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She has been diagnosed as having MCI but it seems so much worse than that. She is 74 years old and her long term is fine, considering her age; she forgets some things here and there, but knows who everyone is etc. just gets dates wrong. but her short-term memory is completely gone. as in she can ask me a question and then ask it again in the same conversation. she doesn't remember any meals, any visits, having gone to church, nothing -- almost immediately after these events take place. Mild Cognitive Impairment is describes as losing a bit of memory but being able to cope on your own. there is no way my mother could cope on her own; i take care of all her banking/bill payments/etc, as well as all her grocery shopping (it could take her up to 10 min to choose a single item from her list; she would leave with a massive headache overtime); she of course lost her drivers licence so i drive her everywhere too.
we see her GP on a regular basis (and she's great); she has also seen a geriatric doctor (who diagnosed her with the MCI) who said we didn't need to come back because she doesn't have Alzheimer's (altho she did prescribe Aricept for her), and i don't think she does either based on everything I've read; it's really just her 100% complete loss of short term memory. it's almost like the movie Memento except without the paranoid bits.
any search i do online for "complete memory loss" just pops up alzheimer's related websites (which luckily & thankfully brought me to this very site) but nothing more than that. I will of course bring this up with her doctors but wondering if anyone was in the same boat.

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Yes my mum is the same .she asked a question
Same one 1 min later again and again
She forgets her meal as soon as she has eaten it .and where ever she goes . As soon as we home it's gone
I wonder if this is classed as no capacity
Can the doctor do anything should I go see him
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i have the exact same situation with my 82 year old mother. we have full conversations regard her past. She cannot retain anything new. We made her a dinner party in her home for 18 people, the next day she did not remember. although she is functioning well (we do have 24 hour care for her in home) her short term is getting worse(15 minute range). sad but she is alway happy and content. my best wishes
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I moved my mother in with me since Feb of this year. Since she's been here, I now know she's eating and not wandering around the elders apartment building. I used to fear for her well being and couldn't sleep..Mom is 87, forgetful but always makes me feel stupid because she turns everything around to suit her answers. But she's safe here. I've burnt out almost to the point of depression. I sought for help from my family, but like always they have a lot of suggestions and no support in helping out. Its hard looking after an elder, I agree. Your husband is of great help to you..just like the one lady said, pick up the cat poop before it smells up the apartment. Just do it, no one else will. She's lost that capacity to do things for herself and doesn't see it. My mother uses pampers, it smells up the bathroom, her bedroom and her chair she sits on. But I try to keep on top of it, first thing in the morning, I chuck out every garbage bag in the house...stick to a routine, don't set her straight what mom says, she's in her own world. Have her assessed, seek counseling, there's people there who are ready to help. Hope this helped...:)
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Try not to remind her of things. She is after all your Mom and you her child which makes it difficult to remember you are an intelligent adult. In one way she still thinks she is the adult which makes you a bratty kid like a little know all when she feels perfectly capable. For example when she tries to read something just hand her the glasses or keep a pair of cheap drug store glasses in your pocket and just say "Use mine Mom" may not work but worth a try.
Mom is still aware enough that she still wants to be in charge of things she feels she can manage such as cleaning the kitty litter but forgets to take it out so as suggested just do it, it will be far less stressful for you.
I realize you feel Mom is still capable of some things and indeed she is but no longer has the "drive" to make herself do it. As far as the exercise is concerned it is just too much effort so hubby taking her for a walk is an excellent solution. it is an invitation not an order and he has so little interaction by being at work all day she probably feels he is a friend not an overseer.
You are doing an excellent job and it is very difficult to change your perception and behavior. You are competent but you still have the old ingrained patterns.
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Is she on any anti-anxiety or antidepressants? A visit with a geriatric psychiatrist might be helpful at this point.
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So take the plastic bag out yourself. Try looking at YouTube videos by Teepa Snow for advice on dealing with dementia patients.
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Thanks for your comments, guys. No real change on this end with my mum, other than her memory is getting slightly worse. Still mainly short term but she is also forgetting chunks of time too.
Reading back through this whole thread, I sometimes had to double check whose entry I was reading; your mums sound EXACTLY like mine, right down to some of the specific examples!
I've talked to her occupational therapist about how I can best help her, and all I get is "keep on doing what you're doing!" Which doesn't help cos I seem to have become the enemy here. Obviously she can't track her meals or basically anything she's done, but she also forgets her own opinions on things! Half the time we speak, it's me convincing her that she wanted to do/buy/eat the thing we're talking about. I WISH I could leave her notes! If it's in my writing, she chucks the note cos its condescending; if I manage to get her the write herself a note, that too disappears -- "oh I can remember THAT!" and yeah I get a fair amount of silent treatment too. I'm def the bad guy.
Making her situation worse, her eyesight has diminished to the point where she needs 2 pairs of glasses now, pretty much 24/7. She's always had weak readers but now needs strong ones as well as a second pair of glasses for everything else. Of course she cannot keep it in her memory that she needs them. When she's squinting at something I remind her she needs her glasses and she tells me she can see just fine. She flat out refuses to wear her readers around her neck because she "can't stand the heavy weight" around her neck (???) Bottom line, she is stubborn as heck and I don't know how to help her help herself. She's also *only* 75.
How many of you guys have your mum living with you? It's definitely causing a strain here. My husband is amazing and takes her for a walk almost every afternoon before dinner (otherwise she gets 0 exercise) which makes me feel guilty cos she's MY mum, not his. I'm not sure what signs i'm supposed to be looking for with regard to assisted living or long term care or whatever it's called. As I mentioned in my original post, she showers, applies make up, keeps her suite clean. ALTHO she has taken to collecting her cat's waste in a plastic bag beside the litter box for several days before putting it in the outside garbage can, which makes her suite stink!! I've mentioned it several times and it just pisses her off. She can't smell it so I must be lying. The air freshener I snuck in there isn't strong enough!!
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My mother who is turning 88 this year also cannot remember ten minutes ago or even a lesser time frame. Telling her what or where I'm going doesn't help. She gets mad and gives me the silent treatment. So I leave her notes, and that seems to help. She forgot how to knit, use the phone, using the remote, forgets who visited, at times forgets names. Her short term is gone as well. My adapting to fulfil her needs is best I found, but to not lose oneself is another.
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My mom is the same. She is completely rational and beats me at cards all the time but has zero short term memory--but she is much older: 91. She started having problems about six years ago. It is impossible for her to function on her own and, in fact, she doesn't even want to leave the building she is in at the AL.

I am not sure there is anything to DO as such except to make decisions that will keep her safe. Safe and comfortable.

She is on anti-anxiety meds and without those life would not be worth living (mine and hers!) But the meds keep her pleasant and content.

Things change. Being "happy" seems like less of a priority. Having things work out and being safe seems to be the goal.
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Bunnyears one thing I've tried to do with my mom is to "blame" her condition on her meds, so that she doesn't feel stupid or bad that she can't remember something. My mom seems to accept her lack of short-term memory without a lot of worry or depression. She's not on any med related to it and as long as she's in her "routine" she's OK. She'll be 97 in December and has stayed the same way for the past 7 years since my dad died. So my fingers are crossed after reading threeboys comment. I hope my mom doesn't wind up doing what his mom did.
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Wow, that sounds exactly like my mother starting about 15 years ago. For YEARS her only real symptom was NO short term memory, as in couldn't remember something said or done 30 seconds ago. MRI showed no signs of Alzheimers. For about 10-12 years, that was it. Then after about 10-12 years of this, things starting changing: she couldn't categorize things (like she would be putting dishes away and couldn't figure out how to place bowls with bowls and cups with cups, etc.), she couldn't find a page number in a book, things like that.Then after another year or so she started talking nonsense--would say something completely out of the blue like "we don't have a motorcycle in our house." Then she started the pooping and peeing all over the floor stage and refusing to take a bath stage, and shortly after that she became bedridden and nonverbal. The doctors all call it Alzheimers at this point, but the MRI still shows minimal (if any) Alzheimers indicators. So weird.
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Hi,
My Mum has just come out of hospital where she acquired Sepsis. She now has zero short term memory and is a changed person. Mum had mild dementia before she was admitted but 7 weeks later can't remember who she spoke to 5 minutes ago. The tragedy is, is that she is aware that something is wrong and is very frightened. She is (or was) a young 79 year old and living alone, fully independent. Now she needs help with all aspects of life. She is not ready for a care home but equally I don't think sheltered housing would accept her. (Which is where she was planning to move to 8 weeks ago).
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My mom is 90 and is the same way. She is lucid and intelligent but has no short term memory--at all. but she knows who I am, etc. She could not live on her own.

She is in AL and also on Aricept .

We just take it one day at a time. I visit frequently, about every day but i keep the visits very short. 30-60 minutes. It is all I can stand to be asked "what's new" over and over.
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Thank you for your message Jana. To be honest, not much has changed other than my mother is more accepting of my doing things for her (banking, grocery shopping etc) instead of fighting me on them. But haven't learned more about her condition. Having a hard time getting in touch with her geriatrician but that's another story.
I will definitely speak with her GP about paraneoplastic syndrome.
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My Mom had stroke like symptoms in February 2013 but all scans were normal but her short term memory was gone. I totally understand about going somewhere and being asked 10 times or more where you are going. We were told early onset dementia in the beginning but fir my Mom who was 65 at the time I could not believe that was it. We finally found she gas rare disease called paraneoplastic syndrome. Your immune system goes haywire and attaches all cells good and bad. She also developed muscle weakness. I hope you have learned more since your post. Best of luck
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wow, thank you ladies! sunnygirl, she hasn't seen a neurologist. the geriatrician said aricept is used for alzheimer's and while my mum doesn't have it, the aricept may slow down (not reverse or improve, like you said, mina) her memory loss. and of course i have no idea if it's working or not; it seems to me her memory loss is getting worse, simply as she's really not remembering anything! that said, she surprised my husband and me maybe a month ago but remembering the smallest little thing that had happened. my mouth almost fell open at the time (but of course now i can't remember what it was - ha!) by "zero" short term memory i only meant that we could be in the car, right after leaving our lunchtime restaurant, and she could say (and this has happened a few times), "so where do you guys want to go for lunch??" i want to say she can remember things for about 5 min but i don't even know if that's true. she IS very aware of her memory loss. and her doctor put her on depression meds as a result. the first few months living here in our house were very hard for her: lots of crying and staying in bed. she's been much happier on the low dosage she's getting. but of course she's still aware. sometimes she brushes it off -- "when my brain gets back to normal..." -- but other times she can still get really down. i actually think she took a down turn by moving in with us. even tho being on her own was so hard for her (she really shouldn't have been driving for the last 6 or so months), moving into our house changed all her familiar patterns. and because everything was new (the layout of her suite, her phone, even her computer - her old one died right after she moved in) she really struggled and we just had to help her with every little thing and i think she got super dependant on us. even tho she claims to be very independent. so many things she was happy to foist on to us but then things she'd really struggle with (her banking being the biggest) she held on to for dear life for fear of becoming too dependant on us! i too wonder about her cognitive function. it SEEMS like it's all good. but like your mum, mine struggles with tv remotes, laundry machines, even her phone. we've got detailed albeit simple instructions for her to follow but when something goes wrong "there's something wrong with my tv!" i know there's pride in there too, not wanting to admit to us she can't figure out what went wrong. but while that seems like a cognitive issue, i am almost positive she can't remember the last button she even pressed on the remote so can't reverse her steps, if that makes sense.
blannie, my mum sounds almost exactly the same as yours as far as memory goes; she is still able to take care of herself physically however (and again almost 20 years younger so who knows at this point) but their daily routines are very similar. i too have no clue if she remembers what she's read in her novels. she also does does the crossword every morning. she claims to "devour" the newspaper every day but I've no clue if any of it sticks; we talk occasionally about current events but she rarely knows what I'm referring to, even tho it was front page news that day. my mother will also ask me the same thing 10x. on the way to the eye doctor (literally a 7 min drive) she must have asked me 7 times where we were going! she is also unclear of the seasons, etc. it's always a guess. I'm not sure about whether or not she remembers birthdays to be honest. I've got them all written on her big calendar but if i were to ask her, she tends to blank. if i ask her anything, she tends to blank actually.
i think the reason my mother suffers so badly is partly because she's never been a mindful person. before she got married and had kids, she was a secretary and as such, took dictation and then typed it all out. but she made a point of not paying attention to what she was writing down and then typing. and then when she left that to get married and have kids, she carried that system over. sure she'd write things down to keep track of them, but you know how they say when you write things down, it's a secondary way of remembering things? like not only do you hear your professor give the lecture, but by taking notes, it's like you're cementing it in there? well she made a point to clear out her head once she wrote whatever it was down. i remember her saying to me when i was a teenager (so 25 years ago) that she always tries to keep her head empty. so now when her doctors and OTs are encouraging her to be mindful, she really has no idea how to. it's like she's lost the ability to pay attention in the moment.
so bottom line, i guess i need to specifically ask her GP about vascular dementia.
thanks again for all your help and words of wisdom. nice to know her specific symptoms aren't unique to her. xo
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Janice, my Mom will be 94 in November. She was diagnosed w/MCI 5 years ago and prescribed Aricept at that time. Has it helped? Well, that's sort of like trying to prove a negative.....there's no way to know how she would have progressed w/out it. Over the years her dementia has progressed, but she has also had several bad falls, breaks, surgery, anesthesia (the biggest culprit IMO) and rehab stints since the MCI dx. No doubt all of this trauma has contributed to the advancement of the dementia. How long has your Mom been on Aricept? Do you see any difference in your Mom? My understanding of Aricept is that, if effective, it will slow (not reverse or improve) the advancement of MCI into full blown dementia. You have been given good suggestions by Sunny and Angela. I have to tell you that 5+ years on, my Mom's short-term memory is terrible (1hour after lunch which I ate w/her, she will tell me that she is starving and hasn't eaten all day) BUT she has never had zero short-term memory. And some times, her short-term memory actually amazes me: After her last fall/surgery, I was visiting her in rehab. There was a terrible thunderstorm....vicious thunder and lightening....torrential rain. I tried to wait it out, hoping it would end but it was evening and going to get dark soon, so I decided to leave. Kissed Mom good-bye and said I'd be back the next morning. When I arrived next AM, Mom looked at me and said, "Oh, thank God you're OK!" I asked what she meant and she proceeded to tell me how worried she had been because I had left in the middle of that terrible storm last night. Well....I was shocked that she remembered....and, of course, felt bad that she had worried. And, while Mom's short-term memory is almost always now terrible (or non-existent) I can tell you there have been several times, even after a few days, where she amazes me by remembering a recent event/occurence. Is your Mom aware of her "memory issues"? Because my Mom is aware, although she tends to downplay it and laugh it off as something minor or relatively insignificant (actually I'm glad it doesn't seem to cause her anxiety).....just curious how "aware" you think your Mom is re: her short-term memory. My concern w/the MCI dx was actually more about the cognitive issues than the memory issues. Very quickly, my Mom began to have issues w/using the most simple of everyday appliances (her brand new iron, brand new curling iron, phone, TV remote, etc.). In every case, she thought the appliance was faulty or broken. Never made the mental connection that she was the common denominator, these were brand new appliances.....even tho she is to this day aware of her memory issues. Apparently, this frustrating and horrible disease is also very individualized, so I hope some of the responses to your Q resonate w/you and your Mom's situation. And, I applaud you for your concern and willingness to seek answers that might help your Mom. Best of luck to you and your Mom.
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Hi, my mom is pretty similar to your mom, with no short-term memory. But she doesn't have Alzheimers. I've never bothered to have her "diagnosed" because she gets along fine, with a LOT of help from me.

My mom has atrial fib (heart condition) and I believe her heart meds (which act to slow her heart) have impacted her brain. And she was on Lipitor for quite a while until I took her off. Loss of memory has been reported as a side effect of that med. Her sister was much worse before she passed away at 92, so there may be a hereditary component as well.

I asked my mom what month it was when I showered her on Tuesday and she started with April. Then she just starts going through months, guessing. So she doesn't even know what season it is. She can't remember how old she is. Or how old I am. But she knows my birthday is this month and can sometimes say the right day and sometimes not. She still knows everyone and lives on her own, a mile and a half from me. She has a very set routine and she's OK as long as she's in that routine. She makes her own breakfast and reads the paper and still reads novels I bring her. How (or whether) she remembers anything I don't know. She can still work crossword puzzles, which she does daily. But if you ask her something about what she just read, she can't remember. My brother calls her every Sunday, but she can't remember what they talked about the next day. Or even 30 minutes later. She'll ask me the same thing 4X in 10 minutes. She knows her memory is bad, but will say, "Oh I'll remember that". But she won't and she doesn't remember that she won't. Sigh. It's hard...but I'm fortunate because she's still able to be independent, which she wants, with a lot of help from me. But my mom is 95, so she's got a lot of years on your mom.
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Your mom's symptoms sound almost exactly like my cousin when she was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia mixed with Alzheimers. Did your mom see a neurologist?

I've never read that Aricept was prescribed for anything but dementia. I'm not sure of your doctor's motives. It seems odd to me, so I would get another opinion.
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thank you both for your responses. i should have mentioned that she's had both a CT scan and an MRI and they both come back negative.
Angela, your mum's abilities sound the same as mine; while she does live with us, it's in a self contained suite and she showers, etc. Is donepezil the same as aricept? if so, her geriatrician prescribed it, i suspect, only because i was unhappy with her MCI diagnosis and said it was more than that.
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Hi ask Janice, certainly sounds to me as if there's something more than mci gh oing on. My mother was also diagnosed with mci at 75, I also suspected her symptoms were more serious snd asked for an Mri scan which concluded 'mixed dementia' (vascular disease plus alzheimers). Still shock horror even though I knew. I still find it hard to accept. Now three yrs on she's declining but still knows all family members and gets herself showered, dressed and make up everyday. I've never heard of mci being treated with donepezil and suspect maybe her geriatric tian believes she has dementia but doesn't want to label her....yet.
Good luck on your journey.
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I've never heard of anything like that. I would immediately get a second opinion from someone who regularly handles dementia patients. I might locate a geriatric psychiatrist and a neurologist. Make a list of all your concerns to share with the doctors. They can also conduct a neuropsychological exam that can perhaps provide more information about your mom's condition.
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