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Friend getting worse

(30 Posts)
miep Sun 16-Oct-16 11:13:19

We have a friend aged about 75, who lives alone and in the past. Every conversation is about how hard done by she was by mother/grandmother/ex-husband/daughter/everyone else on the planet and she makes shockingly nasty comments about everybody here in our small village, though never to their faces. She repeats herself constantly (even five minutes later) and gets very mixed up as her memory is obviously going south at speed. We used to invite her for lunch every sunday, but have now given up as we can't stand the nastiness. Recently she came round at 8pm saying she'd just come back from shopping (the last bus is at 6) and lost her keys and that the neighbours, who have a spare set, were out. We know that the neighbours were in and that they don't have a set in the first place. She eventually left at 9pm after we said that we were going to bed - quite truthfully. Now her downstairs neighbour tells me she has taken to sitting in the garden in her nightwear, talking to imaginary people and giving other invisibble people the royal wave. We are fairly sure that she suffers from Alzheimers or another affliction of the same variety. Despite the fact that she is so rude and unpleasant, we think something should be done, but have no idea what.

Does anybody have any advice? I could tell you many other instances of her current VERY strange behaviour, but that's enough for now.

Sorry this post is so long, but we are really rather worried.

ninathenana Sun 16-Oct-16 11:20:01

Does she not have any family you could contact? She may not like you doing so but she definitely needs help.
Also I'd inform adult SS

miep Sun 16-Oct-16 11:26:51

She has a daughter, but speaks of her in really horrible terms and we also have no idea where she lives, not even her name. We know they have not spoken since before Christmas.

How does one involve the Adult SS? We have no idea of what to do for the best confused

Swanny Sun 16-Oct-16 11:36:09

Yes, definitely inform Social Services of your concerns about her behaviour. From what you've said, sitting in the garden in her nightwear is unlikely to be something she'd condone in others and therefore indicative of her own mental wellbeing. Hallucinations can be an indication of a form of dementia. Do you know who her GP is? Can you tell him/her of your concerns?

She probably won't thank anyone for what she may see as interference in her life but she may be considered a risk to herself and others. Good luck and keep strong flowers

ninathenana Sun 16-Oct-16 11:36:29

If you Google it you will find a number for your area by county. Give them a call and tell them you are worried about a vulnerable adult. They are duty bound to respond.

Swanny Sun 16-Oct-16 11:38:48

miep You'll find SS number in the phone book, under your local council. Just ring and say you have concerns about an elderly neighbour smile

Swanny Sun 16-Oct-16 11:39:45

Cross-posts nina smile

LadyGracie Sun 16-Oct-16 14:00:09

How sad miep, your neighbour sounds very much how my dad acted poor soul. I hope you find some help very soon.

Mary59nana Sun 16-Oct-16 14:14:29

Sometimes having a water infection UTI can cause confusion of the mind and odd behaviour in older people maybe a trip to the Drs would be the first port of call.
They can start the ball rolling with other health workers and SS

Shanma Sun 16-Oct-16 16:31:24

That's a good idea Mary59nana. I agree, if possible Miep, get your friend to a doctor, and let them get the ball rolling, if the Doc won't confide in you then also contact SS, tell them about the Doc appointment. As Ninathenana said they will be duty bound to respond.
You are not family so this is not really your responsibility, but you do sound like a good friend, and a caring person.Do what you can to get the ball rolling, I would say, then leave it to the authorities. Perhaps they also try to track down any family? I am not sure how far reaching their involvement is.

Hilltopgran Sun 16-Oct-16 18:21:41

Your friends does need some help, and the best person to involve would be her daughter if you can persuade your friend to let you know where she lives or give you a telephone number.

As a concerned friend you can make a referral to your local social services, the number should be on your LA Web page. If you decide to contact them, try and get the facts together first so you can explain what is happening.

Altzehimers does cause changes in behaviour and is often a cause of aggression.

Hope you can sort something out.

notanan Sun 16-Oct-16 18:52:54

Your friends does need some help, and the best person to involve would be her daughter

OP go on your local LA/council website, there will be contact info for your local adult SS there

I think you're right to help, no matter how nasty someone is they should have access to the right care

Doesn't sound like she's turned nasty because of the possible dementia (which can happen to people who have been lovely all their lives!), but rather that she is a nasty person who has recently developed dementia, so I guess what I'm saying is look after yourself! The way she talks about other people to you is the way she talks about you and yours to other people!

Faye Sun 16-Oct-16 21:50:49

I would have thought the onset of dementia was a change in personality, apparently nasty behaviour is a symptom in a third of people. If your friend has the onset of dementia she really can't help her behaviour. I would have more sympathy, it does sound like she needs your help.

Nelliemoser Sun 16-Oct-16 23:25:12

Miep If you know where she lives that is a start.
If she is sitting out at night in her night wear she is at risk.
I would call the police to start with and ask for a safe and well check. Explain the situation to them, the police can act right away and could in theory take her to a safe place without her permission if they feel she cannot make an informed decision.

Social services cannot do that straight away.
Poor woman.

Hilltopgran Sun 16-Oct-16 23:26:06

Notanan, why it is a good idea to try and check with the daughter if she is aware of all that is happening, because she may not know! My Mum was going outside in the middle of the night, neighbours knew and did not tell us, even though we called in 3 times everyday.

It is easier for a direct family member to talk to the GP, my Mums GP would talk to me about her health when she would not have been able to exchange information in the same way with a friend. Adult Social Care will take a referral from neighbours and friends.

silverlining48 Mon 17-Oct-16 14:15:43

It sounds very much like your friend has dementia but as previous poster said water infections can bring on these symptoms. The advice already suggested is helpful and the first port of call should be the daughter. Calling the police could mean she is removed and sectioned in a psychiatric unit and is fairly drastic as a first course of action. Speak to social services or drop a note into the surgery. Try not to forget if it is dementia she cannot help herself. It's a horrible part of the disease and many people behave this way. Not her fault, but hard nonetheless.

Nelliemoser Mon 17-Oct-16 17:38:17

silverlining48 It seems no one is sure where the daughter is.
My idea of calling the police is in the particular circumstance that an elderly person not properly dressed and sitting outside of the house in the cold, is facing a severe risk of hypothermia which could make her even more confused and less able to understand how cold she is getting.

That is a urgent health issue.

The police can act straight away to get her out of danger.
It is highly unlikely she would be locked up in a mental health section in these circumstances. The police are generally very caring in these situations.

rubylady Mon 17-Oct-16 17:43:31

Please don't come and put me away, I sometimes sit in the garden in my nightwear!

Before contacting SS, could you not try to find out who her GP is? It might just be old age confusion and she might be really scared of someone turning up who she doesn't know who they are. Maybe she is just a cantankerous sort of person, lots are at 75 years old. Her medical notes should have a next of kin. I would try to find out her doctors and then let them inform the next of kin. After all, it is up to them to decide what to do, not you. I would have been horrified if anyone had decided my dad's care without my knowledge. And even though I don't speak to my mum who is 76, I know that she is being looked after by my siblings. If she wasn't, I would have stepped in and made sure she was being looked after appropriately, even though I don't get on with her the same these days. It doesn't mean that I wouldn't care though if she was on her own with no one to help her. Maybe the daughter would be thankful of being contacted, if only for the practical side of making sure her mother is ok.

gretel Tue 18-Oct-16 09:13:42

Please have a look at the Talking Point forum on the website. You will be able to find a lot of help and support there. You friend is obviously a vulnerable adult.

marionk Tue 18-Oct-16 09:29:47

We don't eat out often but had got into the habit of stopping for a coffee and a sandwich if we were in town around lunchtime until I worked out that over the course of a month we were spending in the region of £100 (sandwiches being in the region of £4-5 and coffee £2-3). This is a reasonable sum when you are on a budget and to be honest I would rathergo out for a meal in the evening once a month as an 'event' than have a number of lunches each month. My DD and SIL moan about the cost of meat and veg, but happily buy the DGDs clothes from JoJo Maman et Bebe - can't quite get my head round the priorities

Lilyflower Tue 18-Oct-16 10:06:31

Rudeness, losing control over speech and behaviour and lacking a sense of appropriateness can all be associated with Alzheimer's and dementia. My own mother was as nice as pie all her life and is now sometimes quite angry and mean due to the onset of Alzheimer's. Perhaps this woman was always a little acid but the condition is worsening it. I shouldn't blame her too much.

Getting Social Services involved soulnds like the way to go if you cannot discover her daughter's contact details.

Legs55 Tue 18-Oct-16 11:53:18

I do agree with others that if you know which Doctor's Surgery she is registered with I would contact them with your concerns, maybe you could talk to one of the GPs. Failing that Adult Social Services would be best people to contact - make sure you speak to some-one & keep a note of their name. Good luck as she probably thank you but she sounds very vulnerable. flowers

Nelliemoser Tue 18-Oct-16 12:17:34

Well I hope something is done soon, because the way she is going on it sounds like she is going to end up in a potentially difficult situation before this is resolved.

grannypiper Tue 18-Oct-16 13:14:20

miep, i hope you have found the right advice,she is lucky to have a friend like you

Victoria08 Tue 18-Oct-16 14:14:48

Contact Age UK, they will see you on the right path.