If we change our answer after five or six times, she doesn’t even notice. The other day she went to a bathroom door, the door was closed and the light was on. She said, “oh! Someone must be in there.” and she walked away. We explained our daughter’s pup was in there and told her she could go in. She went back to the door and said exactly the same thing — it was as if she was doing it for the first time. Then later on, she was opening her Christmas gifts... she must have looked at her gifts half a dozen times and it was as if she was seeing them for the first time, every time. It was sad. Should we make an appointment with her doctor now or wait to discuss it at her next scheduled appointment? Thank you.

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I think the issue is to think about the practical problems. MIL is clearly forgetting things, but the things in your post aren't very important. What is important? Important for safety, or for her care for herself? If she is safe, you can leave it. If you think her situation isn't safe, make the appointment now. Best wishes.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

Welcome to the club. Mom has been doing this for several years and the repeat questions are coming every minute. Her personality in the past is that she was a conversationalist which made people feel welcome. Now it is annoying.

To try to deflect her I play music of her generation. She will be 96 so she remembers lots of songs from the 1940s which I never heard. She is disinterested in songs from the 50s and above. You might want to give it a try and purchase a CD
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Reply to MACinCT

I think I would call her doctors office and ask for a referral to a neurologist. If you could see a geriatric psychiatrist that would be even better. You want to make sure she gets the benefit of any treatment available for her condition.
Also be sure to get her tested for a UTI ( urinary tract infection) ASAP. It’s very common for a UTI to cause dementia symptoms. If her doctor can’t work her in for that, perhaps an urgent care would be a choice.
Im sorry you are on this path with your MIL. There are many details to work through but the starting place does seem to be the proper testing in order to know what she’s facing. Additionally she’ll want to get her legal documents in place while she can still make competent decisions. As Margaret said, the asking of questions is not an emergency in and of itself but is a symptom that something isn’t right. While there is no proof that the memory meds cure anything they have been shown to be effective in slowing down the progression of symptoms.
It’s important to understand which type of dementia is being treated as some medications aren’t recommended for all types.
Don’t discount the effects of a UTI. This infection causes many issues for the elderly.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
DaughterNLaw01 Dec 27, 2018
We do have her legal documents all in order. Thankfully we did that several months ago. I knew about the problems a UTI could bring about—didn’t think about it now though. She currently sees a geriatric physician but not a geriatric psychiatrist. She’s not much on seeing new physicians so we have to tread lightly and very positive about it all. Your input means a lot to me. I thank both of you for taking the time to respond. Thank you very much.

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