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We're pretty sure our elderly mother has dementia due to all the crazy accusations and assertions she makes (people stealing, making up stories about what people have done to her, general paranoia, depression) in addition to her serious heart condition, failing to take her meds properly and poor self care. We think if we get her tested, this might help us get more and better care for her.

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Make appt with her primary care physician or seek a gerontologist in your area. In my case, I started a log to document all the behaviors I'd witnessed with mom including dates, times, description of the behavior, phone calls, etc. then I sent a copy in advance of the drs appt to her doctor confidentially and told him I wanted him to have a heads up so when he examined her he could ask the right questions and get a proper evaluation.

I also asked for a physical, blood work, urine test, and mental work up during the visit. Let the receptionist know when you schedule so they allow extra time for the full work up.

Dr did a great job and he talked to my mom without letting on that I'd sent a letter but he discretely asked her probing questions. He then did the basic test for dementia. She was early stage at the time. He then referred her to neurologist and geriatric psychiatrist for more thorough work up and to get a baseline. He reassured mom it was just a common test for someone of her age.

Following that, she was diagnosed with mild dementia. She denies the diagnosis, but we just deal with it. She started aricept and namenda but then stopped taking and won't take it because of her denial of the diagnosis. It's been 3 yrs. I've continued to document behaviors -- good and bad and sending to dr in advance of our annual appts just so there is a record and keeping him appraised.

More than you wanted to know I'm sure.
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Get a nanny cam and videotape her. Share that with her MD and have him make recommendations.
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