My mom is 78 years old and widowed. She has memory issues which are getting worse...

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she forgot the last name of my children (her grandchildren), forgets how to get to the mall she has been going to for twenty years,doesn't remember people who she has met numerous times before. I have to remind her of something over and over again. She cannot remember where her doctor's office is.

Both me and my adult children and at least four other people notice that something is wrong. Her dr. said for her to go for an assessment at a geriatric center. The appointment was over three hours long. They did a cognitive test on her (she got 27 out of 30) and they said she does not have dementia. They said she has mild cognitive impairment.

So here's my question: if EVERY SINGLE DAY I see her I am having to remind her about something, sometimes multiple times, how on earth is that mild?

Should I go somewhere else to have her tested and if so where? Has anyone else run into this. It's so frustrating to be told she doesn't have dementia when something is very wrong. She has had her car since 2000 and couldn't figure out how to turn the wipers on. How is that mild? Wouldn't you think that's kind of major?!

Also, she NEVER entered sweepstakes, "They are a waste of money. They are scams. I would never send my money there." Now she has brought three of them here the past week and is sending money to them. They even sent her a book of about twelve different sweepstakes and she told me she was going to "enter them all." If I tell her " No mom, they are scams" she gets angry with me.

Was she misdiagnosed?


I'd say a second opinion is in order. Start with her doctor and tell him there is something seriously wrong. Insist that he check for a UTI among other things. This is a case of the squeaky wheel, start squeaking and don't stop till someone has an answer. My mother-in-law has dementia so her short term memory is in the crapper at this point. But even she would never give money to someone she didn't know. She still has her good judgment behind her, so there is something wrong with your mother for sure.
The problem is that even if she is more properly diagnosed as heading toward moderate dementia, what would you do differently? Since there is no cure, the only thing to do is to closely monitor her behavior until you see that she has reached the point where she cannot safely care for herself. At that point, obviously, she will need a caretaker. I am so sorry, and wish that there were a cure. A Harvard-based study recently discovered a way to make cells act "new" again. I am hoping that they are testing this new procedure on dementia. Good luck and God bless.
My mother is 81, been having signs for several years, the dr says is moderate Alzs, just from basically her behavior. She to remembers nothing...things that she has known her who life, it does seem to affect more recent happens rather than things that happened say 15 or more years ago. I go through the same thing, of repeating, and reminding. I'm to the point now, I just go with the flow, whatever she says, I agree with her. Other wise she thinks I'm being mean...We want to have someone come in and check her meds everyday, but she won't agree to that, although she does know that she often "forgets" to take it. It's a very heart breaking disease, and its so hard to gauge anything. I do hope you are able to get some answers soon. good luck!
I would urge you to get a second opinion. See a neurologist who specializes in geriatrics. Any one worth their salt will order blood work and an MRI to rule out the other causes (UTI, etc.) I have been down the path you are on (I am still on it). I would also encourage you to find a support group for caregivers of dementia patients. It is overwhelming and support groups are a great source of information and comfort.
I agree with dinak....even if the diagnosis is Alz. or Dementia...there is not much in the way of meds. (and many are not safe.) I would not put her through more tests.
I also agree with the others who said to ask her doc to rule out UTIs, reactions to new meds., or a slight stroke...all can have the same symptoms...however, her memory would improve after you take care of the cause.
If she is headed toward more memory loss, then it is best to prepare for housing and most importantly doing all the things to help her be safe in her/your home.
Good luck. So many diseases are really "umbrellas" for a variety of symptoms... that is why they are so hard for docs to diagnose.
Lilliput's advice is exactly what my mother's primary care doctor said when I asked about her needing to see a neurologist. I listened to him and it nagged at me for months. Once we saw the neurologist and had some real answers, we felt better about where we were headed. There are different things that can be done with meds. To just write it off and keep going, in my experience, did not work. Only after we felt she was in the care of someone who really knew and understood the disease, did we begin to be confident in what we were doing. Regardless of whether or not you see a neurologist, Lilliput is must prepare for housing and the care she needs to be safe wherever she is.
well, thanks again for all of your input. Mom is scheduled for a neuro-psych, which I was told is more comprehensive and detailed. ..what a long journey this is!
My mom is 79 now and has experienced very similar problems.
She is scheduled to see a neurologist on the 14th of this month.
We now have the problem of some other family members wanting to put her in a nursing home and I am not in agreement with them.
Her physical health is great and when she and I realized in 1997 the start of this she gave me her power of atty. Now that her memory has progressively gotten worse these other family members have taken her from her home where she had 24 hr. company with family and was very happy and they are swapping her around, back and forth each of there homes one to another. On Jan. 19th of this year they had her to sign a power of atty. to them and I am certain that she did not understand what she was signing.
I can feel for you in your situation and I don't just say this; I do pray for you and your family and I need help too.
Any prayers or suggestions anyone?

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