How do l know if my Mom is being forgetful or has Alzheimer's?

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Make sure her medical and finances are in order, get a POA now, sometimes they have to be sound of mind . Get on her bank accounts. One of the first things to go for my mom, about a year after the forgetfulness started but before she was diagnosed with dementia, was her ability to handle her own meds( ordering and taking, even with a pill box with times and dates we constantly found pills laying around) and finances. If she will let you take those over now, do it.
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Reply to Jannner

If you're asking this question? Time to take action. Get her to a doctor. Research on line so you know what's really going on.
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Reply to lynnm12

Either make an appointment for her with her PCP and express your concerns to then when you make the appointment or, if she has an upcoming appointment already scheduled, call in to the doctor and express your concerns to them so that they can evaluate her at the appointment. This is what I did with my husband, thinking that he might be diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency or maybe ADD. I was shocked when hia doctor gave him a quick cognitive test in the office and my husband failed to be able to do several of the simple things the doctor asked him to do. His doctor referred us to an Alzheimer's/Memory Care neurologist and we are waiting for blood work to come back now before we pursue the neuro (in case his issue IS vitamin deficiency or something else that shows up in the bloodwork).
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Reply to Monica19815

Without going to a doctor, tough to say. What are you seeing?

I knew when when my Mom forgot her ex-FIL has been dead since 1976. She also began to repeat things. She would get dressed and ready for work on a Saturday. I was seeing her changing lanes without looking while driving.Obsessed with looking at her bank account on her phone. Logged in 20 times a day. Forgot passwords and would forget they were written down for her. Forgot how to use copy machine she had used many years.

MRI revealed plaques and tangles plus TIA stroke. Mild cognitive impairment diagnosis with a side convo from doctor to ‘prepare for the worst’. Diagnosed 2015. Now at stage 6. There are 7 stages.

Forgetfulness is not necessarily anything serious. It’s part of aging. Hope this helps.
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Reply to Metmij

If you're seeing things that cause you concern or if others are telling you things about her, I'd keep some notes and keep an eye on her. You might check on her finances, to make sure she's keeping up on things. Check her car, if she's driving for damage. Check the fridge for spoiled food. Check to see if she's really doing laundry. Chat with neighbors to see if they have noticed anything unusual. Normally, it's not just one thing that might stand out. And, I'd make sure that you have a properly executed Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare POA, so you can handle matters for her, if need be.

If she'll allow it, go with her to her doctor to have her checked out for UTI, vitamin deficiency, depression, anxiety, or any other condition that night be causing some forgetfulness. It's not always dementia that's causing forgetfulness. I'd not confront her though. Just keep it casual so she doesn't get defensive. They can do an mini mental evaluation in the office. Sometimes, they do a baseline, so they know if there is change down the road. They did that for my dad who is 81. Turns out he was mentally fit as could be. He even had another one by an at home insurance nurse. (They do in home checkup and give you a gift certificate for your time. He wanted it.) I was present and my dad was off the charts good with memory, drawing and math. Go figure.

Depending on what the doctor says and what you see, I'd take it from there. Even though my cousin's primary diagnosed her with Vascular Dementia in the office, I followed up with a Neurologist, because I wanted to rule out tumors, pressure in the brain, etc. So, he ordered MRI and found the multiple strokes that confirmed with his office exam, severe dementia.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1

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