We have completed the initial visit with the neurologist. He performed Mama's memory tests and sent her out to have other testing performed including bloodwork, and EEG, and an MRI of the brain. I am expecting to receive a diagnosis (I think it's Alzheimer's, but we will see). I want to be sure to ask questions regarding things while at the visit. Any suggestions of what might be important things to know? I know I need to write some down so I don't just go blank. Sometimes a person doesn't know what they need to know. Any help is appreciated.

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How is your mother feeling about these tests and any diagnoses they might reveal?

What are your thoughts about the kind of care your mother is likely to need? She is living (alone?) at her own home now, but if that should no longer be possible what options might you have?

As you have power of attorney sewn up nicely, another key issue is your mother's legal status. If she does have Alzheimer's disease there will come a point where she is no longer competent to make decisions for herself and she has already authorised you to take over for her by giving you POA. What certification/declaration processes apply in your area should be something the neurologist can tell you.

There are lots of things it would be nice to know: what stage is the disease at, how long do phases last, what will happen when, for example. But unfortunately although there are estimates and educated guesses, it's best to take any concrete answers with a pinch of salt. There is a saying among Alzheimer's care circles: "when you've met one person with dementia, you've met one person with dementia."

So it's all a work in progress. It is good to get your questions lined up, but this won't be your only opportunity and you will inevitably have more questions as time goes on anyway, so to an extent it might be better to take in the information and digest it first. If anything doesn't make sense, say so (nicely!) and ask for further explanations.

I hope you'll find this forum really useful, too. Best of luck with the appointment, please let us know how it goes.
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KellyBWilson Apr 2019
Hi Countrymouse! I appreciate your response. Mama doesn't seem to quite grasp the seriousness of the testing she has received. She doesn't realize just how bad her memory has become....among other issues. She seemed more upset that the doctor told her on our first visit that she probably needed to stop driving....that statement overshadowed everything else we discussed concerning her health issues. She can't understand why he would put restrictions on her when she has had no issues with driving and has a spotless history. I told her we would ask him to explain why it is an issue even though I have tried to discuss with her that it isn't about her HISTORY, but about her FUTURE capabilities.

I will certainly consult the doctor with anything that needs to be done concerning any needed certifications/declarations that may apply to our situation. That is a great suggestion.

Although my sister lives with my mother, she works very long hours at two different jobs. This leaves Mama alone most of the time at present. My brother lives across the street and drops by to check on her. For now this seems to be working, but does not do much to address the loneliness Mama feels. I live out of town and call her regularly. Since I am only one county away, I am able to go visit and assist her with various things including doctor visits, outings to various functions, or whatever she needs me to do. I, also, work a full time job as well. I realize that as Mama's problem progresses, more will be required. I have also been educating myself on the challenges my family will be facing so I can do my best to prepare myself and my siblings for what's coming and how to best help Mama.

Mama can be a pretty volatile, hateful person and has had some issues with paranoia and delusions. Any way that I can stay a few steps ahead of her is a benefit!!! She keeps me on my toes for sure.

Thank you for reaching out. Our appointment is Thursday afternoon. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated. I will surely be visiting this site often in the future. Blessings to you!
The most important thing to know is what will the likely future look like.

given what they discover... how does that typically progress? What mile markers should you look for. What services will be available to her given the diagnosis...what additional help might become available. Perhaps the doctors office will also know of any other resources in your area
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KellyBWilson Apr 2019
Thank you Katiekate. Those are good things to know. Thank you for your advice. It is greatly appreciated!
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