Dad and I are confident she is in the early stages of AD/Dementia based on a year+ of worsening symptoms. She begrudgingly agreed to an appointment with her internist which lead to an MRI with results that said nothing appeared unusual for her age. There has been no further action by her doctor, even after Dad explained his concerns during that appointment, and after I wrote the doctor a letter before her next check up to explain her symptoms in detail.

I fear we are wasting time when Mom could be getting tests or medications to slow the progression. Dad is afraid to push her any further b/c he doesn't want to anger her. So he covers for her, finishes her sentences when she struggles, and barely lets her out of his sight. She is loving the attention and security she feels by rarely being alone. Dad is getting stressed, while I cycle through anger, fear, resentment, and grief. I don't want to make it easy for her to live in denial when it's so early in the stages and she could be getting treatment.

Do we wait until there is a defining event that is so scary that no one can ignore it any longer?

I'm also terrified that I'll resent both of them if something happens to Dad's health, and I have to become the primary caregiver after she has spent all of this time in denial.

Thanks in advance for your help.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
She may realize her situation but hasn't come to terms or accepted it yet. It's difficult enough for her if she does see the changes, so I would back off and not embarrass her.

Consider how you would feel if you're in that situation, and give her more support. She probably needs it.

I can't speak to whether medication would slow any progression or not, so I can see that your concern on that is legitimate if in fact progression could be slowed. But your mother might refuse to take any meds, and the issue might be moot as forcing her to take meds would probably cause some level of alienation.

I would refocus and think how you can help her through this unwanted transition.
Helpful Answer (0)

Yes, we “old ferts” can be stubborn, especially when it comes to saying “I’m old, I’m losing it and I think I need help.” My son was cutting our grass for us this summer. Then he and I had a dust up and I decided I didn’t want any more favors from him. So I went out and bought my own lawnmower. I cut the grass this morning and now my arms are so sore I can hardly lift them.

Mom is in denial. You’re right. If she doesn’t want to be seen by the neurologist, leave her be. Eventually, she will realize she needs to do something. Stage 7 dementia doesn’t happen overnight. She will realize long before that that she needs help. You can start getting your ducks in a row now. Research Memory Care units and even Assisted Living in your area. Make sure your name is on their accounts also and get POA. Familiarize yourself with their finances, bills, and other expenses. Do funeral preplanning if you want to, although my mom had it and it still cost me $4500 when she passed. If all this is taken care of now, it will makes things so much easier for you and your dad (and Mom) later.
Helpful Answer (0)

She took a cognitive memory test at her internist's office, and that prompted the MRI that showed "some atherosclerosis, not uncommon for her age."

I suspected Mom was changing 3 years ago, and had a private talk with Dad. Earlier this year he admitted that he was finally seeing it too. The symptoms are many: difficulty with timelines, repeated questions, changes in behavior (I.e., she used to have us over for dinner, and cook and bake frequently; now she resists even bringing a dish to pass at a group dinner -- Dad does it now), losing money and other items, social awkwardness/rudeness that wasn't there before, confusion and anxiousness when outside of her normal routine or environment, lack of certainty and confidence in herself, can't fill out a bank withdrawal/deposit slip anymore, etc. Family and friends have noticed a change. Two of her brothers are also in treatment now (I'm unsure if the diagnosis is AD for both of them). I spent 4 days alone with her for a mom/daughter vacation this year, and I was stunned at how far she is from the outgoing, independent, sharp woman she used to be.

I would love to get a referral to a neurologist, but she isn't open to pursuing medical help. "I'm fine" is her response when we have gently suggested it again.
Helpful Answer (0)

You don’t say what has led you to believe Mom is starting to show signs of AD/ dementia, but I can tell you, I’ve done some things lately that have probably caused people to wonder about me, too. There are signs that will show up on tests. Her PCP said nothing unusual showed up on her tests. You can document incidents and show them to her PCP. You can also consult with a neurologist as long as Mom agrees. This may be the way to go since you and Dad are stressing. As for the caregiving, prepare, as we all have to do when we have aging parents or even spouses, but don’t lose sleep over it. Sounds like it’s not even on the horizon yet.

Don’t put a magnifying glass on Mom, but do ask for a referral to a neurologist if you think it will set your mind at ease.
Helpful Answer (2)

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