Dementia/Memory loss, has anyone had any improvement taking supplements, vitamins or minerals, drugs?

My Mum has worsening memory problems and although she is nearly 91 and taken supplements for over 50 years her doctor just puts 'Memory Problems' on her notes and dismisses her, just checking her bp occasionally. I am trying different supplements to help with her memory and wonder if anyone has had any success with anything. Mum otherwise is fit and healthy but she is now asking me the same question over and over and getting confused. I am giving her B12 methylcobalamin 1000 sublingual but after reading on the forum I will increase to 5000. I am also giving her Gingko Biloba 6000mg, probiotics, Vinpocetie, Ashwagandha, Magnesium Oratate and just started yesterday on curcumin and piperine 10000. She also takes a multi vitamin for 70+ years and vitamins B-100 from H&B. I do a superfood smoothie for her everyday and she takes 3000 Vit D sublingually. She lives on her own and I try and take her out every other day and telephone her with a 30 minute conversation every day. My husband left me a few years ago, my Dad died a few years ago leaving Mum alone and I look after two children. I haven't the time to look after her 35 hours a week so I don't get carer's allowance and the supplements are expensive but its cheaper than being in a home. I don't get job seeker's allowance as I don't have time to look for a job. What a life. But if anyone has any ideas or seen improvements using a supplement your input would be appreciated. x

33 Replies

  • I am extremely sorry about your plight and your worry about your Mother - her memory in particular.

    I know nothing about carers' allowance but hopefully someone on the forum will respond and be able to help.

    It does seem irresponsible by the GP not to have arranged for some assistance if your Mother lives alone and it's all left to you. Maybe she can have someone call in to give an hour or two's help, provided by the Council. Hopefully someone will come up with some solution.

    Re her memory it sounds as if you are giving her all the necessary helpful supplements.

  • I bet she has Aluminium or non stick or foil cookware or her water supply is treated with aluminium or flouride

    but also if she is taking calcium for osteoporosis that's now known to encourage mini strokes and vascular dementia .....had that with my mother

  • Vitamin K2 to make sure that the calcium from her diet ends up in the bones not her brain and arteries?


    There are protocols for most things on the LEF website.

  • My dad is 90 and has mixed dementia and does ok. I am sorry to about your mum but you need to get her back to the Dr and asked for a memory test/assessment . Ask to see another Dr. Don't take no for answer, it's disgusting they have not had her assessed! It does sound like she may have dementia, asking the same question and confusion is common. Bless her she is 91 and as we live longer we are that more susepitable to demtia. It's is slow progressing and there is a drug she can take to hopefully slow it down. You need to join the forum talking point for alzheimers who are fantastic. Now you should be able to claim carers allowance as you don't work and you need to be caring so many hours a week look on government. UK website for. Your mum should be able to claim attendance allowance, get in touch with age uk to help you full in the forms, don't be tempted to do yourself. Unless you already have it and if so make sure to check if you can claim the higher amount. If your mum does have demtia no amount of supplements are going to help I'm afraid but remember you need as much support as your mum. Let me know how you get on with doctor. X

  • Sorry misread about carers alliance but even so if your mum can claim the full attendance allow she may be ale to pay you a little while she is still able and before you may need carers. X

  • Sorry to hear about your situation and your mums memory problems.

    I wonder if your mum is absorbing much of these supplements, and if her thyroid function has been checked, most especially her T3 to check she is converting.

    Has your mum been referred to a memory clinic? They should be able to run tests and provide medication to slow down any deterioration in her memory. I know this isn't the improvement you're hoping for, but it's important to hang on to what she has got.

    From personal experience I'd advise you to try to make the best of every day. xx

  • I was wondering the same thing. Has her thyroid been checked???

    If her thyroid hormones are low, that can cause terrible confusion and loss of memory. And, as Aurealis says, if she has low thyroid, her stomach acid will probably be low, so she won't be absorbing all these expensive suppléments you're feeding her.

    It seems to me, that it would be an investment to get her a private test for her thyroid - Don't bother with the doctor on that one, he's obviously given up on her already (makes my blood boil!) and he will only test the TSH. She needs to have her FT3 tested.

    Well, that's what I would do if it were my mum. I only wish I knew what I know now when my mum was sick and dying. But that's life. Experience is something you get when it's too late to profit from it.

    Lots of hugs and kisses to your poor mum - and to you - hope you find a solution soon.

  • I do so agree, If I had known about thyroid when my Mum was ill I could have helped her so much.

  • Took Mum to the doctor. She said that last September she gave Mum all the blood tests and they came out fine. Why didn't she tell me what they were for! Doesn't help anyone. She said Mum was well and had age related short term memory loss and didn't need to go to the memory clinic. My brother is now applying his Power of Attorney and now stopped all of Mum's money, taken her cards and cheque book away. I was doing everything for Mum now I cannot afford the petrol to visit her so she has just sat in her chair for nearly a week with no walks and he hasn't done shopping as promised. She has gone downhill for her memory and he is taking her to the bank today. She said she is resolved to it now and doesn't care anymore. He has taken away her independence and our trips out at least twice a week, she was so looking forward to going out and seeing the blooming countryside and trips to pubs for some soup and her cider. My children are in the middle of their exams so I am stuck, no bus to college or school, no money for anything. CSA tried to get money from my absent husband but he is showing he hasn't earnt enough despite holidays. The more I tell my friends about my situation the more I realise that us of a certain age are trapped in a single parent, children dependent and parent carers with no pension and no qualifications. What a life!

  • I would highly recommend looking at virgin coconut oil for your mum, there seem to be really good results taking this for dementia (and lots of other things too). I take it every day and am convinced it helps with my brain fog.

  • I second what Linda recommends..coconut oil has been shown to actually reverse alzheim. And other brain issues. It is also effective for reducing or stopping seizures. She can put a couple spoons of it in her hot cereal or in a smoothie etc.

  • Also low vitamin D has been shown to cause memory problems..request they test her D levels.

  • Sadly many doctors do not treat our elderly with the same degree of diligence that they treat younger patients. Whenever a doctor tells me "it's just old age" ..I don't return. Good luck with your mom.

  • This article might give you some ideas on how to help your mother :

  • Also dehydration causes confusion.

  • And urine infections in the elderly

  • In a short, inexpensive kindle book called' K2 and the calcium paradox' by Kate Rheaume Bleue, it talks about the necessity of taking a good K2 supplement when you take D3 and calcium is the other part of the equation. taking just one will cause deficiencies in another.. simply. The book also says k2 deficiency is linked with dementia/alzheimers.

    I came across it when I had upped my D3 levels but it seemed to unbalance my thyroid levels because I wasn't aware of this. now i take all 3 plus selenium. Thyroid T4 corrected now.

    Good fats like organic grass fed butter, coconut oil and flaxseed oil are necessary in good amounts too. The brain is made up of cholesterol... lots of info out there on this, including in the book mentioned.

  • I'd look into regular B12 injections. It used to be prescribed commonly in older people who showed signs of memory loss and dementia and has been reported to have very effective results. She may not be absorbing the sublinguals, they weren't very effective for me even though they were high dose tablets. Do a search on links between dementia and B12 deficiency.

  • You might also be interested in dimethylglycine (DMG) supplements.

  • I have just ordered some, looks good, thanks for the info. Good for lots of things.

  • Thanks to all of your marvellous replies. I won't reply singly as I am making arrangements for doctor, getting test and supplements and researching all your links. I have booked doctor for end next week and spoke to Alzheimers Society. I really appreciate your replies and its sad that information is too late for some. I took Mum out to see the bluebells yesterday at a local walk and then had a lovely lunch in pub. We had a lovely fun time and I got some lovely photos of Mum amongst the bluebells. It gives Mum something to talk about. I shall keep updates coming but there are lots of very useful information you have given me. I hope it also helps someone else. xx

  • Well, its been a big turn around today. My brother has taken over as Power of Attorney and has stopped all my Mum's money even though she is compos mentis, not sure of spelling, but I was advised by text message from him. He has taken away her debit and credit cards and cheque book so she can't buy anymore supplements or even have money to go out. He doesn't believe in supplements and says that if they are needed the doctor will say so. I am absolutely gutted and my hands are now completely tied. He said he will do her shopping from now on. I am now having palpitations and feel ill again. I have also found a lump near my jaw line which looks ominous so I have had to book the doctor for myself and worried about that and now this. My Mum is quite intelligent and with it but its just her short term memory. I spoke to her about it and she said that he had been round, had talked really fast so she had difficulty even hearing what he was saying let alone understand it, she said she just nodded at him. I have had the same with him when my father died, he rattled on so fast about money matters and kept asking questions and it was all too much. Then he gets cross if you don't answer quickly and starts cross examination. When I asked him a question he just said if I needed to know he would tell me. I think I shall ring the solicitor tomorrow to see where my position is. Mum has been taking supplements for decades so that is what she wants to continue. Its far cheaper than care home fees! Anyway, I shall stop rabbiting on, I am tired and got my anxiety back again, I am not a happy bunny. What a life, you try your best, give your all to the people you love and care for and people try and take it away. Mum only said yesterday, as we walked through the bluebells that I had a nice nature and she appreciated everything I was doing for her, it hadn't gone unnoticed. I shall treasure those words, it maybe our last outing. xx

  • So sorry to read this - I hope your solicitor had good news. I had the ols enduring power of attorney for both my parents but you can only exercise this if you can prove to the court that she is no longer of sound mind/ It sounds like your Mum was just like most older people - I'm 61 and can find myself being told I've just asked the same question 2 or 3 times. Do let us know how you get on - and make certain your brother isn't over stepping the mark with the power of attorney! Keep us posted..............

  • Just a quick update. I spoke to the family Solicitor and he said he can't do that, that Mum should ask for all financial papers to be returned along with her cards and cheque book. Mum won't ask him and has taken on the attitude that she doesn't care, just let him if he wants to. So I visited her today, early afternoon to do another week of drugs and supplements and cut the lawn. She had only had a piece of toast for breakfast and nothing else. She said she wasn't hungry. So I said that I hadn't had lunch and lets have some. So I put a pie in the microwave and some veg whilst I did the pills. So Mum was cooking the dinner and served it up. When I went to get it she had served all of it for me and nothing for herself. She said I needed to eat as I had children to look after. My brother had popped in with shopping, a jar of honey and a lemon as she said she had a bit of a cold, probably down to stress, and some ultra heated and filtered skimmed milk which she hates as it is like water with no taste. So she won't drink that, I normally get organic whole milk. So that is a waste of time.

    My fried suggested that I email my brother putting down everything I do for OUR Mum and all I do is to want her to enjoy the rest of her life as she has said herself to me. I shall send a copy of the email to the solicitor. Mum is upset not only about the cards but the fact that he went into her handbag without her permission. He is the one stealing from her. It is such a shame as I have run out of a few supplements like probiotics and CoQ10 and magnesium but I don't have the money to replace them. My husband ran off with another woman and isn't paying me anything, trying to get money through the CSA. Left supporting two children, and paying the house mortgage which is now two months overdue and caring for my Mum. At least my 17 year old daughter passed her theory today, hooray, and my Mum paid some money towards her first car which she drove for the first time today, another hooray! At least she managed to do that before my brother intervened. He has no children, perhaps he is jealous! Sorry about the quick update, I do prattle on...... x

  • Just a quick update. Despite my Mum asking for her cards and cheque book to be returned and taking her to the doctor who said she was quite capable my brother has taken the Power of Attorney. He is taking Mum to the bank today and my Mum, having no visit now from me for a week due to my lack of any money and nothing left for petrol, she has gone downhill so fast, supplements are running out, I can't go round to do her remaining supplements and she hasn't been out for a few weeks now and no walks. She said she can't be bothered anymore and its up to my brother what he wants to do. Its heartbreaking, I have been to the solicitor but he says that I could be influencing her into wanting to help me, then my brother could be influencing her to just give in. He said Mum has to telephone him herself but she is now just not bothering with anything, she said she is confused now. Well, that's my home gone to repossession in a few weeks and my insurers have refused to insure my car, due to Data Protection they won't tell me why although I have had no change in my insurance, no claims, no prangs, 9 years NCD. Because of this I can't get anyone to insure my car which runs out in two days time. What is this world coming to, I despair, its a cruel world.

  • Thanks for all your replies, they really have been useful, my Mum is having her coconut oil, when she comes round she has it throughout the day. Mum is also on 3000iu of vit D spray, and has B12 2500 sublingual. Her tests came back today, very interesting........ calcium is slightly raised, TSH of 0.08 and T4 of 24.2, she is on 100mg levothyroxine and has been reduced tomorrow to 75mg. Her cholesterol was 7.1 and I don't understand as she only has good fats, good krill oil, avocados, etc. Almond milk, gluten free bread and just a little, grass fed butter a scrape, its puzzling. But her short term memory is bad and she becomes confused and wonders about things asking questions a young child would ask. I can't claim any benefit as I own a flat, although its got a huge mortgage and I rent it out. I am also having to support Mum as my brother says I shouldn't ask for payment, I should do it because I love her. Oh yes, with 2 children to support and no maintenance from my husband. Anyway, I am selling the flat which will stop my money worries for a year, I couldn't continue as I was, it was so stressful. The doctor said that high thyroid can give memory problems, does anyone know anything about this. I wonder why she has suddenly become hyperthyroid. Anyway, I have my mortgage company off my back and perhaps it will give me time to get my life sorted without pressure. I am feeling a lot better now and even took my Mum out for a carvery last night, she was so happy. I slept like a log last night.

  • Do not worry about your mother's cholesterol levels. Higher cholesterol levels in the elderly lead to lower mortality. Read this article from Dr Malcolm Kendrick on the subject, and pay particular attention to the graphs :

  • Thanks so much for taking the time to send that to me. I am so happy, so Mum is just perfect, I shall sleep well tonight. My Dad's cholesterol was under 1.0 and he was taking high statins ordered by the cardiologist a few years ago. He was so fit before they got their hands on him, he had just done the London to Brighton Bike Ride and had a cardiac check up, he was 80 and was told he would drop dead within a year unless he had a triple heart bypass. They scared him to death. He went ahead, had his life ruled by hospital appointments and warfarin checks. He went downhill, then needed a new valve, all on statins and drugs and died. I am so angry as he was so fit and all he needed was to take some supplements to get rid of some plaque. Anyway, I must stop whining and look after my 91 year old Mum now. Its actually scary what the medical establishment do, they were so much healthier in the times of herbal usage. Its a good article and I shall put the statins where they do the least amount of damage, in the bin! x

  • Given your brother's attitudes to the medical profession, supplements etc, be careful that he doesn't get you into trouble. Perhaps keep the bottle, and just put each day's dose down the toilet and flush it away so he doesn't know anything about it.

    My mother is on statins and I cannot get her to stop taking them. She lives hundreds of miles away and I can only interfere verbally! She is in her 80s, and I'm sure being on statins is adding to her pain burden enormously. Her memory is also failing but she just thinks this is normal for her age.

  • Good idea about the drugs. At least my Mum is just a 20 mins drive away. Otherwise I would be stuck. Just popping over tomorrow to alter her levothyroxine dose and I will take her out. But yes, you do have to keep a close eye on the elderly. Mum says she isn't hungry and I am sure she doesn't eat much on her own, she says she doesn't feel hungry. But when she is with me she makes up for it. I do her a superfood smoothie with raw organic kale, raw dandelion leaves, raw organic brocolli, raw watercress, raw chard, I then add beetroot juice, pomegranate juice, flaxseed, chia seed, blueberries, powdered superfood super nutrients, spirulina, goji berries to it. I put it in a large container and a number of smaller beakers with air tight lids and take them round. So she has one in the fridge and the rest are frozen. I ring her up in the morning and she takes one out of the freezer and that goes in the fridge so she has a fresh one each day. That way I know she is getting good nutrients even if she isn't eating anything. It lasts about 10-12 days. Myself and my Mum both ached so much on the statins, we couldn't sleep, the pain was awful, came off them and it all went. I used plant sterols and Benecol which did the job. Good luck, its a worry.

  • hi Dramlouie, Sorry to hear your news about your mum.I can't suggest anything health wise but I can suggest a few things with your brother, and you don't need a Solicitor. I did Power of Attorney for my father by myself, its a lot of reading but I got there in the end. There are two types of POA health and welfare & property and financial affairs

    I presume your brother has just done the property and financial? You can actually "contest" the POA on two grounds "the donor was pressured to make a LPA"

    "an attorney is acting against the donor’s best interests" The telephone no is 0300 456 0300 . I can not emphasize enough that you do this straight the way. Also contact your mums local social services and get them to come an assess her needs, you will need to be very pushy and don't take no as an answer. Again this is very important. I can only say that at the end of the day its your mum and of course you want the best for her. Lastly imo don't worry about cholesterol my dads was high but he lived till he was 96. My Dr has said that some people just naturally have high cholesterol and theres nothing you can do (obviously not eating fry up's everyday and having a healthy diet) Mine is 7.1 but my "good" cholesterol is really high so it evens out. If you need any more help pm me and I will do my best.


  • Hi Pipa Thanks for your advice, I will definately follow it up. Read a few articles on it and a woman is healthiest over 7.0 so Mum is just perfect at 7.1 like you. I won't worry about it, I will keep up the Krill Oil. I shall sleep well tonight. I shall ask for a breakdown of the results.

  • Thanks to everyone for your helpful suggestions.

    The results from the MRI confirm vascular dementia, small vessel disease. She had a CT scan a few years ago after a fall and the Memory Clinic said it was picked up then. But I wasn't told the results, only that she was good for her age. What beggars belief is that I wasn't told about it. I am told that nothing will help with vascular dementia and there are no drugs. I am still giving her all the supplements and I bought MCT oil hoping Mum would take some during the day. Unfortunately it is in a big black plastic bottle and for some reason Mum doesn't like black and won't pour herself any. I give her some when I go round nearly every day and also bought some coconut oil capsules which she has daily.

    The results of her last thyroid tests in June 2015 are T4 24.2 (12-22), T3 3.8 (3.1-6.8) and TSH 0.08 (0.3-4.2). B12 1325 (197-866), folate over 20 (4.6-18.7), serum calcium 2.58 (2.15-2.55), creatinine 107 (44-80), eosinophil 0.8 (0-0.4). Her levothyroxine was lowered from 100mcg to 75mcg but the test was done without warning and mum had taken her levothyroxine a few hours earlier. I have put her back onto 100mcg, she has been on that dosage for 25 years and was showing anxiety.

    Regarding the statins, the doctor stated that they cause memory loss, statement from the doctor's mouth! And then they were on the prescription! If anything is prescribed I look it up and research it first.


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