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My mom has recently been diagnosed with age related memory loss, but I am concerned because it is immediate short term memory loss. She'll ask me the same question 5 times in 3 minutes and still can't remember the answer. She can't follow simple directions like when to take her medication and how much to take. I write everything down but even referring to it several times doesn't seem to help. She repeats herself constantly and this month completely forgot to pay her bills, so I had to take it over. Now she's complaining that I'm taking everything away from her, but I have to.

Isn't this considered dementia? She can't even remember entire conversations we had the day before. And when is it time to consider a nursing home? I hate to do it, but she refuses to go to assisted living.

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Linda~Aricept and Namenda do not improve their cognitive abilities. These drugs stabilize them. The progression is slowed down We placed mom in a memory care unit when she was diagnosed as mentally incapacitate. She also could not live with me and hubby due to her abusive nature and I have to work as well. She is thriving, making friends with other residents. Because she can no longer make decisions for herself, my sister and I make the decisions for her. Her needs are being met very well...her wants...not so much...the needs outweigh the wants.
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Linda, perhaps you can tell us a bit more. How old is your Mom? Is she safe in her own home? Does she wander? Are there friends or neighbors that can/do look in on her? It is a fine line in deciding when the present living arrangement isn't working. Before that happens, you will find yourself assuming more of the duties she had been able to accomplish in the past. Between the cost and the lack of 'personalization' in assisted living my personal belief is not to move them too early to a facility. Yet, you need to be sure she is safe. Can you bring a 'companion' in for a few hours at a time? Is there a homemaker/neighbor that could use a few extra dollars for stopping in to check on her? Look around and make things as safe as possible. No tripping hazards. No clutter. etc Good luck
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I started looking for private home assisted living places 6 months before I actually moved my mother into one. After 2 weeks living there I was shocked when the caregiver showed me her assessment of my mother! There were a lot of things that I was absolutely clueless about that mom had been covering up. It takes time to go and look at places and I got a list of places from my contact from "A Place for Mom". Private homes in my area range in prices but the individual care is far better than what I saw in actual nursing home in our price range.
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Thanks for the input. My mom was tested at a Memory Center and was given Aricept which really isn't helping much. She takes no other medication and is in pretty good shape except that she's wobbly and frail and relies on a walker. My mom can still bathe and dress herself but it takes a lot out of her. Her days are spent looking out the window and watching tv. I do her laundry, garbage, etc and she gets Meals on Wheels. But she can't remember anything short term, just stuff that happened years ago. And yes, I do have a POA. I just don't know when the time is right to place her somewhere. Living with my husband and I is out of the question.
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I hope this helps!! Age related memory loss does not progress like a dementia.

In normal age-related memory loss, someone might forget part of an experience, but a person with Alzheimer’s disease will forget the whole experience.
In normal age-related memory loss, a person who forgets something will eventually remember the information; however, a person with Alzheimer’s won't recall the information at a later time.
In normal age-related memory loss, a person can usually follow instructions (verbal or written) without difficulty, but a person with Alzheimer’s disease is less and less able to follow instructions over time.
In normal age-related memory loss, using notes and other reminders is helpful, but people with Alzheimer’s gradually become less able to benefit from memory aids.
In normal age-related memory loss, people can still manage their own personal care (bathing, dressing, grooming, etc.), but those with Alzheimer’s lose the ability to engage in these kinds of tasks.
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Linda,

What you are describing in your Mom does sound like Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia. But it could also be related to medications she might be taking. Did your Mom begin taking any new meds at the time you began to notice her immediate short term memory loss? Is she taking any new meds that might counteract with others? Or have the memory problems been going on for a while? It also might be related to some other illness, such as a stroke.

Who diagnosed your Mom's age related memory loss? If it was her GP, you should make an appointment with a neurologist for a more pertinent diagnosis. Do this not only for her sake, but for yours. You need to be discussing power of attorney, etc. with her before she gets too far along, if you haven't already taken care of that!

Good luck with your Mom, and keep us updated.
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