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My mom has lost the ability to independently complete simple tasks and most activities of daily living but she has no awareness of it. She will say sometimes that she has forgotten some information, such as her birthday, but she seems to have no sense of this being unusual or startling. I'm wondering how many people with dementia actually know that they have dementia or, at least, a problem? Or is it the norm for the person to not know or recognize their problem?

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Wow, well my wife was diagnosed 6 years ago. To this day she has no sense that anything is wrong. Has almost no memory, no judgment, thinks she can still do everything (she is quite agile and active physically). Gets very upset when I happen to have to correct whatever she was working on, because she tries so hard to be useful, and 'thought she was doing such a good job, and just what I wanted'. So Alzheimer's patients are quite varied in how much they recognize their limitations, etc.
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Worry, you and your mom would be so much better off if you do NOT move her into your home. If you have the time to read posts here from those who have done so, you'll quickly see that it is NEVER a good idea when dementia is in the equation. I hope you will check all possible options of ways to pay for assisted living for your mom. I am so very glad that I did!
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It depends on the person, in my opinion. When the dementia is advanced, I don't think they have any idea that there's a problem, because they honestly don't remember from one minute to the next what someone has told them, what questions they've asked of someone (so they ask them repeatedly), etc. It's kind of a win-lose situation for them - they don't remember things or people, and when they are told, for example, that the person in front of them is their daughter, they get confused, which is upsetting for them - but 5 minutes later, they forget all about it. So I think it causes them concern and confusion for a few brief moments, and then even *that* is forgotten.

With my mother, she had dementia, but remembered people and places. Not always, but most of the time. She never forgot her kids, but did forget her grandkids. Couldn't remember what she had for breakfast, but could tell me what she had at a special dinner 40 years ago.
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My little 90 yr old aunt was discussing her aid's absence one day this week. I was telling her that the aid missed another day once before and I complained to the aid that she didn't call me and let me know that she was sick. She promptly replied that she had called my aunt. At this point in my story, my aunt interjected, "what good would that do?!, I can't remember anything!" So she is aware on some levels but in the same conversation she will tell me she doesn't need help. So it can be hit and miss even with the same person on the same day.
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BB and CR
My near 94 year old mom has been in memory care for about 15 months - we run out of money in 24 months

Last year was awful, she escaped and they threatened to take her out on psych hold - she was intent on walking home - drew a map of how to get there even and yes she she knew the way

There are no magic words to make them stop asking to go home -she still references rooms in the house and knows the address

If you can't fib and say she's there for rehab or while the house is having repairs or let's wait and see what the doctor says then you have to just change the subject - I always bring treats and you may find they dole out cookies and ice cream a lot for a distraction

Dementia is a long tiring journey for everyone
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There comes a point when our elders cannot handle the truth. My FIL has something wrong with his brain - he's easily confused, doesn't remember current events but remembers the past, asks questions over and over, doesn't retain information, showtimes etc. - and yet nothing shows up on any tests.

All that to say, I don't always answer his questions truthfully and I will change the subject when it's something I just don't want to talk about again and again. When changing the subject doesn't work, I make up an excuse as to why I have get going and I leave. I limit the amount of time I spend if I see he's particularly tired, anxious, or "off".

Change the subject. Leave. Fib about the house. Answering the same question over and over again is doing neither of you any good.
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Thanks everyone for your input. I was just curious what everyone's experiences were. My mom is currently living in a memory care assisted living unit. She thinks that she is fine and can't understand why she can't go home. (My dad is 85 and can not see to her care any longer.) We have explained to her that she has a sickness in her brain and is in the facility to get extra care but this doesn't stick, of course, and we have to keep going over the whole situation. It is frustrating for me and heartbreaking, too. I know that you can't reason with dementia but what are we supposed to say when she keeps asking about going home? Sometimes I want to run and hide!
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Bbtwinks, right now my mother is in a nice AL but your situation is my biggest fear. Mom has mild dementia and her AL doesn't have a memory care option. I worry about the day that she won't be able to live there any longer. On the other hand, with mom's funds forecast stating she will run out in 4 years (she is 87), I secretly hope by that point her dementia is advanced enough that she will not even be aware of the move to a nursing home, as awful as it seems to have that line of thought. This caring for our parents is a no-win situation, agreed?? I too, get that "run & hide" urge!! Sorry I couldn't come up with any suggestions for you. Maybe I need sleep first! Lol. Hang in there..someone here will have ideas.
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In the beginning mom knew she had dementia, about four years later as she kept declining, she thought she was perfectly fine. Isn't that better than the constant worry that something is wrong?
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As the saying goes, "if you have met one person with Alzheimer's, you have met one person with Alzheimer's".... They are all so different. My mom had been having issues for a few years and I think finding out what the cause was, helped her. She would tell people, "can you help me find my daughter, I have Alzheimer's." She has always seemed to be aware of why she is having issues.
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