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My mom is 93 years old in a few more months and I am the sole caregiver, I am divorced with outlaw family (dead serious) my 28 y/o son disowned my entire family at the hands of my ex wife thus leaving me with my own stresses and Mom, she is the dearest lady on the face of the earth, she is crippled with memory loss 1st stages, Dementia. It took me prying at the doctors and convince them that there was an issue because when ever we went to the doctor Mom expected me to lay out her current ailments, which another cant always do, so all the doctor was hearing is I am FINE!! which might have prolonged things to the point of no return. First the doctor put her on meds to control the symptoms of dementia, I told the doctor lets try and treat the source instead of the symptoms, he took her off of symptom drugs and put her on Nemedia which is for dementia / alzheimers so far she has not had any bad side effects but not really any change either. The most disconcerning symptoms now are she refuses to eat or drink without at least 2-3 hours of drama. every few seconds it is "AM I SUPPOSED TO DRINK THIS, OR EAT THAT" that is the most frustrating part, she is constantly in tears, I will ask her what the matter is she will respond with "I DONT KNOW" I will ask you dont know what? then the wall goes up. We have always had a fairly good communications skills between the 2 of us, I am the only living son and have always been there except for one time prolly the most important time when my ex son and wife tried to home invade her. My Ex's condered people to set me up to get me out of the picture just to take over, thank god for moms friend that came to the rescue in my absence. ever since I have not left her side. I am going to stop here for now and let a few of you weigh in on this then we can continue if that is ok! Thank You very much

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Exactly what Barb says. My MIL and Mom both have had U.T.I. infections that nobody even knew about. They didn't have fever or burning pain "downstairs". They just started acting crazy and were trying to fall down all the time. Who knew everything goes haywire from a U.T.I.? Not until YOUR person gets one would anyone believe this happens ha ha! Seemed to make dementia 10 x worse.
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Up, are you saying she has chronic UTIs or that she gets them predictably when the seasons change? Chronic would mean that she's got a UTI almost all the time. That condition should be evaluated by a urologist.

In an elder, a UTI can lead to various kinds of loss of cognitive functioning , temporarily and can also cause psychiatric symptoms. I don't think anyone knows why this happens.
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To BarbBrooklyn and others
Barb, how much more of an impact on cognitive functions does a UTI have in the elderly compared to not so old. My mom has chronic UTI's because she doesnt drink enough during the changes of seasons. it seems like lately every fall and spring she gets one, 2 weeks on antibodies and it is cleared up. But it can not be good on the system.
R
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In specific response to Sunnytgrl11 but for everyone as well,
this is ditto to my mom Sunnygrl11 thanks so much for this at least I know were both not going crazy (mom and I that is)
Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!
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In Specific Reply to waltjeffries:
thank you for this response, I am finding that this has been my moms issue as well for the past 6-8 months now, she will say to me "What ever you think is right" I just kinda took it with a grain of salt in the beginning then realized that this was reality, so your saying just to set firm schedules and do not deviate so it is less confusion for the patient correct??
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As my Mom progressed with Dementia, we had to stop asking if she wanted something to eat or even what she wanted to eat. We had to set a schedule for meals and not give her choices. Same way with medicines. We had to tell her that they are her vitamins and bring her a glass of water and just say "it is time to take your vitamins". Again: Don't give her a choice.
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All good responses above. I'd make sure her doctor is aware of how she is behaving and explore if anxiety could be making her upset and not hungry. My LO, who has Vascular Dementia, was like that in the beginning. She stopped eating almost anything and lost a lot of weight. As it turns out, she had dementia, but, also depression and anxiety. Once she was placed on meds for anxiety and depression, she stopped so much worrying and crying, and her appetite returned, though, there is no guarantee that will always happen.

I'd keep in mind that though you may explain to mom what she should be eating or drinking, she likely forgets by the next time, so, explaining to her her over and over may be just what has to be done while she is in this stage.
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Just to mention....these days, psychiatrists, especially geriatric psychiatrists, mostly do medication management of behavioral symptoms; they don't delve into the past.

If mom's behavioral symptoms are currently a problem, is it possible that she DOES have a UTI?
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Just to update, after you mentioned a Cognitive or Geriatric Specialist above I just thought of something we did see a different doctor with Healthcare Partners a few months ago when I went to look him up he is a Geriatric specialist, Dr. Phan he gave her a fairly clean bill of health other than just "Old Age" which I did not want to really accept as she was going thru yet another UTI at the time so I thought I would wait till that was cleared up first which I did and she seemed to be improving. This has been the case for the last few years, she would contract a UTI then a mild fall that is when I became concerned well come to find out there is a direct connection between incontinence and falls due to diapers. so we started paying extra attention to changing 3-4 times a day to prevent buildup of bacteria. She has gone the longest yet without another UTI until just now. I am sorry for not mentioning this eariler but when so much is on your mind sometimes it is difficult to remember everything. once again, we also installed a walk in bathtub she uses regularly...
take this and run with it
Thank you
R
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See this is what I have been trying to figure out, being caught up in the middle I do not always see the bigger picture, but this makes perfect sense, Calling her doctor back today and going to get her into a specialist asap. In the past I was thinking more on the lines of a Psychiatrist, but always thought that was too harsh and/or invasive and just the stigma of "Seeing a Shrink" did not morally appeal to her or I either. did not really ever know that this kind of a doctor existed in that context. Geriatric Specialist..... Great idea. Thank you I will report back soon as this is posed and I get an answer.

Regards
R
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I agree that it would be a great idea to get her a full cognitive work up and to have her seen, possibly by a geriatric psychiatrist to address the agitation and anxiety.
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I'm not sure where you are in terms of getting medical help for your mom, has she seen a geriatric specialist? It would probably be a good idea to get a complete cognitive assessment to document the degree of her memory loss, also to find her appropriate medications for the anxiety surrounding her indecisiveness.
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Greets Jessie and the rest,
Glad you asked it that way, I do have some confirmed answers and some suspicions, here goes.
1. From what the doctor said and what I collaborated on the web it is Stress induced Vascular mimicked dementia, What I gather by that is it is actually stress and HBP causing dementia like symptoms but not actually dementia. As for the stress YES that is the only reason I brought up the family issue with the outlaws. gawd I don't quite know where to start because you almost have to read my book to get it all straight. but here goes in short form. Married in 88, divorced in 1996, had a beautiful intelligent son whom was like all dads doting till he was say 12, then his mom got to him did not want me in the picture any longer and used him to circumvent that and get her wish. which inside killed my mom his paternal grandmother. however she was in denial for the past 15 years about it. I was not wanting to believe it either that people could be that evil but the way I found out was straight from my sons mouth in 2015 when he said "Dad I have hated you and been angry at you for 15 YEARS" that comment floored me especially since he had no regard for his grandmother and said it right in front of her.
the following Monday he filed a restraining order against the family. To this day I do not directly blame him for the act because he was brainwashed by his evil mother whom I found out later on was just a gold-digger in life feeding off of whom ever she could. Me being the good guy so to say was none the wiser and who would think their own son could do such a thing. That being said mom took way hard and I dont blame her, inside I am tore up from floor up, I have learned to deal with it, as that is all you can do. But mom NO she should not have been subject to that especially from him.
personally I think it is PTSD driven memory loss now that she really doesn't have to control it when he is their and when he isn't and it is hard to say this but I really think she is trying to give up. However the flip side to that is she has good people around her all the time Myself and her friend that saved her from a home invasion 15 years ago. She is constantly saying to me "I work too hard meaning myself, I don't want to trouble you" what I keep referencing her back is it is absolutely no trouble at all in fact it is a pleasure and privilege that most young adults do not have the privilege of doing. Mom and i have became so much closer in ways I cant explain over this time. So for now lets digest that and see where we get.

Again I am a bit gun shy being here because it is hard

Thank you all again
R
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Welcome, UpInArmsTrying. I don't think there's much we can do about the family drama, but people may be able to help with your mother's memory loss. Does the doctor have any idea what type of dementia it is? He may be able to tell something from the history. For example, if she has had strokes or is diabetic, the doctor may suspect vascular dementia. If memory and logic problems began out of nowhere, the doctor may suspect Alzheimer's. Vascular dementia is usually treated by trying to control the blood pressure and related problems in order to slow the progression. There is no known treatment for Alzheimer's at the present time. Some doctors will prescribe medications like Aricept or Namenda for symptoms. Some people say they help and others say they don't.

Emotions often go along with dementia. You have to decide if something is really wrong or if it is the disease. Sometimes it is a mix of the two. Tell us a bit more and someone may have some things that have helped them deal with things. We all share similar experiences with caregiving people with dementia. When she ask things like if she is supposed to eat something, answer simply -- something like "We'll eat in about an hour." Or if she ask what day it is, just answer, even if you just told her what day it is. :) It can be kind of like talking to a child at times. You'll get the hang of things.
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