some advice please


I am new to this forum and thought I would turn to this forum and ask your advise as I have nobody else to turn to, as it’s’ just my and my mother so here goes, a bit of our background first. My brother and his Aussie girlfriend, whom he met on a speed dating night who I dragged him along to, some time ago now bought a house in Sydney Australia and therefore decided to naturally emigrate, thus in Feb 2016 we decided to visit my brother staying with them over there for 3 weeks with my brother taking us around and showing us the sites, that sadly all went horribly wrong from the first night we were there.

We arrived in the day and met my brother and were so thrilled at the aspect of spending 3 wonderful weeks over there and I suppose my brother was to as he was going to take the 3 weeks off work but alas that first night my mother got up in the middle of the night wandering around upstairs in the dark and ended up falling down my brothers marble staircase, which curved round a bit and didn’t have any banisters, she fell down 10 of the hard concrete steps and bashed her head against the wall, my brother heard this as he happened to be still up and thus came to her aide , she didn’t recognise him at first and she kept calling his girlfriend her daughter. I then was awakened by his gf who was on the phone to the ambulance and well when I went to see what all the commotion was to my horror I saw my elderly mother sitting on the stairs in her little nightgown with her leg bent underneath her and the paramedic talking to her, it was like a nightmare. It was found she broke her hip and had some facial damage were she banged her head, so she spent all the 3 weeks over there moving from hospital to hospital, where she had to go into rehab doing exercises to help her hip and get walking again. I had to leave her in one hospital when the 3 weeks were up as I work full time thus I had to return, so I left her with my brother and his girlfriend. Thank god we got insurance as even though we didn’t need it over there as we were told they have a reciprocal agreement with us that will get free treatment over there, it came in handy when we got back as they paid out for every day my mother was in hospital. As I mentioned we went over there in Feb and I had to return in March but my mother couldn’t come back until July as she had to wait till a brain hematoma shrunk, so while she was out there she stayed in a rehab place and eventually with my brother which I think his girlfriend didn’t like so as you can imagine tensions ran high, as all the time my mother was out there my brother went and visited her in hospital everyday even when I had to return home,

Now she is doing much better, she gets around quite well indoors and even goes up and down the stairs for exercise, but she needs a wheelchair when she goes out, my problem now I am finding is at the ripe old age of 89, she is I think she is getting dementia and I don’t know whether to go along with her or carry on what I am doing and putting her right. She is ok at times and then a switch goes off and its horrible, more then often she doesn’t recognise me as Sam her daughter, she keeps saying where is Sam to me or speaks to me about what she did with Sam, sometimes she realises so tells me I am not the Sam she remembers, or she has a friend who she saw over in Australia when she means me. She was last assessed in 2016 and I think she wasn’t that bad but she seems to have deteriorated fast, I think its a mixture of that bang of the head she had, as it seems to have knocked some of her memory out, her medication as she used to take Pregablin every night and I think that causes confusion and old age, the thing is when she said to me ‘your not Sam and where is she’ she gets really adamant she’s right and get upset when I try to put her right, so what is the best thing, do I go along with it?

Hi Sam, that’s a difficult one, you can’t win. I’ll leave others with more experience of dementia to give advice.

However, your mum needs an assessment asap to see if the fall has caused anything significant. If so, she might just be able to claim for all her future care on her travel insurance, but you mustn’t leave it very long!!
Did the insurance company get copies of her medical records from Australia. That’s the first thing to sort out.

Thanks for replying bowling bun, yes I really don’t know what to do for the best and its horrible when she doesn’t recognise me as Sam.

Yes you are right I need to get her assessment, as I mentioned she had an assessment back soon after she returned and that didn’t really bring up any serious problems its only now sometimes she seems to be getting worse, its as if she can’t get in her head that there is only me and her in our house almost arguing there is someone else here, is it a ghost she see who knows. I have got our doctor to phone me Tuesday and I got a bit upset and didn’t know what to do so I will discuss it with her, as she again was almost arguing this morning that I wasn’t Sam and was asking where she was, we usually bolt the door of a night and she ever came into my room last night to wake me to say she went downstairs to unlock the door so Sam could get in from her night out, and when I tried to put her right saying I was going to go out but I stayed in she got upset and argued a bit. An old work colleague said you should go along with them, but I am not so sure.

Regarding the insurance we already claimed on the insurance soon after we both were back, I had to fill out all the relevant forms and send them in with all my mothers relevant medical records to get them to pay out so much for each day she was in hospital, which they called compensation, so I should think that ship has sailed seen as over 4 years ago now.

My lovely husband had vascular dementia. I found it best not to argue, because he genuinely believed what he was saying was true.In his mind it was. To argue just causes distress to you both.
Why not try saying something like ok, but I do care about you very much? Distraction is a way too. Can I get you a cup of tea/ shall we watch this programme together. Try not to show tension as she will sense it. It is very difficult and heartbreaking.
She could have a urinary tract infection which causes confusion.
Definitely needs an assessment. Knowing what is wrong however awful, is better than guessing.

Thanks for your reply much appreciated.

Yes you are right Pet66 it is heartbreaking to see someone you love act like that, she is so different now due to that one twist of fate in Australia, if only we never went everything would be still fine. You know Pet66 I am not religious but it’s as if the big guy (god) thought she was to active for a 86 year old so he worked it so that bad accident happened, so now she has been left with one leg shorter then the other, which gets to her sometimes as she has a severe limp and also the hip still causes her pain at times. Also you are probably right, I must try to just say ok and not argue, as you are the second person that has said that and its heartbreaking that they do genuinely believe what they are saying and she says I am lying when I try to put her right so she just ends up getting upset and its upsetting for me, so I will try to not put her right but it is hard at times saying that it seems a bit pointless.

At the moment as I said she realises later its all in her head and reverts back to knowing me as Sam, but I dread the fact when she forgets me altogether, its so sad that this happens and the thing is I am the only one that sees this happening due to the fact that I live her and look after her, I mean I think my brother in Australia doesn’t realise as when he phones up she seems fine.

Hello again
I still feel a urine test may be beneficial, to rule out urinary tract infection. It causes dreadful confusion in the elderly, can you talk to her GP. He /she won’t be able to confide in you, unless you have power of attorney, but will take notes, and advise.
Have you explained to your brother? Because she says she is fine, doesn’t mean she is. I know he is in Australia, but maybe he can advise and support you in some way?


Yes my mother has had a urinary test Pet66, thank you for checking I as I wouldn’t of known that she has it in November/December as she was feeling slightly under the weather, but that came back clear, she also had all the blood tests done and they came back clear also, it was a bit of a mystery. We now, thank god, have a regular doctor at our doctors who makes home visits, she is really nice and seems to care about my mother, she has been phoning my every fortnight to see how my mother is as she took to her bed over Christmas and as I mentioned she didn’t feel quite right, she’s ok now as she came out for the first time with me last Saturday, which is great and we had a nice day, as we figured out it must of been because she came off Pregablin in November but she seemed fine then, she was weaned off, but this doctor put her on a very low dose of 25mg once a day and that seemed to do the trick, she mentioned to give her two but I am only giving her one as I have heard it adds to confusion. Hey Bowlingbun and Pet66 of course I have now made her an assessment appointment as the doctor who visits us really whats to see us, but its not until March 10th as she is going away, although that will fly by.

Yes Pet66 I tried to explain to my brother but its hard as when he calls she seems fine, but yes I will try to explain again if I get to speak to him and stress her condition to him, to be honest I think he more or less is out the picture, as his girlfriend is not very sympathic towards her