs unaided because he was the only one with joint authority.

We waited months for the POAs to come through and in the end I ended paying care home fees for the two of the them for three months. I got the money back but it was fortunate I had the money available and accessible to pay them in the first case.

MiniMouse Mon 04-Aug-14 10:36:10

Stansgran If you have a validly executed Enduring Power of Attorney before 1st October 2007 then it's still valid, but it won't cover your health and welfare, which the new one does.

You can now add the Health and Welfare part to your existing EPA.

MiniMouse Mon 04-Aug-14 10:27:17

Kiora Leaving aside the issues of the other family members, your MiL really needs someone to convince her that LPA needs to be set up. If she is already showing signs of dementia, she will need to be checked by a doctor who can confirm that, despite her symptoms, she is still capable of understanding what she is doing and signing.

Would her doctor be open to the idea of approaching the subject with her? She may be susceptible to the idea that he/she is an authority figure and so more willing to take his/her advice?

We spent ages trying to convince my OH's aunt to do it and she didn't think it was necessary as she was still 'all there'. We couldn't get it through to her that, if she was ill/had an accident etc, no-one could help with pension, banking, bills etc. Then she had The Fall . . . That tipped the scales in favour of doing the LPA and it's been a lifesaver! We live over 200 miles away from her, so the document has been so useful.

Both my OH and I have already done ours, even though we're both in good health and sound of mind. I couldn't bear to think of all the problems that would arise for the DCs otherwise. We have each other and the DCs as our attorneys, so all eventualities should be covered!

Good luck with whatever you decide to do smile

Stansgran Mon 04-Aug-14 10:06:27

May I ask here if one needs to update POA? We set it up six years ago. Do we need to do anything more?

Mishap Sun 03-Aug-14 18:06:49

It is a wake up call to get a power of attorney sorted now while we are well. We did ours when OH was first diagnosed with PD. The children found it hard to discuss it, but recognised the sense of it.

Trying to organise it when the person is, like your MIL Kiora, already starting to suffer from dementia is very difficult, as they might find it hard to understand the need for it, particularly if they do not have insight into their condition.

Mu mother had severe dementia, but thankfully my father had already organised P of As for them both a few years previously.

I think that it is hard for you to bring this up, and better left to the doctors and CPNs, as you will need to keep your relationship with her on a good footing. Although, having said that, it is likely that if you did bring it up she might not remember.

It is a dreadful illness and I send all good wishes to you and your family.

Nonu Sun 03-Aug-14 18:05:08



TriciaF Sun 03-Aug-14 17:45:38

Thanks Nonu - I must say that reading the various problems on Gransnet has woken me up to the fact that these things are so common, and I'm grateful for my own relatively good health.

Nonu Sun 03-Aug-14 17:26:58

How very kind of you TRICIA, I am sure it will be much appreciated !

smile & sunshine

TriciaF Sun 03-Aug-14 17:04:06

Kiora - as you're so fond of your MiL I would just leave it up to the professionals to pass on info, prescribe etc, and enjoy your relationship with her as long as you can. I'm sure she enjoys it too.
This afternoon I've just renewed contact on the phone with a dear friend, who's the same age as me (78) but is becoming more confused. She was always rather "scatty". So I'm going to re-start visiting. Her older husband (84) copes at home but needs all the support he can get.
We could well be in the same situation soon.

hildajenniJ Sun 03-Aug-14 16:17:30

My DF has vascular dementia. We really noticed how bad it was becoming after my DM passed away. They were managing very well with the help of a home care package for mum who had COPD. After mum died my Dsis. stayed with dad for a few nights and she discovered that he was getting up in the wee small hours of the morning to make breakfast. He was also losing words, and having difficulty following a storyline on tv. He knew himself that something was amiss and was happy enough to see a psychistrist. When she delivered her diagnosis I was with him. He was very stoic about it and only one small tear ran down his cheek. She asked him how he felt about it and all he replied was, "what will be, will be. Anyway, he was prescribed a small dose of Donepezil to take daily. It was marvellous, we got our dad back. We then discussed LPA and got him to sign all the paperwork, as he realised himself that the time was right. Eighteen months on he is still managing at home with the assistance of myself and my two sisters. We are having another meeting with various agencies next week to discuss the possibility of respite care when we feel it is needed. I hope my experience helps although your situation is different.

FlicketyB Sun 03-Aug-14 15:52:59

* Kiora* In your MiL's situation I do not think telling her will help. Either she will e very upset and then forgot you told her but feel uncomfortable for no reason she can remember when she sees you or the information will go over her head. It is clear that she sees doctors regularly so could you not speak to them, and ask for her to be referred to a Memory Clinic. This will at least clarify the situation.

The next question I would ask is have you drawn up a power of attorney? So many people leave it until it reaches this difficult stage to get people to make them. If you and other members of your family agree it is sensible to make POAs, could you then encourage your MiL to join you. You will be able to make a case that it is such a sensible thing to do that you are and others are doing it and why doesn't she join you. DH and I first made our POAs over 20 years ago when our children became legally adults and have updated them since. They only come into affect when we decide that they should. Perhaps you could slide you MiL into doing that when she draws it up.

If she hasn't told your BiL who is father is now it is unlikely she ever will. She may, in her current state already have forgotten. Perhaps you could slide a question in when she tells you the grisly tale yet again and ask about BiL's birth and casually ask if he looks like his father and then who he was, but I do not think a direct question would work.

Grannyknot Sun 03-Aug-14 15:34:35

Hi Kiora despite having 5 daughters, my MIL asked me (her DIL) to take her to the doctor saying that she wanted a check up for Alzheimer's because her dad had it (but subsequently I realised that she was aware that there was something wrong). At that appointment she was diagnosed with "early Alzheimer's". I remember that neither of us were particularly upset, me because of ignorance and perhaps she was just being stoical, but we did discuss it and I told her of an incident that made me think there was something wrong with her - when I had found it odd that she could not divide a tart among 5 people, she simply couldn't work out how to cut 5 portions. (That was 19 years ago, she has had an extremely slow progression of the disease and although she now has advanced Alzheimer's and can no longer communicate, she is still going strong physically).

So I suppose my advice would be to wait and see, and your MIL might well talk things over with you if she has her own concerns about her memory. That would then give you the opportunity to tell her about some of the things you have noticed. I'm not sure that I would pre-empt the discussion, but perhaps you can probe gently to see whether she has concerns.

As for the other stuff - the unresolved issues she has with her children, I'd mind my own business, especially if she doesn't raise it.

I'm sorry you lost your mother when she was so young flowers

ninathenana Sun 03-Aug-14 15:24:15

I don't think telling her that you think she has dementia will serve any purpose really, she will probably deny it anyway. I and most of the people I have spoken to in this situation don't mention the word to their loved one. I would however, if she asks tell her gently that she seems to be having a few problems. A few 'love lies' don't hurt in this situation. Something like "X needs to have LPA so that he can speak for you IF at anytime you can't and make sure the doctors don't do anything he knows you wouldn't like.
This is how we persuaded my mother. Her and I already joint bank account which had been set up a few years previously.
The children are a tricky one. My mum took secrets regarding my half sister to her grave. In your BiL case I would want to know who my father was but if it turns out to be some random name. Will there be any benefit ? I think it has to be his decision whether to ask.
I would have given anything for mum to go the same as dad. Mum went to the kitchen to make a cup of tea came back and he had passed away from a massive heart attack. A shock for us all but truth be told a better ending.
Good luck with it all.

Kiora Sun 03-Aug-14 14:52:23

My 85 year old m.i.l is starting to display some signs of dementia. She's been living (very fiestly) with a serious heart condition for over a decade. She's always repeated stories over and over again.( if I hear the grisly tales of my husbands 'double breech' one more time I will scream) but recently it's become worse. I had the same conversation over and over with her for 45 minutes the other day. She often thinks it's morning when it is in fact evening. She has completely lost her timing mechanism. Her G.P and hospital consultant has been asking her to make a power of attorney over the last few months. Obviously she refuses. I'm not sure if she knows how bad her memory is now. Or if she knows how quickly she is loosing her grip on reality. My problem is she has always talked things over with me. She knows I will be brutally honest when it's called for and somtimes when it's not! If she asks do I tell her..the truth? My other dilemma is her children. They have many unresolved issues with her and I really don't blame them. One would like to know who is father is. I think it's all been left brewing too long now and it's best to let sleeping dogs lay. I don't want to upset or unsettle her but I am only too aware that time may be running out. It's hard isn't it. I'v grown to love her and all her annoying ways. She's a big part of my life. My own dad died suddenly last year with no fuss or worry and I often wish I'd have known so could have talked about the meaningful unspoken stuff we all carry around with us. My mum died too young at 44. Makes you wonder which is the best ending to our lives. Getting too morbid now sorry. sad Any advice welcome