Long story short my mum had a stroke when she was 17 during childbirth it was caused by high blood pressure. It resulted in a stroke down her left hand side which meant she no longer has use of her left hand but can walk okay. Mum is now in her 60’s and has always been incredibly independent. I have recently noticed a serious decline in her short term memory and I am at a loss with what to do. I have discussed it with her and she dismisses it saying it’s because she is tired. My mum lives alone and has a boyfriend who she sometimes stays with and myself and my siblings all live across the UK with our own children so only get to see her occasionally which has highlighted the decline. I’ve asked if she is getting appropriate checks from her GP and again she is dismissive. I am so worried about her and just don’t know what to do. Has anyone else experience similar that could share any advice?
Hi @Lully welcome to the forum
Unfortunately, memory loss in old age is a fact of life and that you yourself will experience as you get older. And unfortunately strokes also eventually lead to memory problems. Problems with memory and thinking (cognitive problems) | Stroke Association
AgeUK have a guide for ways to slow down the decline in our memory but your mum has to be interested enough and willing to make the effort…you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. https://www.ageuk.org.uk/bp-assets/globalassets/barnet/original-blocks/homepage/memory-loss-guide---latest.pdf
If you are concerned it could be something more than merely age i.e. the beginnings of dementia, then you really need to pursued her to see her gp about this. It could even be her hormonal levels that’s the issue here. Does she go for any annual well woman check-ups? Could she just be keeping her health to herself because she feels there’s nothing to be concerned about?
Good reply, EE.
I saw this shortly after it was posted, and my heart went out to her, but I’m pretty new on here and wasn’t sure on protocol when giving advice - especially on a subject I know next to nothing about. So I’ll keep shtumm until I know what I’m talking about.
Thank you so much for the welcome and your detailed advice it is much appreciated. Mum has always been a little forgetful but this is to the extreme. Just don’t want to upset her but equally don’t want to see her come to any harm so I will speak to her again about getting checked out at the GP. Thank you
You know the chances are that she just doesn’t want to worry you all needlessly because you live so far from home with families of your own. She may be very aware of her memory issues, she may even have seen her doctor about it and is just not letting on. That’s the way some mothers are, frustrating as it is for the adult children. I hope it is something and nothing and good luck, I’ll pray for the easy answer for you both because the alternative is the dementias and they’re hard
Maybe a good sentiment but it doesn’t stop most of us
Actually if you just say honestly and kindly what you think then you’ll be about right
Also add any sources of advice and guidance, stay clear of “you should…” In favour of have “you considered…” etc
I too sorry when it was posted and thought oh gosh that’s getting tough and maybe the best sources of info will be from other members of the neurological alliance which I did go and look up and then my strokey brain lost the plot… So @Lully You might find there are member associations of the neurological alliance who are more knowledgeable then we might be - and PS welcome to the forum
in my humble opinion
Just want to say a huge thank you spoke to my mum and she has acknowledged she is also worried and thinks it is mainly down to tiredness as she has been so busy. She is going to reach out to her GP anyway just to be on safe side. Thank you so much for all your help and so glad I have found this forum it’s been so helpful in helping me understand more about stroke. As mum had the stroke when we were born we only know this version of mum so don’t always appreciate that it can impact her. She’s such a force to be reckoned with and never ever complains!
@Lully just wanted to say hi & welcome to the forum. I’m a bit late sorry…i’ve been at work today.
Glad your mum is going to see her GP. There could be many reasons for her memory issues & a GP is best placed to do an initial assessment.
When we had concerns about my mother in law she was adamant she wouldn’t see the GP so my hubby spoke to her GP about his concerns & whilst they weren’t able to discuss much with him they did make a note so if mother in law visited for another reason they could explore it with her.
Hi an welcome to the Forum,
I had a stroke in July and and suffering with short term memory and some cognitive issues, Im nearly 60 and a single parent. My daughter, who has autism, has called me out a few times over the last few years on memory and as my own mum had dementia and Alzheimer’s this has been really hard for me to hear. It’s a tough one because whilst its very distressing for your child, my experience is there isn’t really much help available and its really frightening to face up to the possibility that you are heading down a difficult road, particularly when you value independence so much. I have followed up with my GP and am awaiting referral to the memory clinic, and am doing daily brain training exercises recommended through the NHS App and jigsaws. I had an MRI after my stroke and spoke to the consultant last week who was able to tell me that there is no sign of dementia ( small vessel disease) but there is damage from the stroke and wear and tear, she said about 30% of stroke survivors have some memory.cognitive issues. I remain hopeful that my brain exercise will bring improvement along with exercise and healthy eating etc.
Hope this is helpful
Thanks so much for replying and I am sorry to hear you have experienced this recently. You are absolutely spot on though, the last thing I want to do is upset my mum but I also worry about her safety so it’s weighing up both sides. I just can’t believe how little support is available to her. Thank you for your suggestions and I will absolutely pass them on to her. Sending my thanks and hoping the different activities you are doing helps! I definitely recommend getting your children to read this site. I am absolutely ashamed at the ripe old age of 41 it’s taken me this long to understand more about stroke as think I could definitely have been a much better daughter if I’d had this knowledge!
All the best
Don’t feel ashamed. Both my Mum and Gran had strokes and I knew bugger all about the non physical affects until I had one myself. Mind you, they were both tough old birds who wouldn’t have wanted to show any weakness. I’m much more of a light weight than either of them.
As @clibbers1 says, there’s nothing to feel ashamed about. I didn’t know anything about a broken ankle…until I had one myself
But it was the same for my stroke, I didn’t know much before I had one myself, same as many others on this forum. Then suddenly we find ourselves last minute cramming to learn everything for the exam of our lives.
You can’t beat yourself up over it, you were a child growing up with a mum who’d had a stroke and so was just part of the norm for you all. And your mum probably feels much same.
What you could do perhaps, is introduce her to this post and forum. You never know, she might learn something more about herself here which may relieve other concerns she might have been having herself.
@Lully i bet if you asked your mum she’d say you are a great daughter. The fact that you are here means you care greatly & i’m sure your mum will appreciate you passing on any snippets you pick up.
And you’ve found the forum now. Better late than never as they say
I think we all came to the forum knowing very little about stroke. I know i’ve benefitted loads from being here. Even though i’ve had a stroke I still don’t understand it all