Don’t Mention Alzheimer’s

13 Dec

We had a visit from a Community Psychiatric Nurse today. She has been sent following our recent visit to the GP after mum had a particular bad few days where she was complete disorientated and having hallucinations again. The hallucinations take the form of seeing and talking to invisible people in the flat. When questioned, she says she can’t actually see anyone but it’s more like a feeling she can’t explain!

The nurse is very pleasant but has to fill in the longest form and asks dozens of seemingly unrelated questions. Mum is in her element – she has always loved attention from the medical fraternity. Any hospital or GP appointment is treated like a day out to her. I often think she would have been quite successful at Munchausen’s Syndrome!

There are no magical answers. I am able to talk to the nurse quite easily without mum hearing or understanding as long as I talk quickly and quietly. I tell her about how mum doesn’t like me being out at night and especially after 10pm when she goes to bed. She says there are sitting services I can use – I’d love her to explain that one to mum! She asks mum if she enjoys her day at the Day Centre. Mum says yes she really likes it but when asked if she’d like to go another day, she flatly refuses. Sigh!

The nurse suggests various clubs and societies but unfortunately mum is not a joiner of this type of thing. I can’t complain as I’m not myself.

Finally, the nurse mentions something about Alzheimer’s. It’s like a red rag to a bull. For some reason mum knows she has dementia and can deal with this but if anyone calls it Alzheimer’s she freaks out. In her mind dementia is mild and maybe curable but Alzheimer’s is definitely not! So I ‘remind’ her that mum has several types of dementia and Alzheimer’s is only a small part of it. Mum asks outright if it is curable and she is very diplomatic in her answer saying that the symptoms are treatable and she may not deteriorate from her current state.

We also touched on the subject of mum’s occasional little accidents that are happening now and then. We are being referred to the incontinence clinic! Oh dear – it’s all getting a bit much suddenly.

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Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Diary



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