How do I know if parent is experiencing dementia? - AgingCare.com

How do I know if parent is experiencing dementia?

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Mom 88 has been caring for Dad , who has dementia, with kids help and some home care help. Mom has started forgetting more things like when to give med treatment - we're there except the one home help day to monitor and actually do the treatments, 6 per day, Would she do bett erif we let her do it then she'll remember? She'll insist she has been paying a bill by check when it has been set up for auto payment. HOw do we know if it is age and stress or dementia coming on for her?

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GOGURLZ, your Mom is probably more exhausted than having memory issues. It is tough for someone who is a senior citizen to take care of another senior citizen. I saw my parents trying to help each other but they were in denial of their age and not wanting any help. I had a lot of sleepless nights being worried so much, and my heart would jump every time the phone rang.

Thank goodness your Mom has family and a caregiver to give her a hand. But emotionally she is probably burnt out as the love of her life has dementia, and this wasn't the retirement they had planned.

Is there someone who stays with Mom overnight so that she can get a good night sleep. Sometimes separate rooms are needed unless your Dad sleeps through the night. Plus Mom is probably taking over Dad's chores. My Mom always did the bill paying and when she passed Dad totally ignored the bills.
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Is she getting enough sleep? My husband thankfully sleeps 6.5 to 7 hours most every night, but then starts complaining about how boring everything is, how his arm hurts, and when he will get a smartphone that he won't be able to use anyway. In the old days - even 6 months ago - he could have gotten up, turned on the TV, and had a bowl of cereal while I got a last hour of sleep. No more. I can notice a difference in my sharpness when I have't gotten my 8 hours for a long time.

Can you set up checklists for your mother? I know I would benefit from them, but I'm a little too discombobulated to set them up for myself. Make a list of all meds and doses, a daily schedule of medication or any extra procedures like PT, a list of all bills and how they are paid. Put them in a page saver in a loose-leaf notebook or tape them on a wall so they don't get lost.

None of the things she's having problems seem that major to me. They certainly could be symptoms of dementia, but you probably won't know until she gets worse.

A real early symptom in my husband was a slight decline in his formerly excellent sense of direction. I saw that as an immediate warning, but he wasn't diagnosed until 6 years later. Look for the loss of something she used to be good at. At this stage, he can no longer walk TO the barroom two blocks from home, but he can still walk home fine.

What would you do if Mom got a diagnosis? That's a good thing to think about, because she could become incapacitated at any time for any reason at her age. Plan, but don't fret. Que sera, sera. Enjoy today, and offer more support as needed. God bless us, every one.
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I'm not sure how old your mom is, but caring for a loved one who has dementia in the home, is a full time job. Even with outside help, it's still the work of 3 people. (Not senior aged either.) I can't imagine how exhausted and stressed she must be. That can cause issues with focus and memory. She may also be losing sleep. Dementia patients are often up most of the night. Or it may be that she doesn't have time to pay bills with everything else she has to do.

I think I would accompany mom to her doctor for a check up. You might share your concern with the doctor in advance. I'd try to lighten her load anyway possible. Regardless of whether she has cognitive decline or is just over extended, I'd try to convince her to explore other options for husband's care. Except for the early stages, it's very challenging to provide around the clock care for a dementia patient in the home. At the very least, I'd try to find her some respite care relief.
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It could be stress, How many times does your dad need med treatment?
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