Neurologist says it's severe dementia....

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But it doesn't match the stages I'm reading about on the internet about dementia.

My 79 year old mom say a neurologist who says she has "severe dementia"...probably Alzheimers (she would not consent to an MRI). She no longer drives (DMV took away her license), has trouble with words, numbers and money, forgets how to use the phone sometimes, but is still able to cook/care for herself and keeps her home pretty tidy. Her verbal skills have gotten worse over the last 5 or so years and much worse this last year. This sounds like "mid-stage" to doctor's have a different definition for "severe dementia"?


If she is not hallucinating, I don't think it is Alzheimer's, more likely stroke/TIA. Without an MRI, the MD can only guess. Keep a close eye on her bills, she may forget payments. It's too late for her to sign a POA or HIPPA. Get Guardianship if you can. We thought mom was doing OK at home, but looking further, we found rotten food in the fridge, burn marks on her pans that she tried to scrub off, and the tub mat was bone dry, so we knew she was not bathing.
Trying, I'm wondering what the real question is here? If she has anything beyond the very beginnings of dementia of any kind, she can't live alone unassisted. How much help do you have coming in to her home right now? Have you looked at assisted living facilities?

Did the doctor do cognitive testing? I would ask her/him what the severity rating is based upon. And what you REALLY want to know from the doctor is what level of care she needs.

When my mom was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment, the neurologist and neuropsych were both very firm in their insistence that she could no longer live alone.
I do not know what my own mothers exact diagnosis is, but I believe she has mild to moderate dementia and I would not trust that she could accurately recall any details from a doctors visit. If I were you, I would ask to accompany your Mom to her doctors visits.
I have handling her bills etc for years now and have the required POA/HIPPA documents. I was the one who took her to the neurologist and although she did not want me to see the doctor with her, the neurologist came out to the waiting room to speak to me. I asked for and received a copy of his diagnosis. I believe he did do the cognitive testing. She is fiercely independent and although I would love her to move to assisted living, I will have to force the issue and I am not ready to do this quite yet. I was just curious about the wording of "severe" since it doesn't seem to match what I read about as "severe" dementia online. What I've read is that they would be "incontinence" and an inability to care for oneself (cleanliness) and one's home. This is not the case with my mother, although she has a lot of trouble with words and short term memory and numbers etc. She has no help in house as of yet, but I will look into it as soon as it appears to be necessary.
This afternoon my mother was diagnosed with severe dementia and put on medication. I was told that when a person has severe dementia, they have to have full time care. My mother is unable to provide food for herself and she doesn't know how to cook, clean or bathe herself, not to mention that she is incontinent the majority of the time. She also likes to hide things all the time. . In my opinion, (I'm not a doctor, so I could be wrong) it sounds like mid-stage dementia something my mother had a couple of years ago.

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