My Mother has kidney issues and her neurologist did not do a brain scan test to see if she has Alzheimer's or vascular dementia. Advice? - AgingCare.com

My Mother has kidney issues and her neurologist did not do a brain scan test to see if she has Alzheimer's or vascular dementia. Advice?

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For the past 2 months I have seen that my mother's memory has slipped very quickly. She now thinks that her mother is still living at her house and that she needs to be told where mom is. Mom wants someone to come pick her up and take her home or she asks me to call Dad and have him go get her. Her mother died 35 years ago and Dad died 18 years ago. Mom thinks that she is 70 yrs old because she can't count beyond 1999. Is this sudden jump in memory problem something that Alzheimer's people get? Other than memory problems and her needing help with toileting and bathing, physically Mom can still move around fairly well. We insist that she use a walker for balance but more do because it slows her gait down. I am going to call moms doctor for clarification of her diagnosis.
Can anybody tell me what else I should be looking for? Her care giver at the assisted living home is a sweetheart and just says that everything is ok and that this is just normal progression. She still has mom participate in all that they do during the day and tries to keep her distracted so that she does not think about wanting to leave.

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This is such a difficult road to travel down watching my mother fade away little by little. I can tell by the look in her eyes if she is struggling that day when I visit. Thank you everyone for your responses, I have a clearer picture now what is going on and I am reading up on the future of this horrible condition for my mom.
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I think everyone has their own beliefs about medication for dementia. I have read some things about it and that there are meds for those with moderate and severe dementia, but I won't disagree with your mom's doctor. I'm no professional. I know that there are risks with all meds and some people choose to not take those meds due to side effects and the fact that they don't work long term. I"m at that point now and am considering what is best for my loved one.
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For what's it's worth, my dads dementia and memory loss got markedly worse after hernia surgery a couple years ago. This seems to be fairly common.
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I talked to her Dr. today and he told me that if she had Alzheimer's the medicine that I was asking about only helps a very few people who are in stage 1, mom would be stage 3. He also explained that a traumatic event could lead to a marked decline in her dementia such as her falling and breaking her wrist 2 months ago, which is exactly when the new symptoms started. I can only imagine what it must have been like for Mom to go to the ER by ambulance and not know why and having no one with her. My sister and I did arrive in about 2 hours, I live 1 hour away.
When I called yesterday to tell the caregiver what the Dr had said she had noticed the timing also. She told me that she was trying new activities with my mom in order for Mom not to get stuck in what I call a "loop", distracting Mom from her thought patterns and it was helping.
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M mother in law died from kidney failure and we were also told she could have no tests with dye because it would d more harm then good as far as the kidneys go. I agree with Sandwich that it really doesn't matter if your mom has all the tests. One doctor wanted to do an MRI on my mom and after what she looked like when she came out of the last one, we said no way we are not torturing her anymore. It is what it is. Good luck.
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My mom has advanced kidney & liver issues with dementia.
Ultimately, the tests won't tell you anything new. I wouldn't worry about missing those tests.

If your mom has dementia, it's going to progress down a path until the end. You have to plan ahead, and be prepared to deal with the surprises each day will throw at you. The better educated you are on dementia in general, the better prepared you can be.

My mom lost her executive functions before memory. She couldn't prepare food, laundry, keep house, or pay bills. She had some rapid changes and went into 24/7 nursing care, and then into the secure memory care unit because she was an "elopement risk". She is still in that unit but classified as hospice now. This site has done wonders to inform me, teach me, and give me a place to connect to people who have seen & been through it all.
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If you go to the Alzheimer's section of this website, there is a ton of information there you will be able to use. Even if she has a different kind of dementia, the information will still be valuable to you.

Go to the top of the page, click on Elder Care, and then choose Alzheimer's & Dementia to get to that big section.
https://www.agingcare.com/Alzheimers-Dementia

Ultimately, you need to know that assisted living won't be the right place for her indefinitely. She will need a higher level of care at some point and possibly a specialized memory care unit. Plan ahead!
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Drs are also fearful of having mom have anesthetic because at the hospital it is on file that 2x she took a very long time to become conscious after an operation
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Sorry for the confusion. I had to get a neurologist to evaluate her for dementia in order for me to abide by her advance directives for health care and Me becoming her POA. He noted that she has kidney problems and specifically told me that he could not do a contrast brain scan to determine if she has Alzheimer's or vascular dementia because of the dye test would be bad for her kidneys. I am asking people with experience taking care of Alzheimers people what is the progression of the disease.
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I'm a little confused, too. Your profile says Mom has dementia. Is that why she was seeing the neurologist? And when her caregiver said it is "normal progression" was she referring to the dementia?

So what the neurologist declined to do was a brain scan to help determine which kind of dementia Mom probably has? Is that the situation? Did the doctor explain the reason for no brain scan? What is the reason you want one? Did you explain that to the doctor?

Memory slipping quickly in a two-month period is "normal" progression and could happen in any kind of dementia.
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