My mom has short term memory loss that is getting progressive. What should I do?

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She gets very angry if I call her on things. My mothers mother had severe dementia, my mother made me promise that if she was every like that I had to tell her. Well, I told her. She was very angry. She sees a holistic dr. who prescribed vitamins for her memory loss.

Answers 1 to 10 of 18
Well, you kept your promise to your mother. It didn't help anything, so I'd drop that approach.

Apparently she does recognize that she has some memory loss and she's discussed it with her holistic doctor. That is a good start. Has she been on the supplements long enough to tell whether they are helping at all? Aricept is a drug that is often prescribed for early stage dementia. It is very helpful for some and not useful for others. Maybe you could build on her willingness to take the vitamins to get her to try other meds. Would her doctor be willing, do you think?

I don't think it is going to be very helpful to repeatedly call her on her memory lapses. Instead, try to help her compensate. If she takes pills, helping her use a weekly pill box will reduce the missed doses. A big calendar with appointments prominently displayed is helpful. Both of you can get in the habit of writing things down -- even simple things that would have been easily remembered before. Many people find a small (or not so small) white board or chalk board useful, if paper messages tend to get misplaced.

You can assume that the memory loss is going to get worse, and perhaps other dementia symptoms will be added, although how soon and at what rate the progression will happen is impossible to know. All you can do is take it one day at a time.

Does your mother live alone now? You might start thinking about how to arrange things so she can retain her independence as long as possible, and also start thinking about what comes after that, if she does reach a point where she cannot safely remain independent.

Good luck!
Thank you Jenna, My mother does very well and does live with my father. They are a good team. She remembers important things, locked doors, medicine, appointments are written down in a calander. She forgets and blends conversations with the news then with dreams. The story is then crazy, sometimes she even gets mad at someone for something that did not happen. She also will repeat 4-10 the same statement in a row. We have been just answering as if it was a new statement. I just wanted to get in some important things for her to answer before it is too late. I also felt I owed it to her to link her to medicine if it would help her in this early stage. I thank you for the "permission" to drop the promise. You gave great advice, thank you so much for taking the time. I was worried no one would answer.
your gonna have to learn to get clever.. the promise you made was made to her before her mind started to go, so that contracts null and void now.
instead of 'calling' her on things, ive learned to predict what my dads going to do and i 'clear the path' if you will so he can do whatever with no snags..
you gotta figure, shes not just mad at you, shes mad at herself because her mind is slipping and shes in that 'fighting to get it back' mode. anything that even slightly looks like a fight, shes gonna bark.pointing out her flaws aint gonna help, she knows her minds slipping, so it really doesnt help to remind her.
im just saying, i dont know your situation, but from what ive learned, YOU will need to change your tactics, trust me, its much easier to change your moves and get along than to have to fight. i hate fighting. so i get clever.if you know something thats gonna make her mad, just take care of it before she has too. remember, her mind isnt gonna get better, for your own sanity you'll need to learn new tactics. getting mad is no fun...
Thank you and your words will stick. My goal will be to give as much enjoyment as possible, when possible. I have 5 siblings who claim she was always this way.
She was always oppositional, but had a convieinent memory. Now she is oppositional without a good memory. Thank you!!! I will save a lot of grief by trying to have as much peace as possible.
anytime judy. this site helped me, im learning a lot more patience and figuring out as i go. if i can help someone else, i sure will..
My mother had brain stroke in the year 2010 to date she has not recoverd her memory she doesn't know us.She is now 74 years old.
Hi Terezia. Welcome to AC. My dad had a stroke last year. He's now bedridden because he refused to go through physical therapy. He's about 84 years old and he can't move is left arm, hand and fingers. I don't even know what kind of stroke he had. Is your mom bedridden? How are YOU coping with caring for her?

Why husband had a stroke about a month ago. He was hospitalized for about 3 days once home he was cooperative. Lately he has outburst usually at me for the smallest things. We don't want him to drive but he does saying we are trying to control him. My daughters car was broke so she asked him to borrow his and he said yes. 3days later he is calling the cops on her for stealing his car. I told him he told her she could use it and he denies ever saying it.
I noticed you said your mom was good with big things, but not many others. Are you relying on her word as to what she does and does not forget? That can be risky as her reports may not be accurate. She may have it on a calendar, but forget to check a calendar. Often the concept of the calendar is not fully appreciated.

If she is acting as you describe, it may be that she is not able to act on her own behalf. People with dementia often do not understand what you mean by the term. They don't believe it applies to them. They will often act in ways that are not in their own best interests. It's tough to handle, but there are ways around it. If that is the case, hurt feelings cannot prevent safeguards from being introduced.

It's nice you are so thoughtful of your mom's feelings. Normally, the memory gets much worse and the reasoning goes too. I have witnessed this firsthand. I would read a lot to find ways to handle her, if she progresses, because it's not usual for someone with AD or some other condition to think rationally and agree with your requests. They can be become hostile and resistant. I would have plan A and plan B to help her. If your dad is aware of this, he may be hesitant to upset her either.
Top Answer
Dandey6, a stroke can trigger the onset of dementia. These outbursts and uncharacteristic behaviors indicate that something is wrong. It might be something quite treatable, like a uti. It could be the beginning of dementia. The first step in dealing with it is to have him evaluated by a doctor. He may resist seeing a doctor and he probably doesn't think there is anything wrong with his behavior. But since he recently had a stroke, I am hoping you can convince him he needs his "two month post stroke checkup." Give the doctor a note about your concerns beforehand.

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