My mom is 82, a widow, lives alone, and getting more and more confused and forgetful. I don't know if it's age, or due to the several falls she's had in the past several years where she has hit her head, or both.

At what point to I begin to become concerned?

It's little things, like forgetting dates, or getting confused about how much she can drink prior to surgery versus prior to getting blood work done, etc. and I find myself repeating things over and over to her.

I would appreciate any advice, thank you!

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You should be concerned now. Your describing early signs of dementia. I notice my dad slipping at about age 80, wrote it off as just getting old but his short term memory was really bad 2 years later. He’s 88 now and in a memory care facility.

Talk to her doc and have them do a mini mental exam. This will give you an idea of where she is and how to proceed. Keep in mind that your mom probably won’t understand or accept that she has any problem. With my dad we never said anything about dementia but I would just say to him that he’s pretty old and his memory is not so good anymore. Years later this is what I still tell him.

start thinking about her future. Finances, meds, POA etc. You , or someone, will probably end up taking care of her affairs. Get things sorted out now while she still may cooperate somewhat.

With my dad this was an eight year decline. The last 5 years I took care of all my folks affairs and finally got them in care over a year ago.
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If it's possible, I'd create a reason to go and stay with her for a few days in her house. That way you can really observe what's going on. Chances are, there are many more concerning things that you are not seeing. You can check the fridge for expired food, check the mail, bills, medication routine, laundry situation, etc. I'd also try to chat with neighbors when she's not around. Sometimes, they see alarming things, but, don't know who to tell. Gathering all the information will help you make some decisions.

I'd keep in mind that you may need to develop a plan before approaching her, because often, no matter how bad things are, they won't see it or believe you and you have to move on to make the necessary plans anyway.
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Since your mom is confused and forgetful, lives alone, and has fallen and hit her head in the past, now is the time to be concerned.

Forgetting dates and getting confused about instructions may be little things but there's a big thing on the horizon such as leaving the stove on or falling again or wandering outside. You'll have no warning that her cognitive decline has worsened until something worse happens.
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