I have been taking care of my Mom for about a year. Lately she has lost a lot of her memory. Will it get worse? - AgingCare.com

I have been taking care of my Mom for about a year. Lately she has lost a lot of her memory. Will it get worse?

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She recently turned 84. She received a lot of birthday cards , but couldn't remember who some of theses people are now. She received cards from these same people for Christmas last year and knew all of them. She cannot remember how to turn on the tv and constantly winds the clock daily even though is is a 35 day clock. I assume this is a natural part of aging, but it seems as though it has really progressed in the last two months. A lot of her friends and our relatives have died recently. Could this be causing her memory loss to progress. Whenever we have appointments I have to constantly remind her over and over as if she forgot what we are talking about. She complains about health issues and I make dr appointments, but when we see the doctor she tells him she us fine. Will it get worse? What symptoms should I be watching for? Any suggestions? She constantly waters her plants until they are drowning and water is everywhere.

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I am currently living with my Mother full time. I occasionally get home to tackle things at my house, but it gets harder to leave her for any length of time my home is 45 minutes away so round trip without doing anything is 1 1/2 hour away. Yes I do communicate with her pcp and everything is documented. He did a dementia test a few months ago and she had some decline at that time, but it is worse and seems to be progressing faster. Some days are certainly much better than others. She does have one of those reminder clocks that we used for pills but now uses it to remind her of what day it is. JessieBelle thank you for your insight. I try not to worry about the small stuff anymore, just seeing that we are heading into another stage of her life and it is somewhat disheartening. Nothing so far I cannot handle, but it may get that way, only time will tell just really needed confirmation that this is normal for whatever normal is. I have bought very deep containers for her plants as cleaning the floor is the worse part. If the plants die from her over loving them it is just meant to be. Just strange as she has always been so proud of her menagerie of plants and now she cannot see what she is doing to them. Thanks for all the helpful points
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Momofsadie, this has been going on a while now for your mother. Some of the things you've mentioned are very good indications that she has some form of dementia. It will most likely get worse, but there's no telling how quickly it will progress. Your mother sounds so much like mine with some of the things you've written in earlier posts that I suspect she will be follow a stepwise decrease in cognitive ability over the next few years. What I've hoped for my mother is that her mind will hold up as long as her body. I've been with her for 7 years now and both her mind and body are failing more. I don't know what the near-future holds.

Something I've learned is to not worry about the small things. If she drowns her plants, they will just be victims. However, try to make sure there is protection under the plants so the house structure doesn't get damaged. If she forgets who someone is, you can remind her. She may remember with a little prompting. It probably won't hurt the clock to be wound daily, so I wouldn't worry.

Let the doctor know what she is doing. Some doctors won't look into a dementia diagnosis. Since it got worse a couple of months back, it made me wonder if it might be vascular dementia. Most doctors won't pursue a diagnosis on what type of dementia it is. The only real benefit I know in getting a dx of dementia is that it validates what the caregiver already knows is true. If it behaves like vascular dementia, it also provides more incentive for controlling things like diabetes and blood pressure.

What we can do is hope for the best. And hope we don't lose our own sanity along the way. It can get frustrating.
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Every time she complains of a health issue, write it down on a notepad. Take that notepad to the MD's office. Be sure to include her complaints about remotes that don't work, phones that dial wrong and ovens that burn dinner.
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Momofsadie, take Mom to her primary doctor and ask for a urinary tract infection test [pee into a cup].... sometimes such an infection will cause the dementia to get worse.

Oh yes, our elders will always tell the doctor they are fine... and they will "showboat" while at the office pretending not to have any memory issues... this is normal for them to do.

It's not unusual to forget appointments. One time I had a large calendar where I use to write down Dad's appointments. But Dad would forget what today was... so I bought him a Day Clock which showed only the Days and that worked well for awhile because when he napped he would wake up thinking it was the next day.
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Momofsadie, i went back and read your other posts. Do YOU communicate with mom's doctor about what is going on? Can you send him a letter or fax a list of what YOU'RE observing before the appointment?
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Can I ask, what is your mothers living situation?
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