Alzheimer's/dementia or just "old age?"

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Forgive me if I'm in the wrong place. I've been scouring the internet for hours and at this point I'm exhausted. I'm just curious as to whether or not my mom is showing some early signs of something serious or if it could be attributed to "old age." My mother is 69-years-old and is roughly 19 hours away. Over the past few years, I've noticed some concerning behavior. This could also be an underlying mental issue that has been misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. First off, my mother has always been..er...difficult. She reacts irrationally to situations, a master manipulator and is always the victim. But as I mentioned, this behavior, along with other things, is raising some red flags. I'll just outline some things that are particularly strange. Again, these could be other things, but the behavior is constant. 1. She has NO filter. She used to keep many things to herself and now she's like a loose cannon. She was also the type that would privately gossip, but now she often says things publicly and in mixed company. For example, my cousin suffers from Trichotillomania and Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which she's aware of. She will open talk about how gross it is that she pulls her eyebrows out, in front of her, and how annoying it is. She'll also say rude things to her, around her and on social media regarding her appearance. Things like, "this is a terrible picture of you," or "how could you go out in public like that?" This goes for anyone, but I just used that as an example. She does the same to me and often brings up very private things publicly. 2. She sends me really random things for no reason. At one point she was sending things weekly and I informed her that I didn't have anymore room for things. She's sent food in the mail, wrapped food in wrapping paper for Christmas and sent it to us because she thought it would be "funny" and sends me her old clothes, knowing I'm considerably smaller than she is. For my son's first birthday she sent us some clothes that were 4T and 5T, thinking they were going to fit him. She sends him candy, despite me telling her on numerous occasions that we very rarely let him eat candy. Most treats are homemade cookies or cake for celebrations. She'll send used makeup, she sent us an antenna, a lantern, sewing kit with rusty needles and pins, a clock, calendars, etc. 3. She'll get spam messages on Facebook (the ones looking for phones, money, etc) and actually talk to them despite me telling her how dangerous it is. She gave one man my full name, as well as my husband's and son's, our city and state as well as our ages. 4. I'm not sure that she actually knows my age. On more than one occasion she's told someone I was older or younger than I am. It was about 4 months after my 31st birthday and she told someone I was 30. Another time she told someone I was 31 when I hadn't yet turned 30. These are the only examples I'm aware of and they might be nothing, but this has never been an issue. 5. About a week ago I posted a picture of some gum paste creations. I'm working on these details for my son's cake because they're quite difficult and gum paste keeps for a pretty long while. I mentioned finishing up the ones for this year and getting started on next year, then asked if anyone had any guesses for next year's cake. She replied, telling me to make a car or something else he liked. I responded, telling her this year's cake and next year's had already been decided. I was just getting the details taken care of so I could simply assemble the cakes. Today she asked me if I decided on what cake I was making for his birthday. 6. She seems to be very careless with money. She's on a very fixed income and spends money on things she doesn't need. I've told her numerous times that we have issues with things arriving here on time, as well as UPS and FedEx rerouting things to the post office. She still insists on sending everything via 2-day shipping, even though we may not see the item for a week. So she's spending a ridiculous amount for no reason, as well as on the things she's sending us. She's paying quite a large amount for cable, making purchases online, etc. 7. She doesn't quite understand that I'm quite busy, despite being home. My husband is disabled (brain damage due to a car accident that inhibits his basic processing, reaction, focus and memory) so I basically raise our son by myself, cook, clean and everything else. If we go a certain amount of time without talking she thinks I'm mad at her and makes a huge fuss. She does the same with other people. If they don't pay her enough attention she gets irrational and throws tantrums. These are just some of the things I can think of. Again, this might be nothing at all. But the behavior is increasingly more severe and honestly, she's difficult to deal with. Every interaction we have involves one or more of these things. I'm in no position to care for her. I don't have the resources to care for her in anyway, shape or form.

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I think any mention of it would send her into a rage. She's on antidepressants, but I don't feel they're working or appropriate. She's also diabetic, so she's on insulin, meds and has to test her blood sugar. She can't keep that in check because she simply doesn't want to. She lived with us at one point before I even got pregnant and it was being properly managed. She'd ask me to get her a soda, I'd refuse and she'd flip out. She'd slam doors, scream at the top of her lungs, stop her feet and throw things. A part of me feels, to a certain degree, she might be unsafe. It seems as though now, more than ever, she can't and won't handle her responsibilities.

Thank you, I will definitely check those out! She definitely needs friends, but this behavior doesn't allow her to keep them long. Those she does have live quite far and she isn't able to see them. Others have simply moved forward.
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heymama, I found this section here at Aging Care, scroll down through it and find the articles that might relate to your mother. https://www.agingcare.com/alzheimers-dementia

I personally think your Mom is just bored, and she likes to be silly, except when it comes to social media which I don't think she realizes that many other people can read what she writes. That is one reason I refuse to even go onto Facebook, it's too easy to accidentally be hurt by someone saying something unhinged. Your Mom needs girlfriends to hang around with to help use up her free time.

The mix up on your age is no big deal, I wouldn't have a second thought over it. As for a cake, sounds like she was just trying to be helpful. I think you need to take what she does and say with a grain of salt. I know you want to make sure she is safe and is doing ok. Don't over read into what she is doing. Your Mom is younger than I am, but I am still out in the work force and still am tending to an elderly parent.
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Thank you! Sadly, she really doesn't have any friends and the same goes for family. My brother won't have anything to do with her and she's either pushed family away, or they could no longer deal with her and keep contact to a minimum. So interactions with them aren't very frequent. I could definitely ask them and get their input.
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Well, she is definitely not "normal," is she?

As we age, our social filters often get weaker (not for everyone), but your mother's situation seems severe.

Any one of these behaviors might be a quirk, but the whole package sounds disturbing.

Dementia wouldn't be my first guess, but I do think there is a mental health problem here.

Would your mother agree to go to a doctor to be evaluated -- perhaps on some other pretext, like the need for her fall flu shot?

Do you think any of these behaviors makes her unsafe to live on her own? Or just annoying to the people around her?

Are there any relatives who live reasonably close to her?
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Old age means difficult people get MORE difficult, the personality amplifies as the social filters get lost. Try making contact with her friends or neighbors and get their feedback, have them alert you if she does put herself in danger. It's going to happen, but you let APS there deal with it. You have enough to worry about.
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