HealthDoctor Karen

Mum’s memory is getting worse

Doctor KarenBy Dr. Karen Palmer
Mum’s memory is getting worse

Dear Karen

My mum’s memory is disimproving over the last year, but the last couple of days things are worse. She won’t see a doctor. What can I do?

KAREN SAYS: If there is a deterioration in her baseline functioning over the last year, she is obviously deteriorating. Dementia is possible. But a sharp deterioration over the last few days is not consistent with this. Dehydration, constipation, inappropriate use of medication, infection or a mild stroke could cause acute confusion. I feel she has a physical problem now.

Maybe your local GP might do a house call? She needs an examination, urinalysis, blood tests (and possibly a chest x-ray, ECG or a CT brain scan). Her overall memory function needs to be looked at as well as there may be a remediable cause. 

 

Dear Karen

My five-year-old daughter is off form the last few days.

She is not sleeping at night and naps in the day. Could she have an infection?

KAREN SAYS: It’d be helpful to know if she had any background medical problems, or symptoms previously. Have there been any changes in her life? To her routine?

With regard to an infection, watch her temperature and form, and see if she is eating and drinking. My sense is that this is not a medical problem. Stop her from napping during the day. Keep her physically active so she is tired at night. Settle her routine and see how she goes. Ask her if there is anything troubling her. Watch her temperature - if it spikes, get her checked by your GP.