How can I tell an independent 74-year-old woman she is no longer thinking straight and should be tested for dementia?

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My mother is extremely independent, but a bit paranoid, well over the past few years this has been getting worse. she is constantly thinking people are breaking into her house and stealing things, but when I ask if she calls the police she always has an excuse why she cant. I went to see her for the first time in a few months and she did not recognize me? this was strange. she went on and on for hours that she thinks her house is bugged and someone is breaking in all the time stealing her tools. She is also a mild hoarder, so I hardly doubt that anyone would be able to find anything if they went in there. I don't want to think she is making this up, but I am truly worried about her sanity? what can I do to get her the help she needs.

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Does Mom see a doctor regularly? Could you talk her into an appointment for a regular checkup or a shingles shot or the flu shot or any other pretext? And then give the doctor a heads-up before the appointment about the other concerns you have.

If she were questioning her mental status and if she were worried about things like not recognizing you, then you could suggest a checkup for those things. But since she is paranoid I don't think you'd have much success convincing her she needs an evaluation. Getting her in on some other pretext might be more productive.

Good luck!
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