Mum's health has taken a sudden dive over the last week and now falling. Is this to be expected?

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Mum has vascular and Alzheimer's mixed dementia. I have noticed over the last few weeks she seems to be getting frailer noticeably that is. This last week has been really noticeable and the doctor has been out. UTIs ruled out and no chest infection just her 'usual' headaches but she has had these for as long as I can remember so way over 20 years. She is finding it difficult now to pull up her depends (we have a different name but thats what I mean) and has just taken a tumble - not hurt just a tumble...but is this the start of a new phase?

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If she tries to pul them up she topples over so for now its not going to happen

She refuses to do any exercise for more than about 1 minute. She has been told to stand from sitting five times one after the other 5 times a day - wont even do that and if I try to get here to do it - well lets just say I make sure there's nothing she can throw nearby

I have a pedaller - she said why don't I use it since I'm so lazy and fat - she's right I am fat (I have a diagnosed eating disorder) but hey I'm also not going to stand there and take the abuse either. I have tried everything - even put her commode two steps further away but this change is really quite sudden and her depression has increased 10 fold as a result - if she was miserable before then you cant imagine how much worse it is now

Grins at Tai Chi - my goodness that's foreign - I would have to call it something else! please don't shout at me for that my mother is quite xenophobic but that was the norm in her day

She drinks loads each day because I nag until she does, she has 3 meals a day admittedly only 2 with protein but I make up the difference with milky drinks.

She has potatoes every day in one form or another and has bananas and egg custard regularly as a dessert and celery soup home made about once a month so I cant think it is hydration potassium etc. She has no problem urinating or pooping (for sure on the latter!)

But exercise she will not do I keep telling her use it or lose it but nope nada.

Everything is as it has always been except she is miserable as sin and can't be allowed to walk because her legs give way underneath her.

All the falls seem to occur going to or from the commode and she has a walker we have grab rails to cope for everything but she has just seemed to have lost all strength

On thing I have noticed is that her hearing has diminished but the doc checked that and said nothing needed to be done and she can hear just not as well as she used to. To be fair she has never had brilliant balance - unable ever to ride a bike even as a young woman - dad said she was a danger on the road in a car or on a bike. She has no spatial awareness to speak of.

one thing she is saying is that the back of her throat feels like its burning and her legs are burning now I cant massage the throat but I massaged the legs today and that seems to have eased them a bit. I just think this is a step down on the ugliest of all roads - I have said it before but I will say it again I HATE DEMENTIA
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Jude, I'm so sorry to read this; I know it's been a long journey with your mother.

Can you tell whether her inability to pull up the Depends seems to be sourced in weakness in her arms, or confusion about what to do? Sorting that out might help determine whether the issue is mental or physical.

If the latter, I don't recall if she's getting any PT at home, or whether she'd be receptive. One thing she could do, if she's willing, is use the little home pedalers. They're like the pedals on a bike, but on a stand which can be used on a table for arm exercise or on the floor for leg exercise.

Could you get her to do exercise while listening to her favorite music? Even Tai Chi would help.

I can't help thinking that fraility is a medical rather than a mental issue. So many things could cause it - muscle weakness especially. I'm sure you feed her as well as you can, but I'm just wondering about her hydration level and any recent blood work as well. Is her fluid intake sufficient?

We finally realized we were both having weakness in our legs because we weren't eating that many potassium rich foods. I keep forgeting that I eat a lot of celery, which is a diuretic. Bananas and potatoes to the rescue!
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CM she is a narcissistic old %^& and no she just wants attention. I spend probably about 4-5 hours a day actually sat talking with her. Additional to that I have:

washed
massaged
toileted
cleaned the house
done the laundry
the garden
packed a few boxes for the move
updated on here (this is now an essential tool in my day)
done the ironing
fetched bits from the shop or chemist or both
attended appointments to make sure she tells them where she is at as opposed to her usual lies
changed clothes that have been soiled and rewashed them
emptied commodes ( I would say I could do that blindfold but perhaps not a good idea!)
sanitised everything she manages to touch with dirty hands (dirty as in not sanitary as opposed to dirty from dirt

I dont want to spend any more time with her.....by now it is me time and by Jingo I think I will just go play some Simon & Garfunkel and chill so nnite all xxxxxxxxx
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Tex, can't the vet give you a quick consult while he's at it? :)
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CM someone is going to ask you what Detol is. One of the many things I miss and practically unobtainable here except on Amazon at great inflated cost. Then there is treacle, marmite, bovril, horlicks and bisto.

Good idea in principle to have the vet give Tex's Mom the once over but he'd probably tell her to get a halter and a lunge line and have her trot round a few circles. Probably kill her but that might solve some of Tex's problems come to think of it. if not put her on a diet of a handful of grain and only two flakes of hay and a grazing muzzle when she goes out.
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Jude, I'm following your story and gettin' it. But I have to ask one question: what is "the ironing." Maybe it is cultural thing.

Hang in there, and take every option to get some sleep! I was sleep-deprived for 10 years, and I'm sure making up for it now!
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On the positive side I went shopping today and bought 5 tee shirts for your equivalent of $5 each and they were really nice ones - not ones you can see straight through. One is olive green with a lace yoke, one is wavy stripes in pink, one is lemon quite plain but a lovely material and the other one is a turquoise boob tube - I am told I mustn't get strap line although heaven alone knows who would ever see them!!!
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Thanks peeps and a stone is 14 pounds - Baba 16 oz makes a pound and 14 pounds make a stone - God alone knows why we had to adopt something so silly. I tell you if God does exist then he surely is of the male variety - no woman could have made that many cock ups when building a world - I mean who except a man would put an a$$hole in that ridiculous place and why does poo have to be so messy - in fact why do we have to have food for fuel? - why can't we just ingest food and then open a flap at the side and remove it ...that way we would have gotten the pleasure of eating if we wanted to but we wouldn't be reliant on it, exactly why do we have to have babies in such an undignified position - A woman would have created a zipper structure somewhere unobtrusive and then when the time came whoop unzip and deliver.

OH Baba? I know ALL about SAGGING (lol not so much about shagging!)

But then again a man can mow the lawn (Yup I can too but why (when I was married) would I have a dog and bark myself (maybe that's why I am divorced))

I love the notice board I saw yesterday it said.

WOMEN NEVER WORK AS HARD AS MEN

It was hanging down from the ceiling as you continued (inwardly seething) the next hanging notice said -

WOMEN DO IT PROPERLY THE FIRST TIME - love it

On my return down the same aisle I noticed that the boards were reversible

MANS COMMENT TO HIS WIFE.......THERE INS'T A PROBLEM IN THE WORLD THAT A BEER CANT SOLVE

WOMAN'S REPLY....ALCOHOLISM?
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Jude I'm not sure what chronic conditions your mother's already being treated for? But to line up the usual suspects with vascular dementia, you could be looking at a cardiac event, could be a series of small TIAs, could be a small series of small strokes, or if she's already on antihypertensives and the like and her balance is suddenly shot to pieces it could be a further deterioration in her inner ear - I can't remember if it's the beta blockers or the ACE inhibitors which are ototoxic, could be both. Errr… causes of postural hypotension anyone? Yikes can't remember. Dimly recall she ought to have her Us and Es checked - urea and electrolytes. How cross does she get when the medics take blood?

If GP came out for a home visit, he probably won't have done an ECG, right? The question is, whether there's any point hauling her off to your nearest A&E or walk-in centre to get one done, considering you'd then have to have a next step after that in mind. What investigations does your mother have routinely?

It is worth looking over what she's on thoroughly, because although obviously you don't want to subject her to exciting new and invasive treatments it could turn out to be a small and easily-corrected technical hitch that you wouldn't want to miss. She's nothing like at the palliative care only stage, is she? So don't let that GP get away with being idle or unimaginative.

Go easy on the exercise until you've ruled out cardiac events, I should.

Did they ever get to the bottom of what was going on with her last year?
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Oh gold if only I could Mum has lost a stone in weight in the last 3 weeks and I am not sure how much longer her heart will take that sort of strain. I just know deep inside me it will happen when I am on holiday but I have been wrong before.

She has been moved back onto a main ward because she has no infection so she is at least out of isolation but they have put her between a woman who died about 10 minutes after mum got there and one who doesn't look like she will make it through the night and across from her is another patient who clearly has a serious liver malfunction given how yellow she is. All in all not a ward conducive to feeling good at all but hey it is free so I can't complain and the staff are very good for the most part.

One small smile in all of this bless her Mum thought the lady with the liver issue was Chinese.

At least she is not in the ward with woman who screams virtually non stop - I couldn't handle that I know - she says 4 things: I want a new social worker; heeeeeeelp me; I'm dying and last but not least I've shagged that man (if you don't have the word shag in your vocabulary Im sorry I aint explaining it!!!)
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