She was able to live alone for about a year until, with her agreement, we moved her into assisted living. That was 2 1/2 years ago. In that time her short term loss has accelerated, now to the point that she cannot keep track of what we're talking about during a normal conversation. She's seen doctors on a regular basis since her stroke, never been diagnosed with alzheimer's but was on Aricept a couple of times (but the side effects weren't worth the supposed benefits.) I see her 2 - 3 times a week, and she always asks how my kids are doing, where are they, are they out of school (they both graduated from college years ago and moved out of state), what's new in my life, etc. etc. I know this is not uncommon in the elderly. But not long ago, she asked where her husband (my father) was, and I reminded her that he passed 17 years ago. She said, "Oh that's why he hasn't been around." The other day she said, "I know this will sound like a dumb question, but is my mother still alive?" So I reminded her when her mom passed, how old she was, and so on. But it's the lack of short-term memory that's so frustrating, for her and those around her. Again, I suppose this is not unusual, but during a typical hour-long visit, she might ask 10 - 15 times, When is Christmas? What are the plans? Do I need to do or bring anything? (as if.) And then ask randomly, again 10 -15 times, So what day is today? And what is the month? October? September? Oh, December? Have we had Christmas yet? What are the plans? Then again, What are your kids doing? Where they now? What's going on in your life? Sometimes I take the time to give her complete answers about my kids, their college years, current occupations and cities they live in. Other times I just breeze through short answers. She is unwilling or unable to do anything, like go to exercise class, try to read, etc. She picks up the TV remote when trying to answer the phone, randomly looks at a calendar/notebook/daily schedule that my sibs and I fill out for her, looking for information about -- for example -- what year her mother died. On that one, I had to say, "Mom, I don't think that notebook is going to say anything about when your mom died." She's mobile with a walker, but has a difficult time getting out of a chair (over weight, but who isn't?). She's getting assistance with dressing, showering, etc. She has not gone through any personality changes or mood swings. She still knows the names of her 6 kids and recognizes me when I arrive. She's able to laugh at her forgetfulness, or the lack of logic in her asking if her mother is still alive -- when you take the time to do some math with her (her mother would be like 140!) But again, it's the short term memory problem that's so frustrating. We've all accepted that she is incapable of forming new memories (and starting to lose some old ones; however, she can recite poems she learned in grade school). I try to just focus on the moment and enjoy the time together. But I find myself rambling on, trying to keep her mind engaged, see if anything I say will fill in some gaps or trigger any recollections of her own. Or I'll Google something we've been talking about or saw on TV and simply read from the search result. Add to both our knowledge base! I've to her read from old journals she kept, old letters to and from her sister that my aunt saved, my Dad's old WWII POW "memoirs" that I typed from pages of scribbled notes, watched re-runs of Ed Sullivan (Hey Mom, that's Jim Nabors. You remember him, right? No.) But whatever I do or whatever we talk about, she will have completely forgotten about it maybe 5 - 10 minutes later. I don't get angry, of course. It just all seems so pointless. I guess I have two questions. First, in the absence of things like personality changes or irrational mood swings, could this very severe and accelerating short term memory loss indicate alzheimer's? Second, is there anything I can do to make these visits more enjoyable, or maybe...I don't know...more meaningful? Any words of wisdom?