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freqflyer, you bring up a great point ... one really has to know the baseline before knowing how seriously to take current symptoms.
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Kitty, curious has your Mom always been somewhat forgetful or is this something totally new?

Why I asked is that my significant other is a brain when it comes to math and economics, but is so forgetful around the house, from what his grown children tell me he's always been that way.

When I get home from work, I can tell what cabinets, drawers, and doors he's been into before he goes to work because they are left opened.... I always have to check to make sure the garage door is closed at night and the doors are locked [he'll forget those, too].
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This is more than "senior moments." Having a medical evaluation and taking care of end-of-life paperwork while she still can is critical.
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Kittyd I agree with the other answers. Your mom does have some sort of dementia. My mom has no short-term memory, but she knows to shut off the microwave or running water. She doesn't use the stove any more, thankfully. She will leave cold stuff out of the refrigerator when she makes a meal, so I've taken over that task for her.

It's very frustrating because no matter what you do to help them with memory, it only works about 50% of the time. I've tried notes, calling, a whiteboard, about everything I can think of and it still only works half of the time. My mom was forgetting her meds (despite my phone reminders and her assurances that she'd taken her meds - she hadn't). I finally put my foot down and said "We're getting help." So now 2X a day, someone comes in to give her the daily meds. It's working like a charm. But she didn't want to do it. Now she doesn't mind it at all.

So you just have to put your foot down for your own safety. She's living in your house, she lives by your rules (just like when you were a kid probably). You don't want her blowing up or burning down your home. So get help when you're not there.
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I agree with Pam. Get her to her Dr and tell him what's going on.. Have him schedule an MRI so you both will know what's happening..

Educate yourself about dementia.. There is much info on ALZ.org (Alzheimer's dot org) and look up a woman Teepa Snow on youtube..

If she hasn't already, make sure Mom has seen an elder law attorney. She needs to have her medical POA and financial POA in order before the disease progresses..

Most important take care of yourself and visit this site often. You will have many questions and we're all in the same boat..
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Half of people 85 and over have some type of dementia. Let an experienced doctor evaluate her and be sure to mention the safety concerns. I think you might have to adjust your understanding of the situation.
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That's right Captain, because when she tries to hard boil an egg in a microwave, at about one minute and thirty seconds in, there is a loud BOOM!!
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kill the twin breaker on the electric range and let her blow things up in the microwave . its messy but entertaining as h*ll ..
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She does have dementia. Whether it is Alzheimer's or some other type should be determined by her MD. Try to accept this is a reality and she should not be left alone, ever. We had to move Mom into Assisted Living because was no longer safe around the stove. She turned the gas burners on during a power failure, thank God she didn't blow herself to pieces. Safety comes first and that means from now on a sitter when you go out. Think back to when you first left the kids with a sitter. They kicked up a fuss and as soon as you were out of sight they asked for a cookie. Same here, the toddler is just bigger.
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Sorry, meant to say more. How do I deal with my mom's forgetfulness now that it is becoming a home safety issue (i.e., forgetting to turn off the running water, stove or microwave)? She does not have Alzheimer's or dementia (she is 85); merely in the beginning stages of "senior moments", but the moments are becoming more frequent! I don't want to leave her alone in the house (she is living with us), but she will not tolerate a caregiver or being put into assisted living.
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