My mom is very sweet lady in her mid 70’s and I was always close to her. I live in different country, but we see each other regularly, and communicate couple times per week. She stays with me for several weeks through the year. I also have siblings and she had remarried after my father passed away. Therefore, she is not lonely. However, on my last stay with me, I noticed that something was not right. That energetic woman, who traveled all over the world, was scuba diving with me on her 70th birthday, and was full of optimism, is not the same woman that is staying with me. She arrived lethargic and irritated. She looks physically good, always well dressed, well kept, but she lost her energy. Three years ago, she helped me with the garden around the house, made coffee for me, etc. Now, she looks resigned. I have to tell her to do simple errands, like you have coffee in the maker, there is tea ready for you, I have prepared dinner for you and just warm it in the oven, but she does not do anything. She does not tell me anything what bothers her, what she planning to do; how my siblings, her grandchildren are. I asked her, what to buy for her grandson who will be four next month and suggested to buy gift together, but she only shrugged her shoulders. It seems to me that the living people around her means less, but she constantly brining histories of people long time gone, and I have no whatsoever recollection or attachment to them. She will describe the teacher in her past, the wife of the doctor, aunt that died when she was five, but she barely mention anything about grandchildren, siblings, husband, or living relatives, which she spend time everyday. I wonder, if she is on offset some age related dementia, depression, or other underlying medical issue. I want to talk to my siblings to let her check out, but they said that she is doing just fine and nothing is wrong with her. I am very worried.

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Your mother shows signs of possible dementia, but since this is so sudden, the problem could be caused by a series on mini-strokes. Your siblings need to understand that she may have something life-threatening going on. I'd really push for a physical. If you can't go with her, write the doctor a letter telling him or her exactly what you've said in your question. There may be something that can be done to slow down this deterioration. Depression is possible, but the fact that she has mentally gone so far back to her past suggests something else. Good luck,

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