Mom is getting worse

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I don't think my Mother fits into the Dementia or Alzhiemers catagory, but there is definately been a decline in her mental capabilities. She easily gets confused during conversations, forgets what happened at which house they have lived in. She sometimes forgets entire conversations within a few days. She is very jumpy with loud noises and is extremely negative about EVERYTHING. She is constantly looking out her window whenever a car or person goes by, or if she "hears something" She informs us of her use of the bathroom, and if she filled her water, or forgot it somewhere. It is getting increasingly difficult to carry on conversations with her. Does anyone have any ideas of what might be going on with her, or what we can do to help?
Thanks for any input!
Lori

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Dear Lori, you're an angel and your parent's hero! Bless you. So, you're walking on egg shells around your Mom? It's not real pleasant, is it? Grew up that way, so it's hard to tell when it crosses over into dementia or whatever the diagnosis may be. Angry and losing control makes a bear out of a lot of people, so we do the best we can, right? I hope this will be a good arrangement for you and them. Prayer does what we cannot, and as long as you concentrate on the love and compassion part, God will do the rest.

I am starting to feel better. I signed the lease on Mom's new apartment yesterday. She could move in today, if she were here. So next week, I'll go down, pack her things, bring her up. Got her phone today, and a hospital bed is on it's way. God is so good to us. Thanks for your prayers
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Boy Anne, you're plate is awfully full! My Father is a cancer survivor. rare with the esophagel type that he had, but as for the last few months he is NED (no evidence of disease.)
Your Mothers mental state sounds very familiar. My Mother is kind of like that. Always frustrated, cursing, sighing, moaning. Nothing is ever "right" for her...either too hot, too cold, too hard too soft, It really doesn't matter, she WILL find something to complain about.
She has problems following a conversation (or tv show) and always seems to think she is being "ganged up on" when we try to explain. I am now living here, just got finished moving in actually, and I see there is so much that need to be done. Like your mother, she is not diagnosed, but we KNOW that it must be dementia.
I wish you the best. Its going to be very hard on you, think of it as a learning experience! My prayers are with you :)
Lori
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Thank you. In process...right now, Mom has a visiting nurse. Yesterday a second Social Worker showed up. And she was also put on oxygen yesterday. But at the moment, she has a Cancer crisis, a housing crisis, and is not coping with any of it. I spent the last day and 1/2 with her, and all these entities in her house, and at her Medical Oncologist's office. Chemotherapy immanent. Must make a decision within the next few days...and it all rests on me. More specialists? I've already diagnosed, and whether they agree or not, she can't make it alone. We are revisiting her new apartment by us today. We'll be moving her 200 miles closer, soon, I think, and go from there. At least that's the current thought. Already have a Gerontologist lined up. Just need an Oncologist, etc. That's priority. Thanks for responding. Have a great day, and say a prayer for us, please.
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If one doctor is not helping, I suggest looking around for another doctor...even a geriatric psychiatrist....who could give your mom an assessment, and you would then know if it is dementia, or something else, and how to go about getting her proper care. I too have parents with problems, i.e, dementia, and the communication is getting so much harder between them and me. It is so hard to figure out what they are thinking, or what they are not thinking. Good luck! I hope things work out better for your mom & you.
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Dear Lori, lining up ducks is hard to do in Dementia Land. LOL

Just got back from: yet another 400 mile trip downstate and back to escort Mom to her Cancer Surgery follow-up. Great! Now they're consulting a Specialist because her Cancer was the aggressive variety, and due to her age (73) they usually don't do Chemotherapy. This revelation terrified her. The appointment is for 8:30 on Wednesday. Not easy days. Then she'll have another appt. with Surgeon...then Radiation, and so on... Feeling like we're in the middle of a nightmare right now, and wishing it would end.

The kicker is that Mom's been reporting: "I can't breathe..." (She was breathing.) Yesterday she told me she has sleeping sickness. Who said, I asked her. "I do." She doesn't eat, either. I took her a sandwich, and she only ate half. That's all she at through noon. Not enough! And she was carrying an ice bag to her office appointment. Refused to go into the office and wait until the Doctor was ready to see her, because "there are no comfortable seats in there..." She moaned and moaned...then kicked her feet rapidly back and forth over and over... She lay down, sat up, lay down, sat up, moaning... She got up and switched chairs, then complained, etc... When her Physician came in and asked how she was doing, she said she was dizzy. He felt her hands, and they were cold. He gave her smelling salts, then Coke (Coca Cola). This partially revived her. Then he gave her bad news. That her Cancer was the aggressive variety. An awful blow! She's one of those "pampered poodles," and the thought of losing her hair to Chemo is devastating to her. She's already in a flurry about it, before she even knows if they'll do Chemo. Wow! She is a whirlwind of pandemonium these days, it seems. And she takes out her wrath on me. I'm the one to blame for all her woes and disappointments. She tells everyone how rotten I... No matter what I do, nothing pleases. Never has.

My sister have a hard time figuring out what is going on with her. Since she's always been a complainer, and always angry and combative, we get confused trying to pin point what's wrong with her, and the Doctors haven't officially diagnosed anything yet. I have: I hate dementia!!! It seems hers must be early stage, because the symptoms come and go. She's always "perfectly fine" while in their office. (Not really.) I stopped by today to tell them she's been dizzy and has a headache that won't quit. They want to send a Social Worker to her home. Why? Why? Why? (She wants to know, and I do, too.) How bout a Neurologist? No one took her blood pressure today, and no one drew blood. She is not getting the help she needs, and I need to do something different. She can't, and we can't go on like this...
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lorilocks, im so sorry but sounds like your mom has early dementia and alzheimers, because she sounds just like my mom. sometimes it seems like she is doing that stuff just to be mean, but honey she cant help it. i sure hope she don't have it but it sounds like she does, If so, you will have a rough road ahead just as i do please maybe we can help each other. good luck . browneyedladyky
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I just found a website through John Hopkins Institute as I was going thru a very new concern which has come on very quickly as I found it does). In the meantime, I learned that s a seminar (in Ct thru the Bridgeport Hospital which is affiliate of the Yale New Haven Hospital group and hosted by the Geriatric Psychiatry dept. Before a lot has started coming down, I thought I would go to it to see what I can learn to a little proactive and also have questions and my contacts handy. being up north now for my mom since 2005 was a shock in itself as she is a Hurricane katrina victim and is all new to both of us. until she was forced to move from New orleans, she worked as a inde contractor at the N.O. conv center and drove herself etc. It's just since her 90th b-day things are declining which I am alerted to, and work (or try to) ha... but I am also going to contact one of the homes for the elderly... and get her out at least 3x aday to their adult daycare program that has integrity and a nice hot meal (all for a nominal fee (they say)... so I think getting active again (just not staying home--- even tho it is harder in the winter since mom lived in n.o. all her life and up to the day before katrina in 2005. That's why I'm consulting real sources (and just joined this group today)... Based on that John Hopkins website, which they have great newsletters too (just signed up for that last THurs. and got on flight to CA on Monday for week... to get away for both of us, with sunshine and change of scenery, etc. The good news is that the sources are here, we just have to find the good ones... Good luck to all, I'm doing this all alone and some of you have help. Finding a compassionate home health person is a real plus too, just to give us a little break. There is also caregivers.com, a great source of info. Based on the info I'm getting from the John Hopkins inst. right now I think my situation is more depression-related aging... so again I use the word proactive to dimentia (which dont think I'm not in denial about) which is why I looked it up, but I want to get the input ahead of time... I may even ask the M.D. she goes to to up her Celexa just a little. I also found out over the 3 yrs. I have ADD which this was undetermined before, so there is a silver lining for me, and i am getting prof. support, but I will also encourage you to look into some books (even in the library) on Adult ADD (Hallowell/Ratey to start) because I found my mon has developed those very symptoms also, and CLUTTER.... which implifies depression, and will give you some peace of mind too. I also know that now that I know i'm an ADD'er doesn't mean everyone is..... good advice and well-being is good advice and well-being and again peace of mind. We need that too.
Good uch!!!
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I agree palmateers. I am supposing that it is because of her symptoms, its just no Doctor has dx'd it. Yes, She has a gerentologist that she sees at least 2x a month. My Father has told her tha HE is going for a geriatric assessment and that she should go too. (even tho he has NO signs) She is still not convinced, wants to read what it is all about, etc. I am sure that even once she is dx'd she will deny and be resistant to treatment. It would do her a world of good I am sure. She does not socialize with anyone outside of Family, and even then, some members she just doesn't like. She does not socialize because she finds fault or something to complain about, about anyone. Right now it is one day at a time.
Thank you so much for your reply :)
Lori
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This is definitely Demenia. Is she under a Drs. care? There are medications that help with this. I'm a retired nurse and have been caring for my, now, 88yr old father for three yrs. He's on Aricept, and it has made a world of difference. He also socializes with other seniors a few days a wk. Please make sure she's receiving Drs. care. Diane
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I agree that it would be ice if this site were supported by advertisements, as it is a comforting site, however all articles are referenced and it was quite easy for me to locate this article on USA Today website. This does remain my favorite site but as a therapist I would recommend it to patients if it were free site.
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