Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Scoring dementia.

I've been hunting around the Internet wondering WHAT kind of assessment the city office might use with Okaasan....dreaming, dreaming of the day they come and do it.

There is something called the Hasegawa Dementia Scale, which has been used in Japan for years and revised. It seems to be 11 questions - some factual like "What's the date today?" and some ability tests "Can you count backwards/remember 5 items".

In quiet moments between lessons I've been looking at the questions and wondering how Okaasan would score. A total of 30 points, with anything under 15 being a stage of dementia and a score of 15-20 being an early sign of it.

This assuming she would agree to talk to a person doing this kind of test...
I can imagine her getting annoyed and leaving the room and shouting at all of us.

I HOPE they do it with some gentle, common-sense.

1. Dates - Okaasan is pretty bad at that.
2. Where are you? 2.5 points.
3. Age? 2 points.
4. How long since? Maybe bad.
5. Birthplace. No problem.2 points.
6. Dates of public events? Maybe ok. 3.5 points.
7. Days/Minutes. hmmmm
8. Prime Minister? Maybe ok, does ANYONE in Japan remember who it is right now? 3 points.
9. Subtractions. Maybe ok. Okaasan was a book keeper long ago. 6 points.
10. Repeat no.
11. Remember items...maybe no.

Well, that's a score of 18....maybe.
The thing is, Okaasan is pretty good on short conversations - I am really hoping that the fact of both Yujiro and I working full time, and him being away in winter - so she is alone with a foreigner speaking strange Japanese - I hope THOSE facts will get us into day care.
And this is bad....I was thinking of getting her to a hair salon soon....but I thought it could wait until after the assessment, because she looks so much worse with her long, straggly hair unbrushed and all a bit crazy.......
That's bad of me. But I stated that at the start of this Blog. I am no angel. Devious is my middle name.

Today I went shopping for Okaasan: bought some new underpants and a pair of black trousers to replace the damaged ones. And got the dry cleaning for her. Clothes duties.

And the Aloe yogurt frenzy continues. We have 4 packs of it in the fridge at the moment. Okaasan buys it every time she goes out....

Cross fingers that the assessment happens, that she scores badly enough to get into day care....and that it happens with a nice city office person persuading Okaasan that "wouldn't it be nice...?"


  1. Took me aaaages to remember it was Noda. Yes, I'm definitely a bit demented according to that test, and I'm only 37 :(
    Smart thinking with the hair, I say!

  2. I think it is still Noda, isn't it? He's hung on more than most...and yesterday Abe thought he'd have another go...cos first time around it was so successful...

  3. my motherinlaw who live with us is 88 and she functions ok when her routine isn't disturbed.
    She goes to rehabilitaion once a week (she had a stroke and is a bit paralyzed) and the daycare is in the next room.It is full with much worse old people, drooling,shouting,crying etc.She is terrifed of that room and often asked not to ever send her there......your motherin law may also be too "normal" to be able to be in such an enviroment. When you talk to the city be sure to find out if they have differnt "levels" of places...otherwise she may get scared and refuse to go.....just my experience..Anna

  4. HI Anonymous - yes, I worry too actually that Okaasan is still too able for daycare...which of course is good...but... I've seen the wispy old ladies in the day care bus locally and I can't imagine Okaasan agreeing to get INTO the bus with these people....but I am so SO hoping that our family situation PLUS the snowy winter streets round here for 4 months etc - will count for something and get her in - at least for winter. Once a week, lunch and some activity. ANYTHING to get her out of the house in winter!