Hello All -
I am very glad to find this forum. My mom is 69 years old. Over the past 2 years, my sisters and I have noticed some alarming issues with her memory. I am - unfortunately - kind of prone to freak out about these things, so I wanted to reach out here so I can approach it the best way possible.
* Her short term memory is pretty poor. She often repeats things she said just an hour earlier, forgets what I told her a few days ago, asks the same question, misplaces the remotes, etc.
* She completely relies on her calendar for dates like when somebody is arriving to town, and their flight time. She used to know this, ex. "Sam will be here from the 14th to the 18th". Now, no idea without that calendar.
* Ok... this one scared me. I recently asked her what year her dad died. It was either '97 or '98, I just couldn't recall which. She said "1969", like a few times. I eventually corrected her and she got it. But what the hell?
* When I was there for Thanksgiving, there was a lot of family and it was kind of a circus. It was a little late and she may have drinken a little too. Regardless, a call came in kind of late, and she turned to the phone and blurted out "your dad's not on call?"... My dad retired from medicine a year and a half ago. POssibly slip of the tongue, possible scary sign.
* She's very active, both socially and physically
* She seems to remember *important* events and dates
* Her personality is absolutely the same, no odd mood swing
* She recently hooked up her Apple TV and Streaming Netflix all on her own
* Never seen her forget a name of any family member or friend
* No issues with dressin gor grooming or anything
Sorry for the ramble, I am just really concerned. I have been reading a lot about signs of dementia/Alzheimer's and while she seems to fit some, she doesn't fit all. My father and one sister - both doctors - say at this point taking her to a doctor wouldn't be a good idea, as it would mostly just scare her and there's little to nothing that can be done anyway. Don't if I agree, but whatever..
If it is early signs, I don't know how long I have with a mostly present Mom, what I can do for her, and how I be the best son. Hard to explain, but I am especially bad with anything that involves a slow, painful decline... and this thought is overwhelming at this point.
Lastly, I just want to say how impressed I am with so many caregivers on this forum. You all provide a sense of comfort, just seeing what you've gone through and how you deal.
But I have another suggestion for you. Get some counselling. Worrying about your mother is nearly overwhelming you at this point. If she does have dementia and it does progress very slowly then it will progress very slowly. If it is a fast progressing type then it will progress quickly. You have no control over that, and worrying yourself sick won't change things. Get a little counselling to help you deal with whatever is happening and going to happen. The best way to help if the time comes when help is needed is to be strong yourself. This is very, very difficult for you right now. You deserve a little help.
Spend time with your mother. Be accepting of her little foibles. Repeat patiently when she asks the same questions. Be noncritical. Show her your love. These things will be very nice whether it turns out she has dementia or not.
Good luck; DON't BE AFRAID! Knowledge is power. Keep coming back and asking your questions; so many here are experts with a lot of experience and guidance to share with you.
There are good resources on this site to check out regarding dementia/Alz. It can start early -- but the good news is that with early intervention; you can significantly slow the progression and help your mom maintain independence for quite awhile.