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She is taking risperidone at night and sleeping well. Has also been put on thyroid medication. Both meds have helped. Mom has improved. Doc says, "If it ain't broken, don't fix it." I am worried about the nature of dementia being a progressive disease. In your experiences, shall I just sit tight and call doc if I notice any backsliding, or should I speak to doc again about a med to slow the progression of disease.

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wjjlyi, has your mother been diagnosed with a definite form of dementia? Some dementias, e.g. vascular, may be slowed down with a good diet and medication. Alzheimer's progresses, but not in the same way for people. There are some medications that help with cognitive abilities for some people, but they haven't been shown to slow the progress of the disease. Still, if the medicines work, it is nice to be able to function better. Your doctor may feel your mother is functioning alright at the present time, so doesn't want to use the medications. They do come with side effects that he may want to avoid if they aren't needed.

My 86 year old mother behaves like she has dementia, but has not been formally diagnosed with the correct tests. She won't have them and her doctor doesn't want to pursue it. I have been with her for three years now and haven't noticed any real signs of progression that can't be explained by age. I've wondered for my mother if something else is going on that looks dementia, but isn't. I do hope that it stays this way, and that her mind lasts as long as her body.
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