I wonder if someone has some information that may help me with my mother. She has episodes of what seem to be moderate dementia. It usually starts out with her being concerned about something, dwelling on it until her anxiety level is very high, then doing something that is pretty crazy. For example, the last incident she was concerned about the foundation of the house. It does need some work. While she was thinking about the foundation, she noticed the relief line of the water heater was very hot. She woke me up to check it and I figured we would call the plumber. I know now I should have turned off the gas to the water heater. It may have stopped what happened next.

She stayed up all night, worrying that the water heater was going to burn the house down. She called a 24-hour plumber. Early in the morning she woke me up because the plumber was going to be there in a few minutes. Not conscious yet, I didn't even know why he was coming. I thought maybe to fix the leaky sink. It turned out to be the water heater. The plumber painted a horror story, even lying to my mother that there was water and mold under the house. He gave her a card to call a water cleanup crew, and set to work replacing the water heater.

I had flags going up and told my mother to put down the phone until we could get a second opinion. I had been under the house myself and had not seen what he said. I knew the guy was a con. But I could not stop my mother. The end result was the water heater cost us $2400 and the cleanup cost us and the insurance company $6245. This was after even the cleanup crew had told us there was very little moisture and no mold. The companies had taken my parents for a ride, and I was totally ineffective in stopping it.

After all was over, I was traumatized. And my mother said, "I have done something very stupid." She got depressed for several days, but now seems normal again. I consoled myself by writing truthful reviews on Angie's List and telling my mother to never again try to conduct business for the house again.

And I asked an important question: why she trusted the words of strangers more than her own daughter.

Similar things have happened a few times since I've been home. Usually it is a health matter that sends us scurrying for unnecessary tests and procedures for a few days. I just wondered what it is that might be leading to this periodic craziness, since most of the time she is forgetful but otherwise rather normal. She is an insulin-dependent diabetic who controls her blood sugar fairly well. She takes lorazepam -- sometimes I fear she takes it too much, which may play a part in impairing her memory and judgment. I am hoping someone else has been through this and knows what is going on with her when she gets these episodes of what looks like moderate dementia.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I have done some reading that may be the answer. Some people over-produce cortisol when under stress. Cortisol has an effect on the hippocampus that impairs short-term memory. According to reports, long-term stress can actually damage the cells of the hippocampus. My mother has always been very easily stressed -- a very nervous person. This may explain the effect of stress on her memory and behavior. The research has been going on for 10 years now, but this is the first I've read on it. I wondered if there was a tie-in between cortisol and Alz for some people if stress continues for too long.
Helpful Answer (0)

Thank you for responding, jeanne. I do wish I could take control of her medications. I tried to once, but fur hit the fan and she started hiding her medications from me. She will also not let me know exactly what her sugar levels are, though she says they are okay. I do know her well enough to know she is sometimes not truthful. We get into a major control issue when it comes to the matter of her medicine and health.
Helpful Answer (0)

I don't think that you have to be demented or even elderly to be conned by some of these slick opeators.

I think keeping an eye on your mother's drug use, and watching to verify that her sugar is "fairly well controlled" would be a good idea.

Dementia? I don't know of any "episodic" dementia forms, but few cases come on full flown -- there is usually some gradual build up of symptoms. Also some, such a Lewy Body Dementia are charactrized by fluctuations in cognitive abilities. So I suppose your mother's poor judgement could be an early dementia symptom. It is worth being observant for further developments. Personally, dementia wouldn't be my first guess here, but I'd keep an eye on the situation.

Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (1)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter