Confusion or Dementia or are they both the same?


My mother is getting confused to the point she doesn't know where she sleeps. She doesn't know how she gets into her home. She isn't sure where I live which is one mile down the road. She has known this for years. Is this early Alzheimer's, dementia or just confusion. She isn't this confused when her other children come to visit her from out of town.

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Sure sounds like dementia to me, but JessieBelle is right -- she ought to see a doctor for a general check up. I agree that if she doesn't have a PCP she really likes, a geriatrician would be a good choice. At 64 she is younger than most geriatrician patients, but considering the issues you mention, it might be a good choice. Or just take her to her regular doctor.

It would be helpful to write down your concerns, with specific examples, and send this note in to the doctor before Mom goes in.
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She may have a urinary tract infection which often causes confusion in the elderly. They often do not experience the pain that is typical of a UTI. Get her checked for that. When my mom went through a series of UTI's she experienced everything from back aches, increased confusion to stroke symptoms. She could barely walk and her speech was garbled.

And it may be something else entirely. It is usually in late middle stages that they become very disoriented to place, especially their own. Whatever it is it has come on very suddenly so is probably indicating something else. Dementia is a symptom for many things, some can be treated.
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It could be dementia or something else entirely. See about scheduling her an appointment with her doctor and discuss it with him/her. It would be best if her doctor was a geriatrician, since they know how to test for dementia.

There are other possibilities. If the confusion came on suddenly, I would look for other causes, such as an infection or small stroke. Her doctor should be able to tell you something.
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