My Mum has zero short-term memory. Any advice?

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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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