Mother-in-law is mixing up sentences when she writes. Is this a sign of dementia? - AgingCare.com

Mother-in-law is mixing up sentences when she writes. Is this a sign of dementia?

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My mother-in-law is in her early 60's (62?) and is an educated woman. She was a psychiatric nurse and taught school aged kids after school with all kinds of studies. She is retired and hasn't taught kids for maybe 4 or 5 years now. She worries a lot and is anxious about most things. I don't think she has a lot going on for herself and spends most of her time puttering around her husband. Sometimes she doesn't make a lot of sense when she talks, for example, she will jump into conversations and trail off on topics that have nothing to do with the conversation. She means well and is sweet, but something seems off cognitively. Recently, she wrote me a long email and the sentences are all mixed up. She starts off making sense, but then it goes into a completely different topic that has nothing to do with the beginning of the sentence. It seems like her brain is ahead of her writing or she is struggling to make sense when she writes. The ironic thing is she is telling me how she has such expertise and smarts. That her "brain is so advanced that people don't understand her", yet her email is very difficult to follow and comprehend. I know she is accomplished and taught school aged kids english and writing, so this seems weird that she can't keep sentences together. Is this a sign of dementia or something else? I am concerned about her health and I see us as a potential caregiver in the future so this worries me a lot. Everyone else thinks she's just weird and it's normal "for her", but this can't be normal? What do you think? Thank you :)

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The thing about dementia, it won't be denied. If she is showing signs it will progress. Your husband has a lot on his plate. With his dad and brother having heart problems it could seem like his entire birth family is in jeopardy. And I can appreciate your trepidation wondering what your future holds and if your son is safe with grandma.
Give your husband time. You have made him aware of the possibility. Meanwhile
Check this out and see if it rings true. It sounds like aphasia. Here is a link. It can sometimes be caused by a stroke but not always. It doesn't mean she has dementia. When she goes for evaluation make sure she goes to the best neurologist you can find. Come back and let us know what you find out.
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This is the longest email she has ever written to me, it was a letter and most of it was jumbled and didn't make a lot of sense. She has been emailing for many years and honestly, its usually just a few sentences but they never make sense either! I'm always going "what?" after reading them. It's my hubby's mom and he gets what I'm saying but I also think he is in total denial about her behavior and either doesn't want to believe it or doesn't know how to deal with it and doesn't want to burden his Dad. I have tried asking him to talk to his Dad or brother about it and see if something is going on but he's apprehensive about it. His Dad (and brother) also have serious heart conditions so I wonder if this is why he chooses to ignore it? Their family doesn't seem to talk about anything together, everything is a big secret whereas me and my family gab about everything so it's hard for me to see these changes in her and just ignore the behavior like it's not a big deal. She's always been a little airy fairy but she's clearly not a stupid woman, there was a time in her life that she needed to be quick and educated and to see her doing these things just doesn't seem right. I just seem to be the only one concerned and my hubby is almost upset with me for thinking she should take a dementia test, like I need to prove I'm right but that is far from the truth. I worry that we will be responsible for her since his Dad is not in the best of health physically and may only have 5 years left, who knows. It would be good to know wouldn't it? My hubby says "so what if she has dementia, then what?" I don't know how to answer him other than, now we know how to plan for the future but am I selfish to want to help her? Should I bud out as its not my mom? I dunno, she wants to watch my 20 month old son all the time and I'm not comfortable with it because i think something is up with her. Maybe I am being selfish because it will confirm my fears. But then what if she doesn't have dementia? Then why is she doing these weird things? I don't know, it's hard to be on the outside which is why I think i might notice it more? I have known her for 12 years and to me, things are sliding. I just don't know how to address it with him and his family.
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How long has she been writing you? Are the folks who say this is normal for her more familiar with her writing for a longer period of time? I'm wondering what they base their opinions on that this is normal for her? An acquaintance told me recently about a Woman who went for a checkup with her neurologist. She answered every question correctly. At the end of the test she was asked to write a complete sentence with proper punctuation. She wrote. Don't tell me what to do!
She was diagnosed with dementia several years ago. She would not remember the test Immediatly after taking it. There are many manifestations and types of dementia. I don't blame you for being concerned.
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How long has she been writing you? Are the folks who say this is normal for her more familiar with her writing for a longer period of time? I'm wondering what they base their opinions on that this is normal for her? An acquaintance told me recently about a Woman who went for a checkup with her neurologist. She answered every question correctly. At the end of the test she was asked to write a complete sentence with proper punctuation. She wrote. Don't tell me what to do!
She was diagnosed with dementia several years ago. She would not remember the test after taking it. There are many manifestations and types of dementia. I don't blame you for being concerned.
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