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Although we have not had my mom tested, she definitely has either dementia or Alzheimer and I do not think that it is only in the "mild" or "medium" state. She is almost 83.

She is in perfect health as far as blood pressure, heart conditions etc. concern. She can not walk due to rheumatism in her hips and basically all her joints. Though she sometime will say that she has pain, she mostly refuses to take ANY meds, not even a pain killer. Very seldom she will allow us to "bully" her into taking a pain killer - we will "soft soap" her and tell her that she will feel better and that there is really no need to be in pain, etc. But mostly, she does not like any meds.

Never had a UTI in her life, even though she is in a wheelchair now for about 9 months.

So her condition cannot in any way be contributed to any meds.

She will not even remember her surname at times, can not sign her signature any more, does not now what to do with the face cloth when you hand it to her to wash herself. And when she got the face cloth in her hand and you tell her to wash, she does not know where to start or what to wash. She does not know how many children she had given birth to, cannot name them. She sometimes are not even sure if I am her child.

She dwells in her childhood days all the time - will constantly tell stories from her childhood days. For most people she seems fine - there is nothing wrong with her. You have to be in her presence for a period to release that she is not "all there". She will comment on a conversation on cell phones for instance - my mother said that cell phones ......... (Cell phones did not exist in those years!) Her comments mostly starts with my mother said or my father said.

But what really baffles me is that both my mom and dad will play Rummy cub all day long! How is it possible that she can play Rummy cub but does not even remember her surname? When playing Rummy cub, she would place her pieces on the table or re-arrange some pieces that is on the table, and iif the move she was trying to accomplish, does not work, she does not know where she has found all the pieces.

She will really win my dad sometimes - how does it works? Is it because Rummy cub requires the "now" side of her brain? My dad thinks there is nothing wrong with her, she does not have dementia or Alzheimer. Just yesterday he said to visitors - nothing wrong with her brain or memory! He too has some form of dementia or Alzheimer but tries to proof all wrong. He keeps on commenting all stupid things in a conversation - he he MUST be the first one to comment to PROOF that he knows what they are talking about but sadly has missed the point completely. His memory is better than her in some areas but also very bad mostly. We are constantly looking for his phone, his hat and what ever.

In my valley, we do not have all the facilities as I can see most of the posters have in their countries. To have then tested, I will have to tell them that I think we must have them tested - they will NOT go because they are OK, nothing wrong with them! I took my mom to the doctor to test for a UTI (she was clear) and mentioned that I think she has Alzheimer or dementia. He asked her a couple of questions (Birth date, what yer is it now, your full names, where are you staying, how old are you now, etc and she could not answer any. She told his that she is still doing all her own house hold chores and as a matter she has washed all their clothes this morning! He then asked her to get up from her wheelchair - which off cause she could not do - so he said - your are right, definitely Alzheimer, which had upset my dad so much that we had to change his doctor, he refused to see this doctor again!)

Is it possible that dementia / Alzheimer's divides the brain in two parts, a healthy part and the sick part and that they can switch" between the two parts as they wish?

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I should point out that my dad has also always refused any tests for alz or dementia. We've decided it's just not worth the battle. But his symptoms are very typical of alz and mom and I accept that and have learned to deal with it and not try and convince him something is wrong with him.
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My Dad has dementia and has little short term memory. His long term memory, the olden days, is still pretty good. He can tell the old hunting, fishing, work stories all day but does not now what day of the week it is. Your mom sounds similar. She can still play a card came that she knows from years ago but is forgetting day to day stuff.

Having said that, some long term memories stay and others go away as dementia progresses. Five or six years ago my dad could still fix anything around the house. Now his skills are just not there. And he is also starting to forget names of people he doesn't see often even though he's know them for years.
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Thanks, Jeannegibbs! It explained how she can still plays Rummy cub.

We had moved them in with us about 9 months ago and have a girl taking care of them during the day when we are at work - just because we can not trust them on their own. They will forget to lock the doors and things like that or open to however they think looks trustworthy. My mom does not remember how to cook anymore and my dad has NEVER COOKED IN HIS WHOLE LIFE but before they moved in, he was instructing her what to do, and how to cook!

But I must tell you this, and why I think they can sometimes jump between the "healthy and the sick" par of the brains.

My mom is forever on my grand children's cases when they are sleeping over. Her gaze is just fixed on them and on what they are doing. The one grandson has adopted a way of "not hearing" her. So this one day she was on his case again and he was "not hearing" her. When she got upset because he is "not hearing" her, she said to him: I am not your play mate! I had children of my own! I have raised ..... (looking at me and I just thought - I am staying out of this - you fight your own battle that you have started) .... raised ..... 10 .... I think ........ children. Boy oh boy! that caught his attention! He stopped in his tracks! Really, did she had 10 children? (She raised 6 children.) I said, well asked her to name them. (Gotcha! This will keep you busy for a while and of his case!) She just looked down, looked up again and that said: What were we busy talking about?

That was either quick thinking or jumping between the sick and healthy parts of her brains!

Sometimes you just have to laugh about things or else you will cry and cry and cry .........
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Dementia doesn't exactly divide the brain, but it affects different parts of the brain -- and different kinds of dementia typically have different kinds of symptoms depending what parts of brain are most damaged.

Whether they have the official series of tests or not, you know that your parents have dementia. That means they have damage in some (not all) areas of their brains. Dementia gets worse over time ... more and more areas of the brain are damaged.

There aren't a whole lot of effective treatments for dementia at this point. If you could get Mom back to the doctor who recognizes she has dementia, he might be able to prescribe one of the drugs that sometimes help for a while. But if she won't take medicines anyway, that may not be an option.

The main thing is to keep a very close eye on them for safety. If Dad is sounding foolish in conversations, at least that is not dangerous. But if they start eating spoiled food because they forget to clean out the refrigerator, if they leave the stove burners on, if they stop showering and taking care of their hygiene, then you are going to have to step in and insist they get some help. At first it might be cleaning help, help with laundry, shopping help, meal preparation, etc. And then it will be personal help, such as with showers.

Good luck to you! This is so hard.
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