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Over the past 2 years my siblings and I have watched our mother lose some of her memory, attention span and start to repeat herself. She use to be such a smart intellectual person to where I believed she belonged on Jeopardy lol. To date, none of us can hold a conversatiin with her. Within a few seconds my mother will either change topics or stare off into the sky like nothing is being said. She tends to repeat the same topics over n over. We have taken her to doctor who says: " well she knows her birthday, today's date, her name, she is fine, just aging"..... I SERIOUSLY doubt. She has this blank look on her face and it takes a few minutes to snap her out of it. She hardly sleeps, stopped bathing, wears same clothes and only cares about trying to drink alcohol. We all are so worried about her but have no idea how to help. We have been told so long as she is mentally capable of answering certain questions and can walk we cant force her to a psychologist or dr for eval. I have read some similar stories here but nothing that can help me figure what is wrong with my mommy.

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the drinking just came with the changes, she use to hate drinking. but my thoughts are thevsame, she drinks to avoid her problem.
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Alcohol is sometimes used in dementia by patients trying to avoid facing the truth. The rest of your description and the time frame sounds like Alzheimer's or similar dementia. My DH had almost an identical story starting at age 55. He was a financial executive. Ultimately, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Lewy Body Dementia and Depression.

Your mother should have a workup by a Neurologist or a Neuropsychiatrist. Be sure it is one that has an interest in dementia disorders (not just epilepsy, MS, etc.). As BarbBrooklyn mentioned, a teaching hospital or regional medical center will often have a group that is focused in this area. There are various other diagnoses that this could other than dementia, so the Neurologist will do testing to rule these out (and treat them if they are present). There are medications available that will help her if she has dementia, so it's important to get a good diagnosis.
Blessings,
Jamie
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Bud, did your mom's doctor witness any of the " drifting off" during his conversation with her? Can you tape one of these episodes on your phone to show him?

No, you can't force your mother to have an evaluation. But I would think that her doctor would be curious about finding out if there is a reversible cause of the episodes, perhaps seizures. Is your mom interested in finding what's changed, or is she passive about pursuing this?
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If she is a long term alcoholic there is a type of alcoholic dementia or syndrome Wernicke Korsakoff that can happen. Or mini strokes that only show up on MRI. Does doctor know about drinking? It could affect medicine interactions also.
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yes the last dr did address a uti as well as signs of old bronchitis. took antibiotics n other meds with no change
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I would find your nearest university-affiliated hospital. Call their Neurology Department and ask for the team that does workup for cognitive issues in older adults. Getting a complete evaluation will tell you what you need to know about her brain's functioning
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Here's another idea, have Mom tested for an Urinary Tract Infection [UTI] as the symptoms are similar to that of dementia. An UTI is treated with antibiotics. The UTI test is pretty simple and can be done at her doctor's office or at an urgent care.
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well thank you guys for your suggestions. We did described her change in behavior to Dr, that was our main point of concern. And also adult daycares are out of the question. My mother is or was only social with family. She refuses to go to a daycare or Dr. We were surprised to have had her go the last time. She is very blunt in her comments now and will flat out tell you what she does not want. I found frontotemporal dementia which seems to meet her symptoms a bit. but please if yall have any ideas
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budlee, the lack of sleep can cause one's mind to drift off. I know it happens to me if I go too long without having several good night sleeps in a row. For me, those drowsy antihistamines work to get a good night sleep, but your Mom would need to check with her doctor first.

Another thing is depression, especially if your Mom has no real need to get up in the morning. Like no where to go, so why bother taking a shower or changing clothes, no one is going to see her.

Is there an adult day care center or senior center nearby? If so, take her there. She really needs to be around people of her own age group. Imagine if you were only around people 20-30 years younger then you are, you cannot relate to the music, the actors, the TV shows, older movies, etc.

You mentioned that your Mom drinks alcohol, I am surprised that doesn't make her sleepy.
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Go back to the doctor. Describe your mother Before and After, ask him if he still thinks this degree of change suggests normal aging, and request a referral to a geriatrician, neurologist or older age psychiatrist as he judges best.

Also, she's 70. 70 is nothing.
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