How to talk to your loved one about memory loss and confusion?

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Grandma has been forgetting things and getting more and more confused as time rolls on. We are talking to her doctor about all this. Blood work has been done, but showed nothing that would indicate memory loss and confusion. She keeps insisting that she is fine, tells everyone including her doctors that she is just fine and she is doing everything she is supposed to... however that is just not true.. She is good about her AM meds, but sh keeps forgetting her noon meds, I give her pm pills and night time insulin shots, but she forgets her byetta (before breakfast and dinner insulin). There has been times where she has taken pills than attempted to take more, I think one day she took more insulin after i left. Last night when i got to her home, she had a cup of pills on the table, i asked her what they where, she said it was all the pills she had forgotten to take, and that she was going to take them when she got a cup of water, I took the pills from her and told her she can't do that, if she misses a pill she cannot just take all the pills at the end of the day. She forgets names, mixes up names, hasn't been showering, but wont let the home health aid help her because she insists that "she is capable of showering herself". The things she used to do on a regular basis (like put her hair in curlers every night... she has done this every night for as long as i can remember). I will tell her something and the next day she will inform me that someone told her (what i told her) but that she just cannot remember who told her that...

but if anyone asks if she is forgetting things.. she says "No, i think i'm doing just fine."

How do I talk to her about this? she gets defensive and upset whenever anyone does point out something she has forgot... oh.. and she lies to me about meds.. she will say she has taken her meds, but when i go out to check on her, she hasn't... and its not hard to tell if she has taken her byetta or not.. I check how much is in her pen every night, so i know if she has used it or not the next day... and all she will eat is sweets.. even though i bring her good healthy meals.. she just wants sweets.

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Ack, this is an old question, isn't it? Well... never mind. :-D
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Sometimes I think the elderly are taking way too many pills, imagine if you had to take say 6 pills in the morning, 4 in the afternoon, and 5 in the evening. That would drive me crazy trying to remember, even using a daily pill box. Bet half of the pills could be eliminated.

I know the above original question is from last year, but if others are seeing this in their elders please note as we all get older it is normal is mix up names, that's a given. Doesn't mean we have dementia, it means general age decline.

Not putting one's hair up in curlers could mean her arms hurt due to normal age decline, bones and joints hurt, or she is just too tired to do that in the evenings. Same with showering. It's a lot of work when one is older.

As for eating sweets, again that has to do with the lost of taste through normal age decline, but we can still taste sugar.
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christenejara, it sounds like your grandmother is at the point where she can't live alone anymore. The medication issue is the most problematic. She probably has such a craving for sweets because she is not taking her insulin as prescribed. Her cells can't take in glucose without insulin, so her body is sending signals to eat more sugar. Craving sweets is a hallmark of uncontrolled diabetes. The insulin has to be given correctly.

It is a difficult thing to do, but the family needs to get together to make sure that grandmother is not alone during times when she needs to take her medicines. This could mean that a family member or a caregiver needs to be there. Or that your grandmother needs to move in to assisted living. I hope that you and your family are able to make this happen without too much resistance from your grandmother. It will be very hard for her, but keeping her safe is important. She may actually enjoy living around people her own age in assisted living.

Please let us know how it goes.
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Can there be hidden costs in going to an assisted living with a memory care unit?
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overall healthy with unsafe mobility the major health/functional problem.
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Oh, she still remembers her parents and a few family members, but thinks they are children.
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I did talk to my loved one about her memory loss. She admitted that she did have it. She had little post it notes all over her house reminding her of everything you could think of. The problem is that she didn't think it was poor enough to go into assisted living. However, after a few days, she agreed to go in for Rehab of her memory and body.

I was broken hearted when one day in the doctor office we were talking about how we might treat her memory loss. She said that what she hated the most was losing the memory of her parents and how wonderful they were. (They are now deceased.) I told her I would always provide her photos and explain who they were, but I know that won't likely mean much to her in the future.

She is now Stage 6 and the only thing that is still intact with her is her ability to feed herself and talk. Her verbal skills are still very good. I find that very curious.
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When my mom got fired from her job for memory loss, we took her to a psychologist for a baseline neuro-psych exam. We also went to her GP to get her blood checked, b12 checked, and an MRI to make sure she didn't have a brain tumor or something medical causing the memory loss. We went to a neurologist too but that was a waste of time. It is good to get medical stuff checked; B12 deficiency can cause memory loss and can be reversed by just taking the B12. That wasn't the issue with my mom and probably isn't the issue with your grandma. but, if you tell her that you might be able to fix it, you might get her to the doc more easily. the neuropsych exam was the most helpful. my mom did two visits on her own then i went with her for the results. it's just a bunch of questions, no poking or prodding. it really pinpoints what's going on, where she needs more help. for my mom, her first test showed mild memory loss. unfortunately after a year she was more where your grandma is, wouldn't cook meals, couldn't remember to take pills, etc. they also pulled her license because her reaction time was too slow. She's now in an assisted living facility. it took us about 4 months to get her to make the move. we visited several times and ate meals there. She was thinking it would be like the nursing home that her mom ended up at. but she went willingly which i think was very brave. and now she feels very comfortable and safe there and has made a friend who also has dementia. She's more talkative now and her friends probably see her more now than they did before. But she's declining, even with great care. it's very hard.
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You can't talk to her about her forgetfulness. And dementia doesn't show up in any kind of blood test.

Put a plan in place for the inevitable day when she won't be able to live alone anymore but based on what you've written that day is here.

Someone with dementia or just memory loss due to old age is not able to reason, you won't ever be able to reason with your grandma again.
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You don't. You cannot bargain with dementia. You get her to move to Assisted Living. You take her on tours of nearby places and you talk her into moving or you get a court order.
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